Are There Different Levels Of Care In Detox?

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If you are experiencing drug or alcohol addiction, you may wonder if you require detox services and what your treatment options are. Detox services happen at both the inpatient and outpatient levels of care, meeting a wide variety of clients’ withdrawal management needs.

Are There Different Levels Of Care In Detox?

As you plan for addiction treatment, including what kind of treatment program best fits your needs, you may assume that all detox services happen at the inpatient level of care.

While there are inpatient treatment options that include detoxification services, you can also find help managing withdrawal symptoms at outpatient levels of care.

A drug and alcohol abuse assessment offered by addiction treatment providers can help you determine which level of care best fits your individual needs.

Are There Different Levels Of Care In Detox?

Yes, there are different levels of care in drug and alcohol detox just as there are different levels of care in addiction treatment overall.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) describes five levels of treatment for withdrawal management. These levels fit within the two general settings of inpatient and outpatient treatment.

Behavioral health and addiction treatment providers will follow ASAM criteria for detox placement as well as when placing you in treatment following detox.

The levels of detox include:

  • Level 1-D: ambulatory (outpatient) detox without extensive onsite monitoring
  • Level 2-D: ambulatory detox with extensive onsite monitoring
  • Level 3.2-D: clinically managed residential detox
  • Level 3.7-D: medically monitored inpatient detox
  • Level 4-D: medically managed intensive inpatient detox

These levels of detoxification correspond to the ASAM levels of care.

ASAM levels of care for addiction treatment and their corresponding detox levels include:

Ambulatory Detox

Ambulatory detox services can occur with standard outpatient treatment, or the least intense outpatient level of care, as well as with IOP and PHP. The only thing that changes is the level of monitoring.

For example, people experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms may only require standard outpatient treatment, which would not include extensive monitoring.

At the IOP level, more monitoring would be provided while still being an outpatient program, and the greatest amount of monitoring would be provided at the PHP level, the most intense outpatient level of care.

These levels of care also include clinical services to help clients manage the difficult emotions they may experience during the withdrawal process.

Because they provide less support than inpatient programs, outpatient services are typically only recommended for people who have a good support system at home.

Residential Detox Services

Clinically managed detox services at the residential level of care provide 24/7 monitoring and support but are non-medical in nature, or what may also be described as social detox.

Clients receiving this form of drug and alcohol detox live on-site at the facility, where detox services help them through withdrawal so that they can focus on treatment to address the roots of their addiction.

As part of this form of detox, you would also receive such treatment services as:

This level of detox at a residential treatment facility is often beneficial for adolescents as well.

Detox Via Inpatient Programs

If you are experiencing severe withdrawal, you may be referred to an inpatient level of detox. Inpatient care is for people with severe withdrawal symptoms or who are in danger of experiencing complications.

Inpatient services occur at two levels of intensity. The first is medically monitored inpatient detox, and the second is medically managed detox.

Medically monitored detox is typically offered through:

  • hospitals
  • psychiatric hospitals
  • substance use disorder treatment units at general hospitals
  • addiction treatment facilities with appropriate staff and licensure for inpatient detox

Withdrawing in a medically managed detox center means that clients have access to 24-hour doctor or nurse care, medication, laboratories, and life-support equipment.

Placement In A Level Of Detox

An addiction assessment provided at a drug and alcohol rehab center or through other healthcare providers can help determine which level of treatment is best for you or your loved one.

Keep in mind that, as your needs change during the recovery process, your treatment program will change as well.

For example, you may start in an inpatient treatment center, with inpatient detox, but move on to outpatient services shortly after that.

People with more severe addictions often benefit from more intensive levels of care, due to both the level of monitoring and support provided and the opportunity to develop, practice, and strengthen healthy habits.

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