|March 26, 2004|
Admissions for Detoxification: 2001
In the context of treating patients who are physically dependent on alcohol or illicit drugs, detoxification includes the period of time during which the body's physiology is adjusting to the absence of such substances.1 In 2001, the 436,000 admissions for detoxification accounted for 25 percent of all substance abuse admissions reported to the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). TEDS is an annual compilation of data on admissions to publicly funded substance abuse treatment across the nation. This issue focuses on differences between admissions for detoxification and admissions for all other types of substance abuse services.2
Primary Substance of Abuse
Detoxification admissions were more likely to be for primary abuse of alcohol or opiates than all other admissions.3 For example, primary abuse of alcohol accounted for half (50 percent) of detoxification admissions compared with 42 percent for all other admissions (Figure 1). Primary abuse of opiates was reported more frequently for detoxification admissions (33 percent) than for all other admissions (13 percent). Consequently, there were lower percentages of primary marijuana (2 percent), cocaine (10 percent), and stimulant (2 percent) abuse among admissions for detoxification than among all other admissions (19, 14, and 7 percent, respectively).
Planned use of methadone in the treatment of opiate abuse was reported by 24 percent of opiate detoxification admissions compared with 41 percent of all other opiate admissions. The initial treatment of opiate abuse with methadone may be classified as detoxification.
Detoxification admissions were more likely to be Hispanic (17 percent) than all other admissions (11 percent) (Figure 2). Fifty-five percent of detoxification admissions were White compared with 60 percent of all other admissions. There was no difference between detoxification admissions and all other admissions in the proportions of Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaska Native admissions.
Detoxification admissions were 75 percent male compared with 68 percent of all other admissions.
Detoxification admissions were older than all other admissions, with an average age of 38 compared with an average age of 33 for all other admissions. Only 12 percent of detoxification admissions were younger than 25 compared with 29 percent of all other admissions (Figure 3). Sixty-four percent of detoxification admissions were between the ages of 25 and 44 compared with 56 percent of all other admissions, and 24 percent of detoxification admissions were aged 45 or older compared with 15 percent of all other admissions.
Source of Referral
Detoxification admissions were more likely to be self or individual referrals (63 percent) than all other admissions (27 percent). Criminal justice referrals accounted for 10 percent of detoxification admissions but 43 percent of all other admissions.
Detoxification admissions were more likely to have had five or more previous admissions (26 percent) compared with all other admissions (9 percent) (Figure 4).
Frequency of Use
Daily use in the month prior to admission was reported by 82 percent of all detoxification admissions compared with 33 percent of all other admissions.
Although 27 percent of both detoxification admissions and all other admissions were unemployed (Figure 5), the two groups differed in other aspects of employment status at the time of admission.4 Some 16 percent of detoxification admissions were employed full-time compared with 29 percent of all other admissions.
1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Detoxification from Alcohol and Other Drugs, Quick Guide for Clinicians, DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 01-3573, Rockville, MD. 2001.
2 TEDS records the type of service to which clients are admitted. The categories used are broadly defined as detoxification, residential/rehabilitation, and ambulatory. Detoxification services may be provided in hospitals, residential facilities, or in outpatient settings. Admissions to all three types of detoxification services (inpatient, residential, and outpatient) are included as detoxification admissions for purposes of this report.
3 The primary substance of abuse is the main substance reported at the time of admission.
4 Employment status is based on admissions between the ages of 19 and 64.
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