The purpose of detoxification services is to provide immediate and short-term clinical support to individuals who are withdrawing from alcohol and other drugs. An assessment is conducted to determine whether a risk exists based on the patient's level of intoxication and whether a risk exists for severe withdrawal symptoms or seizures, based on the amount, frequency, chronicity, and recency of discontinuation of or significant reduction in alcohol or other drug.

Detoxification occurs in a clinically managed residential facility and is delivered by appropriately trained staff who provide 24-hour supervision, observation, and support. This service provides care for patients whose intoxication/withdrawal signs and symptoms are sufficiently severe to require 24-hour structure and support.

Substance abuse treatment services and this detoxification component are delivered by community-based agencies who are under contract to DHS/Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Generally, these services are available locally in communities throughout the state. This system enables clients to be assessed and treated as close to their home communities as possible, allows communities to take ownership of their programs, and facilitates public information. Treatment services are delivered through a continuum approach, with individual clients moving from one level of care to another based on their assessed needs.

In the DHS/OASA substance abuse treatment system in FY2001, a total of 20, 481 detoxification services were provided to 15,637 persons. Of this number, 13,833 persons were male, and 6,648 were female.