Maryland currently sits at one of the epicenters of the opioid epidemic. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the state is in the top five states with the highest rate of opioid-related overdose deaths, with almost 30 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016.
This is also, unfortunately, not a new problem. The rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in Maryland has consistently been between one to three times the national average since at least 1999.
However, in the wake of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declaring a state of emergency in early 2017 to ramp up funding and statewide coordination to address the ongoing opioid crisis, there is some good news. Between 2016 and 2017, heroin-related overdose deaths have dropped by 11 percent, and in the first three months of 2018, were down 19 percent compared to that same period in 2017. Reports also say prescription opioid-related overdoses have also seen a decrease.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with fentanyl, which had already resulted in 500 overdose deaths in Maryland in the first few months of 2018, showing no signs of stopping what has been a steady yearly increase in the past five years.
Even as more drug restrictions are put in place and the life-saving opioid-reversal drug Narcan is made more available, the opioid crisis is still ongoing and still a dangerous reality. Fortunately, Maryland is taking steps to improve opioid detox and addiction treatment and make treatment centers more widely accessible for those who need them.
Successful opioid addiction recovery starts with an effective opioid detox treatment, and that starts with finding the Maryland detox center that’s right for you.
Opioid detox treatment is a necessity in being able to move forward with ongoing care and completing a recovery program. The longer someone who is abusing opioids goes without detoxing, the greater the chance of overdosing, especially if the person is using potent opioids like heroin or fentanyl.
The symptoms of opioid withdrawal are rarely, if ever, life-threatening. However, they can be extremely difficult to deal with without medical supervision. Opioid withdrawal symptoms are fairly consistent across different opioid substances and are mostly physical and flu-like, including:
Opioid cravings are among the most dangerous of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, especially if you are attempting to detox on your own, as cravings can be so intense that mid-detox relapse is very common, particularly during heroin detox.
When relapsing during detox, there is a high risk of accidentally overdosing to relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Medical detox treatment can help to avoid this possibility by keeping you under careful monitoring and also providing different detox medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal.
The point of all detox treatment, generally, is to achieve sobriety and stabilize your mental and physical health. Opioid detox treatment is slightly different in that while the aim of opioid detox is still stabilization and flushing the opioids you are abusing from your system, other opioids are often used to help with this process through medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
MAT can be used to treat opioid addiction during detox by using other, weaker opioids like methadone and buprenorphine to wean someone off heroin. A doctor will slowly taper down the dosage until the user is taking only methadone, and can then taper down methadone usage from there with the goal being total abstinence.
Methadone and buprenorphine are both helpful in reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms while not providing the user with the euphoric “high” associated with opioid abuse. However, although MAT has seen success in addiction recovery treatment and these are relatively weak opioids, they do still have addictive potential and must be very strictly and carefully administered. MAT for opioids remains a fairly controversial form of treatment, even for the purposes of detox.
Even when specifically seeking out opioid detox treatment in Maryland, what you are looking for is going to largely depend on your specific needs, which will vary based on factors such as:
These factors will help to narrow down your choices, as not every Maryland detox treatment center is going to offer inpatient treatment, provide additional mental health counseling during detox, or offer MAT.
Some addiction rehabilitation facilities offer opioid detox treatment as an integrated part of their overall recovery program, while other freestanding detox treatment centers may have nearby ongoing care facilities that they can help you transition to. Some will just offer opioid detox treatment without any affiliation with ongoing recovery treatment.
Also important to keep in mind when looking for opioid detox treatment is that it is a legitimate treatment center that can provide evidence of having all of the necessary licensing, credentials, and accreditations necessary to legally operate a medical detox facility in Maryland.
Unfortunately, in the wake of the opioid epidemic, people are operating illegal or unlicensed opioid detox centers in an attempt to take advantage of those seeking opioid detox treatment and defraud their insurance providers.
So be vigilant about making sure the detox treatment center you’re considering is accredited, uses evidence-based treatments, and has a fully licensed and certified medical detox team of doctors and staff. You also can look at reviews and try to visit the actual center, which can give you a firsthand impression of the facility’s condition, the amenities provided, the staff-to-client ratio, and more.
Some questions are going to vary, depending on your specific needs and requirements, but important ones to ask not just for opioid detox treatment but really any detox treatment include:
The answers to many of these questions should be available on the website of the detox facility, although some may require getting in touch with an admissions representative.
Maryland Department of Health. (n.d.). Overdose Prevention in Maryland. from https://bha.health.maryland.gov/OVERDOSE_PREVENTION/Pages/Index.aspx
Maryland Department of Health. (2018, July 26). State Releases Unintentional Drug And Alcohol-Related Intoxication Death Report For 2017 and 1st Quarter of 2018. from https://health.maryland.gov/newsroom/Pages/State-Releases-Unintentional-Drug-And-Alcohol-Related-Intoxication-Death-Report-For-2017-and-1st-Quarter-of-2018.aspx
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, February 28). Maryland Opioid Summary. from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/maryland-opioid-summary