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Pennsylvania Detox Centers

What Is Detox in Pennsylvania?

Detox involves removing psychoactive substances from a person's body, usually under medical supervision.
Medical detox from addictive substances is the first step in addiction recovery, and it aims to minimize the trauma caused by the misuse of addictive substances. Some patients may end their rehab process after detox. However, detox alone is insufficient as a treatment. To enhance the benefits of medical detox, most patients continue their rehab treatment in a recovery program.
In Pennsylvania, any individual, corporation, or legal entity that provides drug and alcohol detox is under the regulatory purview of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Besides its regulatory role, the agency also ensures detox services are standard and safe in Pennsylvania.

How Long Does It Take To Detox From Drugs in Pennsylvania?

The length of time it takes to detox from drugs varies. The Detox and Substance Abuse Treatment Study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) puts the average detox time for opioids at three to five days. For heroin, the average detox timeline is five to seven days and three to four days for methamphetamine.
However, several factors may influence the duration of detox from drugs in Pennsylvania, including:

  • The quantity and frequency of substance abuse
  • The drug used and method of administration
  • Multiple substance abuse and substance abuse history
  • Individual biological factors
  • Multiple medical conditions

The Quantity and Frequency of Substance Abuse

Persons who frequently use addictive substances in large quantities will have a longer stay at a drug detox center than others who use drugs sparingly and in controlled quantities.

The Drug Used and Method of Administration

The timeline for detox depends on the addictive substance consumed. However, the route of administration of these substances — snorting, injecting, smoking, inhaling, or swallowing — can determine an individual's length of stay at the drug detox center.
For instance, a person who inhales heroin can have a shorter detox period than the individual who injects or smokes it, as heroin is less addictive when inhaled than injected.

Multiple Substance Abuse

Some individuals are addicted to more than one substance. When these substances combine, their side effects become more severe than the side effects of one substance, thus complicating the detox process. Persons detoxing from multiple substance abuse will require intense medical supervision over a longer period than someone with one substance dependence.

Substance Abuse History

Persons who have a long history of using addictive drug substances or persons with prior treatment episodes will stay longer in a drug detox center than an individual with a short history of drug dependence with no history of relapse.

Individual Biological Factors

Certain factors such as age, gender, weight, and race may affect an individual's duration of stay in a drug detox center. For instance, the SAMHSA reports that individuals between the ages of 12 -17 had an average length of stay for drug detox in Pennsylvania at two days, but four days for persons 18 and older. Similarly, the report shows the median length of stay for females as five days and four days for males.

Multiple Medical Conditions

The detox process can adversely affect a patient with co-occurring medical conditions, exacerbating the withdrawal symptoms during detox. The detox process for a person with substance dependence and co-occurring medical conditions is difficult as the drug detox center must also address the medical conditions. The detox for a patient with substance use disorder with co-occurring medical conditions is significantly longer than for someone without other medical conditions.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Alcohol in Pennsylvania?

The time an individual spends in a treatment center for alcohol detox varies. The SAMHSA shows that the average time it takes for alcohol detox in Pennsylvania is four days. Generally, this timeline depends on the severity of addiction, family history of alcohol abuse, co-occurring mental health issues, multiple substance abuse, and the demographic of the user.

The Detoxification Process at a Pennsylvania Drug Detox Center

The detox process aims to reduce the physical harm from stopping addictive substances and provide the best treatment based on the patient's needs. Drug detox Pennsylvania involves:


The evaluation stage is an assessment stage and serves as the foundation for future treatment. The drug detox center collects the patient's medical history, carries out blood tests, checks for co-occurring medical conditions, and assesses the patient's mental health. The drug detox center then informs the patient of the most appropriate treatment based on the assessment. The evaluation stage ensures that the medical professionals choose the best treatment based on the patient's unique needs.


The second phase of the detox process begins with the detox process. The medical personnel uses medication and psychological support to treat the patient's withdrawal symptoms. The medical staff closely monitors the patient to ensure the patient is stable. The goal of stabilization is to take a patient from drug dependence to a sustainable and substance-free state. In some instances, the medical practitioners may involve the patient's family members at this stage. Stabilization ensures the patient is safe during detoxification.

Side Effects of Detox

Every drug has specific withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification process. The following are the known side effects of drug and alcohol detox:


Known side effects from opioid detox cause intense discomfort and are extremely unpleasant. They include hypertension, high body temperature, enlarged pupils, sweating, increased respiratory rate, muscle spasms, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, anxiety, and insomnia.


Patients undergoing stimulant drug detox can expect to have depression, fatigue, irritability, increased appetite, poor concentration, increased substance cravings, seizures, and persistent headaches during the detox process.


The withdrawal symptoms associated with detox from nicotine include light-headedness, decreased heart rate, increased appetite, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, weight gain, irritability, frustration, anger, and nicotine cravings.

Marijuana and Hashish

The most frequent side effects reported during detoxing from marijuana and hashish are restlessness, irritability, sleep disturbance, anorexia, headaches, stomach pains, anxiety, and depression. Less frequent side effects include tremors, elevated heart rate, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


Medical complications from detoxing from benzodiazepine include seizures, delirium, concentration problems, increased sensitivity to light, anxiety, abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, and depression. More severe withdrawal symptoms include delusion, hallucinations, memory loss, seizures, and paranoia.

Anabolic Steroids

The known side effects of anabolic steroids detox are insomnia, lethargy, severe aggressiveness, headaches, acne, swelling of the hands and feet, urinary tract infections, and skin blistering. Others are bladder irritability, decrease in blood pressure, poor concentration, lower sex drive, and substance craving.

Club Drugs

Depending on the club drug of dependence, the following are the known withdrawal symptoms during medical detox from club drugs. Anxiety, depression, elevated body temperature, high blood pressure, insomnia, weight loss, sweating, tremors, severe delirium, hallucinations, mild tremors, seizures, nausea, and vomiting are the side effects of a club drug detox.


Most persons detoxing from inhalants or solvents can experience some of the following during the detox process: Delirium, tremors, irritability, anxiety, depression, tingling sensation, insomnia, weakness, weight loss, muscle cramps, and seizures.


There are many hallucinogens, and patients may exhibit different side effects depending on the drug used. The general side effects of hallucinogens include depression, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, and hostility. Others are mood swings, paranoia, panic attacks, loss of appetite, memory loss, hallucinations, and delusions.


During alcohol detox, a patient may display one or more of the following adverse reactions: restlessness, anorexia, tremor, insomnia, delirium, hallucination, seizures, elevated body temperature, high blood pressure, delusions, nausea, and vomiting.

Can You Detox at Home in Pennsylvania?

Yes, it is possible to detox at home in Pennsylvania. Drug detox at home is quitting the use of addictive substances at home without medical care or supervision. However, detoxing at home can be potentially dangerous and not recommended by medical practitioners in Pennsylvania.
Drug detox comes with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and, in some cases, severe complications that a home detox cannot cater for due to the lack of medical supervision. The frustration from these withdrawal symptoms can cause the individual to quit the detox process leading to a relapse. It is safer to detox from addictive substances in an approved drug detox center with appropriate medical care and supervision.

What Is Rapid Detox?

Rapid detox involves sedating a patient and using medications to remove addictive substances from the body swiftly. Rapid detox aims to shorten the total time from drug dependence to sobriety, usually within a few hours.

Side Effects of Rapid Detox

Rapid detox aims to remove the painful and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms experienced in medical detox. However, rapid detox is dangerous and can have intense complications. These complications include respiratory distress, acute renal failure, heart attack, delirium, irregular cardiac functions, suicidal thoughts, and drug addiction relapse. The patient may still experience withdrawal symptoms after rapid detox in some instances.

Rapid Detox vs. Medical Detox

Medical detox aims to give a holistic treatment program to the patient, which involves participation in therapy, support groups, counseling, and life skills training. Rapid detox does not incorporate any addiction treatment program or therapy.
Furthermore, rapid detox is more expensive than medical detox. The increased cost comes from the anesthetic, medical monitoring, and inpatient stay. Also, most health insurance companies consider rapid detox experimental and do not cover the cost.

Steps After Pennsylvania Detox

Drug and alcohol detox does not constitute the full treatment for substance dependence. Detox is only the first step to attaining sobriety. After detox, a patient may opt for one of the various addiction treatment programs to avoid a relapse. After a Pennsylvania detox, the patient has the following treatment options:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Residential, inpatient, or partial hospitalization program
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Outpatient treatment program
  • Sober living program

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT uses medications and therapy to provide comprehensive treatment for substance dependency after detox. The patient goes through a thorough assessment by a medical professional to determine the appropriate level of treatment. The assessment ensures that the treatment suits the peculiar needs of the patient. MAT aims to prevent relapse, sustain recovery, and prevent overdose.

Residential, Inpatient, or Partial Hospitalization Program

After a detox in Pennsylvania, the patient may continue treatment in a residential, inpatient, or partial hospitalization facility. These programs rehabilitate persons suffering from addiction by providing a supportive environment safe from the daily pressures and substance use triggers.
Residential treatment programs provide a home-like atmosphere while providing activities that help the patient focus on healing and recovery. Inpatient treatment programs aim to stabilize the patient after detox by providing 24 hours support within a treatment facility or hospital. Persons in partial hospitalization programs go for treatment and return to their residence at the end of the day.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

IOP allows patients to continue with their day-to-day activities such as work or school while receiving treatment. Most IOP provides patients with therapy sessions, individual and group counseling, peer support, and 12-step programs. IOP is best suited for persons with mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms after a Pennsylvania detox, with a supportive home environment who do not require round-the-clock supervision.

Outpatient Treatment Program

Like IOP, the outpatient treatment program allows patients to receive treatment daily and keep their family, work, or school obligations. However, it is less intense than IOP and suitable for people who can cope with the daily challenges and maintain their sobriety. The services in an outpatient treatment program include medication, peer support groups, 12-step meetings, relapse prevention programs, life skills training, and parenting classes.

Sober Living Program

A sober living program is a drug and alcohol-free group home for persons recovering from addiction. Sober living facilities help their residents transition from drug and alcohol treatment to independent living. Pennsylvania sober living homes provide structures, peer support, and routines that replicate day-to-day activities, which helps their residents maintain their sobriety and reduce the risk of relapse.

Detox Near Me in Pennsylvania

Do you or someone you love have a drug or alcohol addiction problem? There is a detox center close to you. You can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline at (800) 662-4357. You can speak with a SAMHSA representative 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your conversation with the representative is confidential.
What's more, SAMHSA has a treatment center locator to help you easily locate the closest detox center close to you. Independent professionals have accessed and classified these detox facilities. You can also get a comprehensive list of the various services, amenities, payment methods, and support the detox program offers.