Drug and Alcohol Detox Clinics in Massachusetts

Detox clinics make withdrawal safe. But where should you go for help in Massachusetts? A complete guide on what to look for in a good detox center here.

minute read

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Learn how to find a safe and reputable detox center in Massachusetts here.


Medical detox makes withdrawal safe.

What is Medical Detox?

Medical detoxification, or “detox”, is the process of removing drugs and/or alcohol from the body in an appropriated equipped setting under constant medical care. Usually, medical detox is a combined of set of interventions used to manage and minimize substance withdrawal symptoms.

While detox centers in Massachusetts aren’t that different than those in other states, they are supervised and need to be certified by the state. More on that below. Still, the basic goals of any medical detox include:

GOAL 1: To supervise a safe withdrawal that helps you become substance-free.

Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and severe. In specific cases, certain withdrawal symptoms may lead to complications or can trigger serious medical problems. For instance, delirium tremens, a severe form of alcohol withdrawal, may cause death when unsupervised. [1]

GOAL 2: To provide humane treatment to protect your dignity.

Detox is difficult. A detox center near you is staffed by licensed and caring professionals who offer supportive environment, confidentiality, and appropriate medications. Detox centers are supervised 24-7 by a leading physician who can prescribe medications when needed. This makes the withdrawal detox process less painful and more humane.

GOAL 3: To prepare you for ongoing treatment.

Keep in mind that medical detox is only the first step towards addressing an alcohol or drug problem. Completing detox alone does little to providing lasting recovery. Taking next steps by enrolling into rehab can help you quit…for good.

Always search for a detox clinic that is licensed in Massachusetts.

Detoxing in Massachusetts

Ready to check into a detox near you?

It makes sense to seek medical help nearby. But, first you’ll need to learn how to choose the best detox clinic. The main tip we have is to always search for a licensed detox clinic. You can search for a licensed detox program in Massachusetts on the state websitehere.

Massachusetts has strict laws that govern and license substance abuse treatment programs. Licensing requirements for treatment programs in hospitals and clinics must:

  1. Meet the requirements of 105 CMR 164.000
  2. Be licensed by the Department of Public Health under General Law c. 111B § 6 and 111E, § 7
  3. Fulfill applicable regulatory requirements for medical care standards.

It’s also helpful to know that the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services is the agency responsible for giving out counselor certifications, while the Division of Health Care Quality is responsible agency for program licensure. If you are not satisfied with the care you receive in a Massachusetts detox clinic, you may file a complaint by calling the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services Complaint Line directly at:

Massachusetts State Detox Clinic Complaint Line: (617) 624-5171

Call us to learn about your detox options in Massachusetts.

What Happens During Detox?

It’s normal to feel nervous when you enter detox. There is no real reason to fear detox. It’s just something that you’re going to have to go through.

In this section, we’ll explain what you can expect. The stages of detox overlap each other. One stage build upon the other. Know that many symptoms of detox can be treated via medicines. Other symptoms will require supportive treatment.

The basic detox protocol used in Massachusetts clinics includes:

STAGE 1. Evaluation and assessment.

Before starting detox program, the licensed medical staff will establish the severity and levels of drug or alcohol dependence. Usually, this assessment is completed within 24 hours of admission (or sooner). The evaluation usually includes:

  • A drug test
  • An intake questionnaire
  • Insurance or payment options
  • Family history
  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Psychological evaluation

The main goal of this step is to help clinicians create a customized detox plan for you. The plan will outline the estimated length of time for your detox, medications used, and tapering schedules. Some cases of acute detox resolve within a few days. Other cases last for a week, or more. You’ll know much more about how long detox will take and what treatments are available after you complete this stage.

STAGE 2. Supportive care

During this step, you will be dealing with withdrawal symptoms. Most detox protocols recommend that patients are placed in a quiet room without stimuli such as bright lights, noises, etc. Supportive care services include:

  • Medical monitoring
  • Nursing care
  • Nutrition support
  • Routine examination

STAGE 3. Pharmacotherapy

Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, and sometimes, hard to handle. Medications can be prescribed to manage acute withdrawal and to address symptoms as they occur. This is particularly helpful in cases when you feel extreme nausea, diarrhea, panic, or even go through seizure.

The list of medications will vary in accordance with the type of drug and/or alcohol addiction you have. However, medications will be prescribed according to symptoms that present as well as your medical history. Just know that medicines are available to help make the process more human.

Why detox alone? Call us to talk about your options.

Inpatient Detox in Massachusetts

Inpatient detox programs provide 24 hour medical care in a hospital setting for people who are dealing with withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient detox is suitable for people with severe addictions since they offer constant medical care because patients reside at the facility.In Massachusetts, all inpatient detox clinics must have few basic requirements. These include:

  1. An admission process

This process is important because licensed staff determine the level of a patient’s severity of addiction, level of care, and what the treatment will look like.Admission and detoxification services must be available 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Further, every Massachusetts inpatient detox clinic must have licensed medical staff including:

  • A Medical Director (MD physician) with a minimum of six months clinical experience with alcohol and drug-dependent persons
  • A full time Senior Clinician
  • A licensed psychiatrist or licensed psychologist
  • A registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant
  • Licensed practical nurses, case aides, and case management staff

All inpatient detox in Massachusetts must provide sufficient staff to ensure coverage on all shifts. And a qualified physician must be available 24 hours per day, every day of the week, either on site or on call. Plus, if the clinic serves pregnant women, they must have an obstetrician/gynecologist available on staff. Finally, food personnel must be trained in safe and sanitary food handling and preparation with all food service permits.

  1. Assessments

In addition to admission, an assessment stage ensures that all patients go through physical examination based on the principles established by the American Society of Addiction Medicine within 24 hours after the admission. A typical examination includes:

  • A brief mental status exam
  • An assessment of the patient’s substance use disorder
  • An assessment of infectious diseases
  • Drug testing

Once all tests are completed, clinicians will ensure your current and future medication therapy. All medical orders must be signed by the medical director.

  1. Treatment Services

The medical staff provides detoxification services as determined by the physical examination. Once you as a patient receive medical clearance to participate, the medical team will provide you with at least four hours of service programming each day. The programming includes these services:

  • A plan for completion of treatment
  • Case management
  • Family therapy
  • Health services
  • Medication
  • Mental health services
  • Relapse prevention
  • Recovery maintenance counseling and education
  • Social and education services
  • Talk therapy
  • Tobacco education and counseling

Finally, the medical staff in Massachusetts must provide at least one multidisciplinary team review for each patient stay.

  1. Termination and Discharge.

In MS detox clinics, medical staff must establish written termination and discharge policies and procedures which are available to you at the time of admission.

Outpatient Detox in Massachusetts

Outpatient detox occurs in medical settings in Massachusetts. This kind of stay-at-home detox is suitable for people with mild addictions….but the main difference is that patients don’t stay at the facility. They come and go as needed.

Outpatient detox program in the state should be open to provide admission to outpatient services and treatment seven days per week for four hours per day, minimum.All outpatient detox clinics in Massachusetts provide these services:

  1. Admission to qualify you for treatment in an outpatient clinic.
  2. A Physical Examination, which must be completed within 24 hours after admission.
  3. Treatment based on your needs. The main treatment services include counseling, talk therapy, case management, and mental health services.

Even though the services in both types of detox are similar, medical must vary according to the patient’s needs.

Detox for Veterans

According to the U.S. Census data from 2015, there are at least 320K veterans in Massachusetts, which makes up about 6% of the adult population in the state. In the state, all health benefits for Veterans who deal with substance use disorders are provided by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This includes medical detox.

To get these services you must own VA health care. If are not enrolled, you can apply here. Moreover, you can find information on addiction services for Veterans here. If you are in need of immediate help, call one of these hotlines:

  • National Hotline dedicated for supporting Veterans: 2-1-1
  • The Samaritans 24/7 Statewide Helpline: 1-877-870-HOPE (4673)
  • National Veteran Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 & press “1” for Veteran
  • Call the VA general information hotline at 1-800-827-1000.

Remember that help is available, and if you believe that you may have a drug or alcohol problem, talk with your VA doctor. They will complete a screening for addiction and can guide you on what to do next. Don’t be afraid!

Involuntary Treatment

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 123, sec 35 permits courts to involuntarily commit someone to rehab who has an alcohol or substance use disorder. The key is that there must be a likelihood of serious harm to themselves or others due to substance use disorder. This person will be placed in an inpatient care facility.

Only a qualified petitioner such as a spouse, blood relative, guardian, a police officer, physician, or court official may request the court to commit someone to treatment for substance abuse disorder. They must file a written petition or affidavit for order of commitment at a District or Juvenile Court.

Find more information about the process of this law here.

Moreover, Massachusetts provides substance abuse education and treatment alternative sentencing programs for people who hold offenses for driving under the influence.  Drivers who are first time offenders for driving under the influence may agree to the alternative sentencing sanction within Massachusetts General Law, and to participate in the Driver Alcohol Education (DAE) program. Spread over 40 hours of educational classes, this program provides help to identify and understand substance abuse problems, and DUI behaviors.

If you are a second offender for driving under influence you may choose enrolling into the Second Offender Residential program as an alternative to 30 days incarceration. This program provides 14-day residential rehab, Once you finish this program, you must continue with the Second Offender Aftercare (SOA) program. During SOA, you are assessed and offered an individually crafted treatment program that will cover individual, group and family services to fit your needs. Rehab is required for the one year following during probation supervision.

Massachusetts State Detox Clinics

When it comes to addiction and finding treatment, the Bay State has one guiding idea:

There is no wrong pathway.

This policy means that any person in Massachusetts should be able to receive substance abuse treatment no matter the circumstances. So, the state has some subsidized detox clinic offers.

State-funded detox clinics in Massachusetts are connected with the sate rehabs to offer you chance to complete the treatment and reach lasting recovery.

To find a state-funded detox program near, Massachusetts has a special website designed to help you three ways:

  1. State treatment “Interview page” [2]
  2. Service Search Locator [3]
  3. State Substance Use Helpline: 800-327-5050

Detox Helps!

Detox helps anyone dealing with a drug-of-choice. It makes getting off a drug easier…and more manageable.

Never detox alone.

Complications are possible. The safest way to quit any substance by checking into a medical detox facility supervised by licensed staff. In this way, you will be monitored 24-7. Medications can be prescribed to help minimize the withdrawal symptoms.  And you’ll receive emotional support.

To get started, reach out for help.

Give us a call to learn more about detox. Why not make the call? We invite you to call us and get answers to your questions right away… Only you can turn your life around.

If you still have questions, please feel free to leave us a message in the comments section. We do our best to respond to comments personally and promptly.

Reference Sources:
[1] NCBI: Delirium Tremens
[2] MA Help Online
[3] MA Service Search Locator
Substance Use Disorder program locator in Massachusetts
VA medical center locator in Massachusetts
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
I am ready to call
i Who Answers?