Washington, DC Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers

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Rehab Centers in District of Columbia by Region

Substance Abuse Stats in Washington, DC

Washington, D.C. has a serious problem with drugs. The city had the third-highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the United States in 2017. 

Between 2014 and 2017, the Centers for Disease Control reported that: 

  • Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids rose from 13 to 182
  • Overdose deaths from heroin rose from 37 to 127
  • Overdose deaths from prescription opioids rose from 23 to 58

Still, opioids aren’t the only drug that’s wreaking havoc in the District of Columbia. A 2018 study called D.C. the worst state in the country for drug abuse, citing factors such as: 

  • Arrest rates
  • Overdose rates
  • Opioid overprescription 
  • Meth lab incidents 

Choosing Between an Outpatient and Inpatient Rehab

Whether you need inpatient or outpatient rehab in D.C. depends on a few factors, such as: 

  • Your stability: Many people choose to detox inpatient first, and then move to outpatient therapy when their condition is more stable. 
  • Your support system: People who have a good social support system do well with outpatient rehab, while people who lack that can find it via therapy when they choose inpatient rehab. 
  • Your physical and mental health: The more complex your detox process is, the more likely that you’ll benefit from the added supervision of inpatient rehab. 

How Long Can Treatment at a Rehab Last?

It’s common to go into treatment in D.C. without knowing the length of it. Your treatment plan may change multiple times over the length of your stay depending on your progress. 

Researchers agree that drug rehab treatment is most effective when you continue it for longer periods. A rehab stay under 90 days is associated with a worse outcome than a longer stay. 

Opioid abuse treatment is especially associated with better outcomes when you stay in treatment for longer. A stay of 12 months is ideal when treating opioid addiction with methadone, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. 

What to Expect at Rehab

There’s no single experience that everyone can expect to have at rehab. Your treatment plan is customized according to factors such as: 

  • Your substance use history
  • Your physical and mental health history 
  • Your social support system

For instance, if you’re getting treatment for methamphetamine use, then cognitive-behavioral therapy is likely to be part of your treatment plan, but medication isn’t. 

On the other hand, treatment for alcohol or opioid abuse might include medication-assisted treatment such as methadone. 

At your intake appointment, your care provider will help you choose treatment options that are right for you, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions. 

When Would You Need to Go to Detox?

Medical detox in D.C., or detox under medical supervision, is an important part of drug abuse treatment for many patients. 

You may be a candidate for medical detox if you: 

  • Abuse opioids or alcohol 
  • Abuse substances frequently and heavily 
  • Have abused substances over a long period of time

The specifics of medical detox depend on the substance that you’re detoxing from, as well as other factors. 

It may include: 

  • Anxiety and mood control
  • Electrolyte therapy
  • Intravenous fluids
  • Medication-assisted therapy 
  • Pain control 
  • Seizure control 

If your care provider recommends medical detox, then it’s important to listen. Detoxing from alcohol, in particular, can be life-threatening without help. 

How Long is Detox? 

The length of detox depends on many factors, including: 

  • The substance or substances you use: Different drugs stay in your system for their own lengths of time. 
  • How long you’ve been using: The longer you’ve been dosing your body with a substance, the longer that substance can stick around. 
  • How heavily you use: Large doses of a substance take longer to clear your system—and the same goes for frequent doses. 
  • Your general health: People who are well-nourished, well-hydrated, and have healthy organs (like the liver) might detox faster. 


  1. The National Institute on Drug Abuse: Washington, DC opioid summary
  2. Washington Examiner: Washington, DC has the biggest drug problems in America, study shows
  3. The National Institute on Drug Abuse: How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?
  4. The National Institute on Drug Abuse: Medical detoxification