Detox house hopes to fight Md. opioid crisis

WASHINGTON — A new kind of facility that hopes to fight the opioid crisis will soon be opening its doors in Maryland.

The treatment center, called Maryland House Detox, plans to open to patients by the end of the month in Anne Arundel County, an area hit particularly hard by the national epidemic.

“Our deaths are still going up and we’re using multidisciplinary approaches,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare, who participated in a recent WTOP panel discussion on the opioid crisis.

The new facility, which has 16 beds, will focus on immediately dealing with the painful detox symptoms that people who use opioids experience.

It calls itself the “first and only free-standing detoxification facility” in Maryland.

“The helping hand needs to be extended to those suffering in this cycle,” said Altomare. “Looking at getting people into treatment has to be a huge part of it.”

The facility will bring patients in, evaluate them with medical staff and treat them with medication in order to get them over the hump of detoxification. After the patients are feeling better, they will be referred to other treatment providers so they can continue their recovery.

Addiction specialists say easing withdrawal symptoms can be a helpful step in getting patients onto a successful path.

“If you are down the line into the cycle of addiction with opioids — if you’re not using every 10, 12, 18 hours, you are getting deathly ill,” Altomare said. “I’ve heard it described as the worst flu you can have times 100.”

Maryland House Detox will be different from the typical residential rehab facilities that take people in for long stretches of time. It plans to handle patients for a period of days rather than weeks, potentially treating 80 to 100 patients every month.

Delphi Behavioral Health Group will be operating the facility.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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