Rapid Detox – Amazing, Or Too Good To Be True?
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What is rapid detox?
Rapid detox is an accelerated detoxification process during which a patient is given anesthesia followed by an opiate-blocking drug, naltrexone, that causes the onset of withdrawal.
The process happens very quickly—depending on the patient’s addiction, the entire procedure lasts between forty minutes and a few hours, during which the patient is sedated or fast asleep.
How does rapid detox work?
Rapid detox is conducted at a hospital by a professional medical staff. The process itself consists of two major steps: administering first anesthesia, and then an opiate blocker called naltrexone.
Administering naltrexone alone would cause accelerated heart rate and labored breathing for the patient; with the anesthesia, however, these effects are prevented.
What are the side effects of rapid detox?
Most addicts who undergo a rapid detox experience no side effects, or only mild side effects. The side effects of rapid detox can include:
- Hot and cold sweats
- Muscle aches
- Low energy
- Irritability and anxiety
- Abdominal cramping
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
What is rapid detox like?
Unlike the regular detoxification process, which can last up to several weeks, rapid detox cleanses the system of addictive chemicals in a matter of hours. Patients usually have to spend two days in the hospital, where they can be observed by medical staff.
After the two-day period, they are transferred to a recovery facility.
Why do rapid detox?
People who have repeatedly failed to complete a conventional withdrawal program may find rapid detox especially beneficial. Rapid detoxification significantly reduces the discomfort brought on by opiate withdrawal for individuals who have developed a chemical dependency on narcotics. Addictions suited to rapid detox include:
- Prescription painkillers
What are the risks of rapid detox?
Though rapid detox has been hailed as an expedient new way to end an addiction, studies have suggested that the procedure itself carries various risk factors associated with overall physical and mental health. The most common concerns about the rapid detox process include:
- No proof of safety
- Aggravation of mental health symptoms
- Serious health risks
Is it too good to be true?
Patient experiences with rapid detox vary. Not having to deal with severe withdrawal symptoms after months or years of opiate intake sounds unbelievable and too good to be true. However, numerous patients who have undergone the procedure claim to have experienced no side effects, and most of them were able to get started with their new sober life.
Unfortunately, not everyone’s story has a happy ending; undergoing anesthesia always involves some sort of risk, including anesthesia-related death. All in all, as revolutionary as it may seem, one must make a choice for themselves and decide whether or not rapid detox is the right detox method for them.
- McCabe S. Rapid detox: understanding new treatment approaches for the addicted patient. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. 2000; 36(4): 113-20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12035203.
- Bartter T., Gooberman L. L. Rapid opiate detoxification. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 1996; 22(4): 489-95. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8911587.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Advancing the Science of Rapid Opioid Detoxification. https://www.drugabuse.gov/es/news-events/meetings-events/2017/07/advancing-science-rapid-opioid-detoxification.
Where do calls go
Calls to our general hotline may be answered by Niznik Behavioral Health or other private treatment providers.