Rapid Drug Detox – What Is It and Should You do It?

The decision to get clean is a big one and a successful outcome often depends on the quality of support and care you receive on each step of the journey. There are many different approaches, but all paths to sobriety begin with detox. Whether it’s drugs or alcohol – or both – detox can be difficult and painful, and, in some cases, it can also be lethal when not handled properly. Detoxifying your system is hard, there is no way around it, and this difficulty is one reason why many people choose to remain addicted.

When contemplating taking that first step to sobriety, it can be tempting to try and find a shortcut. One seemingly ideal shortcut that is gaining attention is rapid drug detox. But what is it, exactly? Is it dangerous? Should you do it? Read on as we explore these questions in more depth below.


What is Rapid Drug Detox?

Rapid drug detoxification is a detox method in which a patient is put under anesthesia and administered drugs which are called u-receptor antagonists. Drugs in this family include Naloxone and Nalmefene. (Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is gaining notoriety for being a drug that can be used to immediately counteract an overdose.)

While under heavy sedation the detox process is sped up to mere hours rather than days. U-receptor antagonists block the body’s opioid receptors from the effects of drugs and alcohol and put the body into immediate withdrawal. Doctors manage the withdrawal symptoms while the patient is sedated, but these heightened symptoms can be extreme and potentially life threatening.

Is Rapid Drug Detox Dangerous?

Although billed as safe, many rapid drug detox programs take place in the intensive care unit of a hospital, so the threat of complications is definitely there. This is due to the extreme nature of the procedure and the effects it can produce including seizure.

According to a study found on the National Institute of Health website, which assessed the administrations of u-receptor antagonists used in conjunction with heavy sedation, “There is a significantly greater risk of adverse events with heavy, compared to light, sedation…and probably also other forms of detoxification.” The author concluded that the costs associated with rapid drug detox (both in term of monetary and hospital resources, along with the potential health costs of adverse reactions to the process), were not worth the risks involved.


Should You Do It?

According to the US Center for Disease Control, in an article about a rapid detox clinic in New York that was shuttered due to adverse reactions—and in one instance patient death—rapid detox provides no long-term benefit over more standard medically assisted detox methods, which are known to be safer. The fact is, that addiction is a disease you can’t just be cured of in a few hours, no matter how appealing that sounds.

Many of the substance-abuse-field’s most well-regarded doctors and psychiatrists agree that what happens after detox is of paramount importance to long term recovery. Many of these rapid detox centers do not offer a continuum of care that goes beyond the initial physical detoxification, largely ignoring the psychological component of the disease, which is likely responsible for the addiction taking hold in the first place.

Here at Dynamic Transformations, we specialize in medically assisted detox for drugs and alcohol that is conducted in a safe, physician-supervised environment and is combined with group and family counseling, life skills development, individualized case management and excursions. The detox process is immediately followed by transition to in-patient, residential rehab. After rehab, we help in placing our patients with an aftercare program.

We do it this way because we want our patients to have the absolute best chance at long term sobriety and a life free from addiction. We believe that if you are going to go through the detox process, you should do it as part of a long-term rehabilitation program designed for long-term success.

If you’re ready to do the work, we’re ready to help – every step of the way. Call today: 1-800-417-0485


Read it Next: Are You Living with a Functional Alcoholic? Know the Signs.

Dynamic Transformation residential detox is the first step in your recovery journey. Let us help – 24/7 assistance available: 1-800-417-0485

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