A new, controversial, and expensive form of opiate detox has been gaining popularity. The treatment is said to take as little as 24 hours for the body to completely withdraw from opiates painlessly. The companies who perform rapid opiate detox are boasting about how fast it can be accomplished and how successful they have been. This leaves many people who work in the addiction field to look more in depth of how rapid opiate detox works.
Rapid opiate detox is claimed to be a simple process. The patient is put under anesthesia during the entire procedure which can last up to 48 hours. While they are under anesthesia they are then given medications to accelerate the withdrawal and detoxification process. The primary medication given is called Naloxone. Naloxone, (also called Narcan) is a synthetic drug similar to morphine that blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system. It is also known as the “second chance drug” for it's use in reversing opioid overdose.
For any opiate addict looking to get clean, rapid opiate detox sounds like a dream come true. One does not have to go through the horrific withdrawal symptoms because while under anesthesia, the withdrawal process is sped up and more severe (but the patient is sleeping during the entire procedure). If the patient was awake during this time, it would be too much and completely unbearable. Imagine being able to go into an office completely addicted to a drug and leaving a day or two later with no memory of the withdrawal and being so called “cured.”
If it sounds too good to be true, it just might be. Many people addicted to opiates have a lot more underlying issues than their addiction. Many use to help deal with their emotions or feelings. Though rapid detox may clean out your body from opiates and help skip the withdrawal process, it doesn't help with the emotional side of addiction. Dealing with the cravings, the underlying issues that led the person to use in the first place. When one leaves the rapid detox center, they need to realize that there will still be triggers that may initiate the urge to use. If one does not receive treatment or therapy to learn how to deal with these issues they will more than likely end up relapsing.
Many doctors are questioning the overall safety of the procedure due to a number of people who have died within days of having the procedure done. What people do not realize is that the process of withdrawal is tough on the body as is, but this procedure speeds up the withdrawal causing it to be much more severe on the body. Also the use of powerful drugs to help detox opiates fast, can also put strain on the body and organs. Also there is always a risk when anesthesia is used to put someone to sleep, even under the care of a trained professional.
Before you spend your money on this expensive procedure, make sure you do your research. Look for independent studies of the effectiveness of the process. Read as much information as you can on the dangers of an accelerated opiate detoxification on the body. Most importantly understand that the withdrawal phase is a very small piece of the recovery pie. Without the knowledge and therapy of the issues one has, it will be very easy to fall back into a life of addiction. It might even be easier to fall back into addiction since the withdrawal process was so painless. As always if you or someone you know is addicted to opiates or any prescription medication, please seek professional medical care immediately.