Rapid detox is a process of clearing the drugs from an addict’s system in days rather than weeks, using medications to both block the effects of the drug and to sedate patients so that they do not feel the powerful effects of the rapid withdrawal.
While rapid detox is sometimes seen as an easier way to get drugs out of the addict’s system, there are some issues to consider when choosing a method of detox.
Concerns About Rapid Detox
One major concern about rapid detox is that it tries to completely bypass withdrawal by sedating people during the process. While it may seem easier to detox while you sleep, many who use rapid detox still feel the symptoms of withdrawal after the detox is supposedly over and the sedation wears off.
Adverse reactions to the drugs used in rapid detox are another concern of many treatment professionals, particularly because the doses used need to be higher to achieve the desired effect. A few people have even died during rapid detox because of these adverse reactions.
Many treatment organizations consider rapid detox unsafe and even ineffective because of the risks coupled with the continuing withdrawal. Without intervention, some who have used rapid detox end up returning to drug and alcohol use because of the withdrawal symptoms they experience even after coming out of anesthesia.
Furthermore, mental health disorders may be exacerbated by rapid detox because of the stress to the body. Even severe symptoms like psychosis have been complications of rapid detox in some cases.
Other important components of detox are support from others and a positive therapeutic relationship, both of which rapid detox bypasses by sedating the patient during detox. Rapid detoxers are deprived of both relationships and support during detox because of the the sedation, which is usually general anesthesia completed in a hospital.
One final consideration is that rapid detox is far more expensive than other methods because of the costs of anesthesia and other medications used, as well as the constant monitoring required.
Alternatives to Rapid Detox
Detox without medical supervision can be dangerous, especially for heavy users of drugs and alcohol. Delerium tremens can lead to seizures and even death in some cases, and withdrawal from various kinds of drugs can also be dangerous if done alone.
Slower detox with the aid of medications to ease some symptoms is a good alternative to rapid detox because it blunts the worst of the withdrawal symptoms but does not have as many complications. In addition, supervision will ensure that food and water are readily available to the detoxing patient so he or she will not become dehydrated or have other complications.
Medically-assisted detox also keeps people stable during detox so they are more ready to begin counseling and treatment once the drugs leave their system. Although the physical effects of detox can be severe, the psychological effects can be far more difficult to deal with after the physical part of detox is over.
Recovery Village at Palmer Lake recommends against rapid detox and provides medical supervision and medications to assist with detox at our Colorado rehab facility. Contact us for information about our programs and methods for comprehensive substance abuse treatment from detox through follow-up care.