What is Anesthesia Detox?
It is vital to have a clear understanding of what anesthesia-assisted detoxification is and the differences between rapid detox centers. Anesthesia Detox methods use opioid antagonist medications to shorten the duration of acute withdrawal to a period of minutes instead of several days or weeks. Furthermore, while under anesthesia the patient is not subject to discomfort or relapse. When the patient awakens, detoxification is complete and yet there is no awareness of experiencing the severe withdrawal syndrome. Physical craving is blocked, and oral naltrexone can be initiated to reduce the risk of relapse. Rapid detoxification under anesthesia has assisted thousands of patients to achieve freedom from opioid addiction.
Rapid Detox started in the late 1970’s when doctors began writing about their work with anesthesia detox protocols. Since its first report in the late 70’s, detoxification under anesthesia has gained tremendous popularity. Prominent physicians in this exciting and promising field of pharmacology and addiction medicine include Dr. Kebler, Dr. Loimer, Dr. Resnick, and Dr. Legarda. Their remarkable and revolutionary work has allowed thousands of patients to complete detoxification from opiates in a safe, efficient and humane manner.
How does it Work?
Anesthesia Detox uses an infusion of FDA-approved medications including sedatives and antagonists. These intravenous medications quickly induces a withdrawal and removes the opioids from the receptors while the patient is under sedation. The process takes place in an ICU of a hospital and lasts approximately 30 to 90 minutes. Throughout the detox process, a board-certified anesthesiologist and his team monitor patients’ vital signs to ensure stability and that the withdrawal is proceeding successfully.
How Safe is Detoxification under Anesthesia?
When facilities perform anesthesia assisted opiate detox responsibly, the results are astounding. The positive results achieved with anesthesia assisted opioid detox are much higher than with the traditional methods of detoxification. This protocol significantly reduces the length of withdrawal symptoms, along with the severity of the symptoms. The sedation of the patient allows for most of the severe discomfort associated with an opioid withdrawal syndrome to be overcome while the patient is unconscious. This results in a higher success rate. An experienced anesthesiologist should perform the anesthesia detox in a full-service hospital. A hospital provides patients with additional medical specialists that can accurately assess and assist in each case.
Treatment centers should tailor treatment protocols based on patients’ unique history and conditions. One detox technique should never offered to everyone and anesthesia assisted detox is no exception to this rule. Additional detox options should be available based on each individual’s needs. Medical resources must be abundant. There should be no pre-set time or urgency to discharge. Additionally, detox centers should treat patients in private rooms, allowing for undivided attention and individualized medical care. Following these basic rules maximizes rapid detox safety and ensures the comfort of the patient.
In response to news including a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report titled ‘severe adverse effects associated with rapid anesthesia detox programs’, Waismann Method® Medical Director Dr. Michael Lowenstein is calling for the creation of basic standards of care for all anesthesia assisted detox programs. “We should not cut corners, provide insufficient medical care or offer overnight miracles” says Dr. Lowenstein. These practices minimize the success of the process and maximize the potential risks to patients.