anesthesia-detoxRapid Opiate Detox Under Anesthesia

Rapid Detox history started in the late 1970’s when many different doctors began writing about their work with rapid opiate detox protocols done under anesthesia. Some prominent physicians in this exciting and promising field of pharmacology, addiction, and medicine include Dr. Kebler, Dr. Loimer, Dr. Resnick, and Dr. Legarda. These are the pioneers in the field of rapid opiate detox under anesthesia. Their remarkable and revolutionary work has allowed thousands of patients to completely detox from opiates in a safe, effective, and humane manner. This has helped many patients achieve freedom and improved their health for a better quality of life.

How Safe is Anesthesia Detox ?

When anesthesia assisted detox is performed in a responsible manner, its results are astounding and profound. The protocol should be done by experienced doctors in a full-service hospital where a number of different medical specialists are available to accurately assess each patient’s case, while ensuring anesthesia detox is the correct approach. When the patient undergo anesthesia detox in the adequate facility, with and experienced doctor, after at least a day of inpatient pre-examination and pre-treatment, it is often the best opioid detox option. Education and understanding of the risks and benefits of the procedure and each provider is crucial when deciding where to go.

In response to news, including a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 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. These practices minimize the success of the process and maximize the potential risks to patients.



The Importance of the Anesthesia Detox Location

Anesthesia Detox should always be performed in an ICU of a full-service hospital, under the care of skilled anesthesiologists. A full-service hospital provides patients with a considerate amount of medical resources and recourses, that can be utilized for a mere specialist consultation or for an immediate assistance in case of an unexpected emergency situation.  While it has been researched since the 1970’s, detoxification under anesthesia has gained tremendous popularity in the last decade.

Different rapid detox centers have utilized overnight surgical centers to cut costs. Because Surgical Centers are usually not able to provide the critical services that a full-service accredited hospital is, anesthesia detox safety, comfort and effectiveness can be compromised. These are just some of the examples of the services that are provided in a full-service hospital and not usually available in a surgical center:

  • The necessary inpatient time for physicians to understand how the patient reacts to key medications used during anesthesia detox.
  • Private Rooms pre, during and post detox, which allows the physician to provide undivided medical care and attention to the patient. It also maintains a higher level of comfort, dignity, and privacy.
  • The immediate medical resources that might be needed to ensure maximum safety and comfort of the patient.
  • The availability of additional medical specialists for a comprehensive individual assessment and  before a tailored detoxification plan is set.
  • An ICU Unit provides close and constant attention by a team of specially-trained health care providers.
  • Having various medical units and departments allows the ability to change the detox protocol, to better comply with patients medical needs; therefore, providing a safer and more efficient outcome.
  • A hospital has no preset time restraints like a surgical center, and patients can extend their stay post detox if medically necessary. This opportunity minimizes the chances of a patient being rushed to recover, prematurely discharged or even having to be transferred to another facility if needed.

The outcomes achieved with anesthesia assisted opioid detox is much higher than traditional methods of detoxification. With this protocol, the length of withdrawal symptoms is significantly reduced, and so as the severity of the symptoms. Most of the severe discomfort associated with an opioid withdrawal syndrome is overcome while the patient is under anesthesia, what allows for a much higher success rate of success.


How does the Anesthesia Detox Works?

Anesthesia Detox uses an infusion of FDA-approved medications including sedatives and antagonists. These intravenous medications are used to quickly induce a withdrawal and remove the opioids from the receptors while the patient sleeps 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 will I feel when I wake up?

Remember, a number of different organ functions have changed since you start using opioids, and these organs will need to find a new baseline, a new way to function. There is a great dysregulation that has occurred through the opioid use, and the process of re-regulating has just started.  While there usually is some discomfort throughout this transitional phase, you are in a hospital, and the medical staff will help you identified, mitigated, and even eliminate some of these unpleasant symptoms.

Most patients are ready for the final phase of the process, which happens in a few days at an exclusive recovery center. At the recovery center patients have around the clock staff, providing continuous care. This is a challenging time where emotions and unfamiliar feelings might be surfacing. Simple functions such as sleep, maintaining energy or gastrointestinal activity might be difficult; having adequate support at this time, without the pressures family and loved ones can insert, can pretty much dictate the success of the process.


Anesthesia Detox Results

Once the opiates are removed from the patient’s body using other drugs, and the patient has successfully undergone any significatant withdrawal symptoms under the anesthesia, the patient is opiate free. Mission almost completed! Now we need to navigate through the regulation period at the recovery center for a few days, in order to maximize safety and effectiveness of the detox. Naltrexone therapy can be immediately initiated to eliminate physical cravings and ensure that opioid drugs will not re-attach to the receptors. The patient is then able to return home and resume normal activities like work and school relatively quickly after the procedure, while opiate-free. The quick success of the anesthesia detoxification process, allows patients the ability to explore the reasons why an opioid was needed and work on the issue instead of the symptom. Individualized appropriate follow-up care such as counseling and exploration of other methods of pain control (if this is an issue) are usually very helpful.


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