Looking to learn about the benefits of choosing rapid detox? Rapid opioid detox can remove the fear of detoxification because it minimizes the painful withdrawal symptoms associated with the opiate detox process. The National Center for Biotechnology Information provides an extensive report on services that aid the withdrawal phase of specific drugs. The report listed rapid drug detox as one method to utilize.
The statistics surrounding the opioid crisis are staggering. The latest data shows that opioid use disorder and opioid addiction remain at epidemic levels not just in the United States but worldwide. Three million US citizens are currently struggling with opioid use disorder (OUD), and over 500,000 US citizens are dependent on heroin. Many of those individuals are desperate to overcome addiction, but the lack of resources and the fear of withdrawal prevent them from getting the help they desperately need.
Rapid detox programs are an excellent option for those who fear withdrawal. Although the process of detoxing someone under sedation might be attractive for most, it may not be suitable for everyone, and a thorough medical evaluation is necessary. For those who qualify for detoxification under sedation, there are obvious benefits. Here are five of these benefits:
1. Rapid Detox Has Nearly a 100% Detox Success Rate
Nearly all patients who undergo rapid detoxification under sedation achieve an opioid-free state. The obvious reason for such a phenomenal success rate is that patients are asleep during the detoxification and have no opportunity to give up in the middle.
2. Precipitated Methadone and Suboxone Withdrawal
The group that most benefits from precipitated detox procedures are those dependent on medications with a very long half-life, such as Suboxone (buprenorphine) and Methadone. Methadone and Suboxone are unique drugs; while often used as part of a treatment program to control addiction, they are also powerful narcotics with a tremendous likelihood for addiction. Coming off these types of MAT drugs on your own can be a real challenge.
Because of the nature of Methadone and buprenorphine-based drugs, the detoxification process can take significantly longer than with other opioids. Withdrawal symptoms often begin within the first 24 hours after your last use, and the entire detoxification process can last up to several weeks, and with Methadone, even months.
Fortunately, medical science has come a long way, and detoxification methods such as rapid detoxification are highly successful for those trying to come off Methadone or Suboxone. Attempting to self-detox at home can be incredibly dangerous and even life-threatening. It can also increase the likelihood of a relapse.
One of the most significant benefits of undergoing a medical detox under sedation is the ability to shorten the length and intensity of a methadone or suboxone withdrawal. Rapid detox can make the entire withdrawal and detox process as painless and comfortable as possible.
3. Vivitrol and Naltrexone Therapy
Opioid use disorder is a complex neurobiological condition. Unfortunately, there is a significant rate of relapse associated with OUD, often due to cravings. Craving is characterized as an overwhelmingly strong and need to use the drug, which is the main reason for relapse. Therefore, starting a nonaddictive medication to control cravings is an important goal to reduce the risk of relapse and improve patients’ possibility to a better quality of life. Agonist therapies, such as Naltrexone and Vivitrol, can significantly reduce cravings and relapse risk.
One of the main reasons patients cannot start Naltrexone or Vivitrol is that they need to be at least 7 to 14 days opioid-free to begin this type of therapy. People don’t have the chance to start this type of craving management because of the challenges of getting through an opioid withdrawal and the intense craving accompanying traditional detoxification methods.
Fortunately, with rapid detox, patients can initiate Vivitrol or Naltrexone immediately after detoxification. The opportunity to sleep through the detox and reach an opioid-free state, combined with eliminating physical cravings, gives patients a much better chance to sustain sobriety and have long-term success.
4. Short-Term Detox Program
One of the great benefits of a short-term detox program is that it is much less disruptive to those who cannot leave their day-to-day responsibilities for a lengthy period. Of course, it would be much better if people could take 2, 3, or even a month to detox and recover. Unfortunately, that is not always possible, and often people delay treatment and allow their addiction to progress due to time constraints.
Rapid detox allows people to complete opioid detoxification successfully, recover a few days at an exclusive recovery center and be emotionally present to follow outpatient therapy while attending to their responsibilities. But the most important benefit is that rapid detox prevents people from delaying getting the help they need.
5. Privacy and Confidentiality
Unfortunately, opioid use disorder is attached to a considerable level of stigma. There are a large number of people that do not want to share this part of their lives with strangers, and others who being exposed publicly can jeopardize their careers and livelihood. Coming into a private room of a medical hospital for treatment has a much lesser chance of exposing someone’s privacy than spending 30 days in a rehab center with lots of people. Athletes, entertainers, doctors, and other high-level professionals, are much more likely to accept professional help if they know the level of confidentiality is much higher.
If there are so many benefits, why are there so many concerns and uncertainties surrounding rapid detox?
First and foremost, because not all rapid detox centers or providers have the same level of experience, responsibility, or integrity; secondly, because people need to view detoxification under sedation as the silver bullet, it really is. People should not compare rapid detox with rehabs or other forms of mental health care. Instead, the process should be compared with other methods of detoxification to come off all opioid drugs.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Efficacy and Safety of Rapid Intravenous Detoxification
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Opioid Addiction
- SAMHSA: Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
- Mayo Clinic: Drugs and Supplements | Naltrexone
Reviewed by Clare Waismann, Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS), Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor (SUDCC), founder of Waismann Method® Advanced Treatment for Opiate Dependence.
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