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What Is Rapid Detox

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About Rapid Detox

You may have heard of rapid detoxification and if you are like many others, have questions about its safety and process. Rapid detox must always be overseen in a clinical setting and usually lasts for 3 days total. This ultra-fast detoxification is sometimes recommended for individuals with certain types of addiction and other coexisting conditions. For those struggling with a heroin or alcohol addiction, rapid detox may be appropriate. For other drugs such as benzodiazepines, rapid detox is not appropriate as the medications need to be weaned very gradually to avoid life threating side effects.  Detox works by clearing the body of lingering illicit drugs, prescription drugs and other toxins that remain post use.

This method rids the body faster while controlling the withdrawal and detox symptoms that might otherwise be unmanageable.  A general anesthetic is administered which allows for the body to go into a state of deep sleep, lessening the shock to the system. While the actual detox process is quite short, between 4-6 hours, each patient will require careful observation for several days following. Some of the more common symptoms of drug detox are the following:

  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

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Rapid Detox vs Traditional Detox

When clients enter into a traditional drug detoxification program, the expected length of stay is usually 1-3 weeks depending on the severity, length, and complications associated with their addiction and detox process. The human body is capable of filtering out toxins through the skin and other systems and does so on a daily basis. The process of detoxifying from alcohol and drugs is different. For starters, drug detox is very stressful on the mind and body. The drugs or alcohol relied upon for months or years has created a new baseline within the physical body and brain. When this baseline is altered, the body has to work very hard to level out gaps. Drug and alcohol detox both processes that require medical attention and should only be handled in hospital type situations. Access to urgent care equipment and medications is vital for the safety of the patient.

Pros and Cons of Rapid Detox

For some, the prospect of a ‘quick fix’ seems all too inviting, but patients should be fully equipped with the facts about the rapid detox process before committing to it themselves. There are distinct pros and cons to rapid detox and depending on pre-existing risk factors, some patients may need to consider traditional detox. Detox is not a cure for addiction and it is not addiction treatment.

Rapid Detox Pros

  • Painful withdrawal symptoms are minimized
  • Extremely fast
  • Less fear of withdrawal
  • Encourages clients to seek addiction help
  • Recovery starts sooner

Rapid Detox Cons

  • Expensive treatment which means it’s not for everyone
  • It cures the physical addiction but you will still have to deal with the psychological addiction sooner or later
  • General anesthesia incurs health risks
  • Risk of heart attack
  • Possible relapse or overdose if you are not able to “feel” the effect on you. Being on Naltrexone is not foolproof.

What happens when rapid detox is finished?

Once rapid detox is over, you will transition into an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program. Detox is the beginning of a lifelong process known as addiction recovery. While physically changes have been made in the right direction, mentally and psychologically there are areas that will need to be addressed. Therapy, experiential play, and group sessions can help individuals rebuild their sense of identity and self-confidence. Gaining control over addiction triggers and reestablishing routines is vital to lasting sobriety.

Rapid detox is not the ultimate cure for drug or alcohol addiction. You will need to maintain sober friendships and continue to hone learned life skills for the rest of your life. The battle over your addiction has just begun, but you can win it and live your life well. Please contact us with any questions concerning rapid detox.

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