Individuals who suffer from certain types of addiction such as prescription drugs addiction, opiate addiction or other long-term addiction problems can benefit from the treatment offered in a rapid detox program. The process of detox typically lasts around 7-10 days but with rapid detox, the entire process of overcoming physical drug or alcohol dependence can take place in just a couple of hours. While rapid detox may sound like a viable option of treatment, it’s important to understand that there are dangers with this method of detox and before an addict can claim their sober lifestyle back, care should be taken to ensure that this is the right type of detox for the individual needs of the patient.
Proponents of rapid detox programs claim that this method of treatment helps patients to get their lives back on track more quickly and effectively than other types of treatment. Those who disagree with rapid detox mostly focus their opinions on the potential dangers associated with the method in which rapid detoxification treatment takes place and the risks involved with this method of care.
What is Rapid Detox?
Rapid detox is a method of drug or alcohol detox that involves placing the patient into a coma or deep sleep while he or she overcomes physical dependence. Each day, the patient will receive a dose of Naltrexone which will help to reduce the cravings that the patient has for various drugs and will work to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. The rapid detoxification process will take place in a hospital or medical setting in which the patient will be monitored around-the-clock for safety.
During the first few hours of rapid detox, the patient will be asleep. During this time, the high dose of medication that is provided to the patient will push out the worst of the withdrawal symptoms, but the patient will not feel any of the symptoms because he or she will be in such a deep sleep. The second phase of rapid detox actually takes a while to complete and involves being administered additional medication over a period of a few more hours or up to 2 days during which the withdrawal symptoms continue to be reduced until the patient ultimately feels much better.
Benefits of Rapid Detoxification
Patients are happy about not having to cope with withdrawal symptoms for days or even weeks and they appreciate being able to quickly transition from addicted to drugs and physically dependent to in recovery and ready for treatment. The benefits of rapid detox mostly surround the timeliness of the treatment and the ability for this method of treatment to help patients to reduce the amount of time that their addiction treatment takes away from their daily routines. Unfortunately, many patients mistakenly believe that rapid detox is a cure-all for their addiction and that once they have completed the program (which only lasts a few hours or days at most) they are ready to slip back into a normal lifestyle.
Dangers of Rapid Detox
Medical treatments all have dangers. Rapid detox is one medical treatment that is considered highly dangerous by some professionals. The process of placing the addict into a medically induced coma during which time he or she will go through the worst withdrawal symptoms is a very high risk procedure and unfortunately, the benefits do not necessarily outweigh the risks. What happens is that the patient is at an increased risk of choking on vomit, being stuck in a permanent coma or suffering from other adverse side effects associated with this medical procedure. Further dangers surround the fact that many patients believe they are “healed” when they leave the rapid detox program and this leaves them highly vulnerable to the potential for relapse.
Studies show that patients who go through rapid detox are no more likely to stay sober than those who go through a standard detoxification program. The dangers associated with rapid detox are often too high to warrant a real need for such type of medical treatment and should be considered with great care before making a decision to get this method of treatment for substance abuse.