Home > All Posts > 3 Reasons To Think Twice About Rapid Opiate Detox

3 Reasons To Think Twice About Rapid Opiate Detox


By Christin Shire

Although it sounds like an answer to your prayers, rapid opiate detox may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.

Rapid opiate detox clinics promise an accelerated and pain less form of detox off of opiates such as heroin or prescription narcotic type pain pills. Patients proceeding through rapid opiate detox are placed under anesthesia and administered certain drugs (primarily the opiate antagonist nalexone) that accelerate the process of detoxification. Although were the patient conscious for this period of accelerated detox the pains would be unbearable, since the procedure occurs under anesthesia, the patient awakes several hours later with no memory of the agony experienced, and completely free from physical addiction.

It sounds too good to be true, and a lot of critics say that it well might be.

Problems With Rapid Opiate Detox

Health Risks: There are some serious issues concerning the safety of the procedure, and one well known clinic was disbanded after a string of deaths occurring within days of patients undergoing the rapid detox.

Detox is hard on the body, and anything that accelerates and intensifies this detox also intensifies the trials on the body and mind. Since patients coming in with an addiction to heroin or other drugs are often not in the best of physical condition, many doctors argue that the health risks of the procedure far outweigh any possible benefits.

Long Term Sobriety: Rapid opiate detox clinics present the techniques as a cure to addiction, a claim most addictions professionals dispute heavily. Although a successful period of opiate detox does end the physical addiction to opiates, detox is but the first step to recovery.

Rapid opiate detox clinics offer no therapy or education as to future relapse avoidance, and since the cravings and temptations to use remain, without the tools to avoid these triggers to abuse, few people can maintain abstinence.

Without intensive therapy and a commitment to a life changing set of behaviors and habits, the odds of long term sobriety are very low.

Costs: Rapid opiate detox is expensive. Costs for the one day procedure run from $15,000 – $20,000 and this price is inclusive only to the procedure, and without any additional therapies offered.

If it worked and if it could offer you long term sobriety, the costs would be reasonable and comparable to the costs of a conventional residential rehab; but since without therapy or relapse avoidance training the long term prospects are so low, the money spent is not likely to influence a long term change over addiction and drug seeking behaviors.

Because of the controversial nature of the procedure, no insurance carrier will offset any of the costs of a rapid opiate detox.

Although anyone would choose to avoid the agony of opiate detox were they offered an effective and safe alternative, the health risks, expenses and risks of relapse inherent in rapid opiate detox should raise serious cause for alarm.

Categories: All Posts
  1. November 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    The idea that addiction can be “cured” by detox is absurd to anyone that knows what addiction is: by being an addict or treating addictions.

    Addiction is the way an addict feels when they AREN’T using drugs. Compulsion to use, pathological disinterest in non-using activities, loneliness, depression and loss of hope. These things do not go away because you take away your use of drugs. Which is why methadone and Suboxone work so well. They treat these symptoms, make life worth living without illicit drugs.

    For years our treatment of addiction has been surrounded by the idea that we must END drug USE…when we should be focusing on ending the torment addiction brings to its suffers when they aren’t using–because isn’t THAT what makes us go back to using time and time again? Why stop using drugs if your just as miserable “sober” as you are staying high?

    Detox, spin dry rehabs, medical withdrawal, short term tape, RAPID detox: it’s all the same thing based on a false idea of what addiction is…… its about treating drug use and completely forgetting to treat what makes us continue to use!. Once your an addict the drug use is only a small part of the equation that equals the disease. It’s not even the most important piece or the most hurtful.

    Kristan Hilchey

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: