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Could Rapid Detox Suit You?

Apr 18, 2008
While traditional drug rehab treatments often involve painful and dangerous detoxification periods, with a statistical failure rate of between 85% and 90%, there is another method that may be considered.

Rapid detoxification can be beneficial for addicts suffering from addictions to heroin, prescription painkillers, or other opioids, and can be a far less painful method of rehabilitation.

It has always been the case that people who wish to come off drugs would love to do so overnight with the least amount of discomfort as possible. The Waismann Method, for example, offers a quick fix to drug addiction, but it's not a suitable treatment for everyone.

The method involves the addict being placed under a general aesthetic, and having the opiate receptors of his brain blocked from any opiates. Additional medications are administered, which accelerate the physical reactions to the rapid withdrawal, all done while the patient remains unconscious.

The effect is that after 4 to 6 hours (or 12 to 48 depending on the drugs used); the patient will awaken with no drug dependency, and with no conscious awareness of having experienced a withdrawal.

However, the rapid detox method, which has been hailed as the biggest advancement in drug rehab treatment, like all recovery methods, also has a downside.

Unfortunately, most research into this method has been carried out under the sponsorship of the institutions involved with promoting its benefits. Nevertheless, rapid detox has taken off in a huge way, and promises a magical solution to drug addiction that could never be dreamt of before. While there may be legitimate uses for it, its seductive qualities and promises of an instant cure can be misleading if not understood correctly.

One of the main characteristics of all addicts is a desire to seek instant rehab through the quick fix. Because of this, there is an unwillingness to make a change in lifestyle through a change in moral behavior, or self-belief and devotion to the rehabilitation process. In most cases, without this basic alteration in attitude, instant recovery is not possible and relapse becomes inevitable.

Over the last four years seven patients from the U.S. Detox Intensive Treatment Unit in New Jersey have died within days of undergoing the procedure. This has not only led to New Jersey regulators removing several medical licenses, but it also stands as a reminder that rapid detox should be considered extremely carefully before it is undertaken.

The main concern is that the procedure severely stresses addicts already under major stress from drug use, such as cocaine, which is known to weaken the heart.

Other studies have indicated that withdrawal symptoms were still present up to 24 hours after detoxification, and 80% of patients relapsed during a 6-month follow-up.

A study from Medizinische Klinik in Muchen, West Germany found the procedure to have "no obvious benefit, whereas the risks are very high."

So while it appears it is possible to detoxify a patient from opiates in a few hours, it only acts as an initial trigger for a more thorough and long-term process to follow up.

It would seem then, traditional forms of detox, which include methadone, sedatives, or "cold turkey," are still the favored option among medical professionals. The sheer act of going through the withdrawal process not only cleanses the body more thoroughly, but indicates the desired amount of determination is strong enough within a patient, that relapse is less likely to occur.
About the Author
Colin Galbraith writes articles on drug treatment. For more information on the Narconon program, and the New Life Detoxification program, visit www.drugrehab.net. If you plan to reproduce this article, please include the link above.
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