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Rapid detox can make opiate addiction recovery much easier.

by Ned Wicker
(Wisconsin)

The journey to a long recovery begins with the first step. Most people fail at trying to free themselves of the clutches of drug and/or alcohol addiction, and the first step they must take in this journey is to rid their bodies of the drug. Simply quitting isn’t enough, because the body craves the substance.

Simply ridding the body of the substance, however, doesn’t mean the struggle with the disease is over. The detoxification process is a necessary first step towards a return to health and wholeness. Rapid detox is not for all cases, but it is particularly helpful in opiate withdrawal.

Quick detox is intended for patients who are fighting the clutches of dependence on opiate drugs, such as heroin, opium, methadone and Oxycontin. The symptoms of drug withdrawal are sometimes worse than the disease itself, so the reason why treatment centers may opt for rapid detox is to lessen the withdrawal, or in some cases eliminate the symptoms altogether.

The detox process would otherwise take five to seven days, in some cases, and the patient would suffer through physical discomfort. Those who have experienced opiate withdrawal will testify that the experience is very unpleasant. Patients are given anesthesia to help he/she tolerate the procedure.

Relapse Number One Enemy

During detoxification patients are anesthetized to withdraw them from their drug and not experience the discomfort. Some have called this a miracle procedure for drug withdrawal. Rather than days, patients can be clean of the substance in a few hours, while they sleep.

A full treatment program may take a long-time, so rapid detox is useful in helping against relapse during treatment. This is especially important in out-patient settings. The rapid detox rids the body of the chemical and the cravings for it. Relapse is the number one enemy of treatment and recovery and good aftercare programs are designed to reduce the likelihood of relapse and help the addict learn to manage the disease of addiction.

Some treatment centers may prescribe Suboxone, which a synthetic opiate, designed to help lessen withdrawal over an extended period of time, a few weeks. Suboxone, however, is highly addictive itself. Rapid detox is aimed at avoiding any gradual withdrawal process. When the patient returns home, he/she is no longer physically dependent on their drug of choice, and if all goes according to plan, they are well on their way to recovery.

May Help If Detox Has Failed Before

Another reason for quick detox is it is effective for patients who have tried detox before and failed. The withdrawal symptoms are powerful, so ridding the body of the drug is essential. Another intervention the treatment facility might make during the detox process is to administer medicine to block opiate receptors in the brain. If the patient experiences nausea and other physical discomfort, the medical team can tend to that as well.

Here is an important matter to consider carefully when selecting a treatment center for rapid detox. The procedure can be done in clinics, on an out-patient basis, or it can be done in a hospital as a part of a several day-long stay. Depending on the patient’s overall health, or the particular circumstances of their addiction, an out-patient procedure may not be sufficient to address their medical needs.

For example, the Waismann Method requires a hospitalization, and that ensures that patients have access to all of the medical specialists, such as cardiologists and neurologists. The rapid detox may only take a few hours, but patients may benefit from the complete range of services to get a complete medical workup before the procedure. Out patient clinics may do the workup, but only admit a patient on the day of the procedure itself. Either in-patient or out-patient may be a good solution for patients, but careful consideration is wise.

Whether patients chose in-patient or out-patient, after the detox they need to enter into a complete treatment and recovery program. We are body, mind and spirit and therefore all components of our experience need to be addressed.

Quick detoxification can be a blessing, because patients can avoid the discomfort and torture of withdrawal from opiates, but it is only a small part of the total program to help patients walk down the path to wholeness. Call it an “extreme makeover” or a lifestyle transformation, but the focus of any treatment and recovery program has to be the return to well-being and the ability to manage the disease of addiction to avoid relapse.

Rapid detox can make the first steps in the journey much easier.

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