When you are struggling with addiction to opioids, benzos, or alcohol, you must go through detox to take the first steps to recovery. In recent years, some people have been exploring a type of detox called rapid detox. But, compared to medically supervised detox, does rapid detox work? Let’s find out.
What Is Detox?
Detox is the process of eliminating alcohol or substances from the body as the first step on the road to recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders. However, depending on how long alcohol and substances have been misused, the volume being consumed, and the frequency of use can directly affect the extent of withdrawal symptoms that occur during detox.
Furthermore, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can help alleviate many alcohol, benzo, and opioid detox withdrawal symptoms when included as part of medically supervised detox.
Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal symptoms one experiences during detox depend on the substance that was being misused. In general, the most common symptoms include:
- Hot and Cold Flashes
- Uncontrolled Sweating
- Loss of Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Problems Concentrating and Focusing
- Muscle Aches
- Muscle Cramping
- Abdominal Pain
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
In addition to the above withdrawal symptoms, one could experience tremors, seizures, night terrors, uncontrolled shaking, and elevated blood pressure when going through alcohol withdrawal.
Benzo Withdrawal Symptoms
People undergoing withdrawal from benzos could also experience seizures, tremors, and panic attacks along with the withdrawal symptoms above.
Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
When going through opioid withdrawal, some additional symptoms one could experience along with the ones mentioned above include abdominal cramping, uncontrolled shaking, elevated blood pressure, hallucinations, runny nose, watery eyes, fever, and seizures.
What Is Rapid Detox?
Rapid detox is a detoxification process where the person is given anesthesia to cause them to sleep for a period of four to eight hours. During the procedure, naltrexone is administered through an IV drip to help reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Upon waking, the person remains at the rapid detox treatment center overnight before they are released. However, rapid detox does address every withdrawal symptom. Even after rapid detox, it is normal to experience cravings, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and other withdrawal symptoms.
Does Rapid Detox Work?
Since rapid detox is a newer procedure that has only been around since the 1990s, there has not been much research about whether it works. In its early days, seven deaths occurred after people underwent rapid detox.
Furthermore, what is known about the process is it is not entirely successful. Detoxing in 24 hours does not allow the body to fully go through the complete withdrawal timeline for alcohol, benzo, and opioids.
These substances also should never be quit or discontinued “cold turkey.” Their effects on the body and various parts of the brain can essentially cause the body to go into a state of shock when they are stopped without any weaning or MAT.
So, even though naltrexone is used and one might be prescribed some other type of MAT medication to take afterward, without any support and further addiction treatment, there is a high likelihood the person will relapse in a relatively short period.
The Risks of Rapid Detox
Aside from the high cost of rapid detox, there are other risks one needs to consider. For starters, rapid detox does not cure you of your addiction. Addiction is a disease that requires annoying medical and therapeutic treatment.
Even if one gets past the physical withdrawal systems and overcomes their physical dependence, they must still address their psychological issues, such as cravings, triggers, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, being under anesthesia has its own potential risks, further increasing the detox risks from alcohol and substance use disorders.
Other risks of rapid detox could include:
- Elevated Heart Rate
- Heart Attack
- Worsening of Existing Mental Health Problems
The most important thing to remember, attempting to take a shortcut when starting recovery rarely pays off in the long run. Those who successfully overcome their alcohol and substance use disorders often take a slow and steady approach to addiction treatment, including medically supervised detox, an appropriate treatment program, aftercare planning, and ongoing care and support.
What Is Medically Supervised Detox?
Medically supervised detox is overseen by healthcare professionals. While you go through detox, they monitor your symptoms and adjust your detox treatment to help alleviate as many withdrawal symptoms as possible. In addition, they will use MAT to carefully wean you off alcohol, benzos, and opioids when appropriate.
Some of the benefits of medically supervised detox are:
- It is the most effective and safest way to detox.
- It can help prevent serious adverse side effects like seizures, coma, and death.
- It helps uncover any co-occurring disorders, like anxiety disorder and depression.
- It helps prepare people for their next stage of substance misuse recovery.
Medically Supervised Detox and Addiction Treatment in Columbus, OH
While rapid detox might seem like a modern miracle in treating alcohol and substance use disorders, there simply is not enough research and supporting evidence to show it works successfully. Instead, a much better approach is medically supervised detox at Ohio Addiction Recovery Center in Columbus, OH.
We provide a safe, comfortable, caring, and supportive environment to help you complete detox. Afterward, we can help you transition to one of our personalized addiction treatment programs. To learn more about medically supervised detox, MAT, and our addiction treatment programs, contact us today.