One of the most common barriers to drug and alcohol addiction treatment is the fear of experiencing withdrawal symptoms, which are often uncomfortable or even painful and include things like sweating, muscle aches, nausea and insomnia.
Because of the severity of these symptoms, people often assume the quickest possible route to detoxification is the best. However, rapid detox can be extremely dangerous.
What Is Rapid Detox?
Rapid detox is a process first used in the 1980s to help people with opiate dependency avoid the physical side effects associated with withdrawal. This controversial procedure takes place in a hospital under anesthesia. While the person is sedated, the treatment team administers medication that forces the body into the withdrawal process. Patients typically get discharged within 48 hours after treatment. However, for many, the recovery time is much longer.
Possibly the sole benefit of rapid detox is that the addict undergoes treatment in the intensive care unit of a hospital, where there are trained professionals available to keep an eye on their vital signs and intervene in case of severe side effects like seizures. However, the dangers of rapid detox far outweigh this advantage.
Why Is Rapid Detox Dangerous?
The thought of undergoing opiate withdrawal under anesthesia may sound promising, but the reality is that rapid detox is incredibly risky. Though the accelerated detox procedure has a high success rate, it is severely taxing on the bodies of people who undergo it, and it can even be fatal. Aside from the risks of compressing the withdrawal process into a few hours, rapid drug detox also carries the inherent dangers of general anesthesia.
While some medical facilities still perform ultra-rapid detox, a majority of medical professionals agree that it’s unsafe and unnecessary. Additionally, rapid detox does nothing to address the mental health problems that surround addiction, which go far beyond those commonly associated with a purely physical dependence. Though rapid detox may result in withdrawal from drugs or alcohol, it does not help the addict tackle the underlying reasons why they developed their dependency to begin with.
Medical Detox Is the Safest Solution
For many addicts, trying to quit on their own is highly dangerous, which is why a medically supervised detoxification is the best thing to do. Medical detoxification is a far superior solution to managing withdrawal symptoms. Not only does it allow a team of compassionate, highly trained health professionals to provide ‘round-the-clock monitoring and support, but it is also much safer and easier to tolerate than any other form of detox.
As Southern California’s leading detox facility, we understand medical detox is only the first step on the road to recovery. Before discharging clients from our detox program, we help them make smart choices in seeking and transitioning into the next level of care. If your goal is to make a fresh start and establish your independence from drugs or alcohol, reach out to us today to get the help you need. We’re here to help you build the foundation for an addiction-free life.