What is rapid detox?

I heard about an opiate detox (for opiate detox) where they put you under (general anesthesia), you don’t feel a thing, and it only takes a couple of days. What’s that about?

asked 15 Feb '12, 22:53

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Detox is the process of cleansing the body from toxic substances including, but not limited to, drugs and alcohol. Detox helps the body ease into equilibrium after long-term substance abuse, a transition that is often painful and nauseating. Recovering addicts often choose rapid detox over more traditional methods as means to bypass the discomfort of detoxification. Rapid detox is controversial due to its relatively high-risk nature.

(25 Feb '12, 12:03) Jack ♦



Rapid detox is most commonly used to help manage withdrawals from opiates.


Drug Detox

Rapid detox is a form of drug detox, meant to shorten withdrawal duration and lessen pain.



Heroin is the most common opiate abused on the streets.



Oxycontin is the most common opiate prescribed for pain management and is very addictive.

In rapid detox, the patient is kept under general anesthesia for the duration of the treatment, which takes 36 – 48 hours. Drugs are given to trigger withdrawal. Rapid detox is performed without any pain or awareness on the part of the recovering addict.


answered 16 Feb '12, 00:23

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Jack ♦
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Please see related question "Is Rapid Detox Safe?" for more about the dangers of Rapid and Ultra Rapid detox, and the clinical trial that debunked it.

(30 Sep '13, 12:52) admin ♦♦

The basic concept of rapid detox is to put the addict under anesthesia and then accelerate withdrawal by the use of opiate antagonist drugs such as naloxone, which are normally used to treat opiate overdoses. The idea is that the patient will undergo a fast withdrawal and wake up with the process completed.

However, patients do not always come out of the anesthesia with their withdrawal completed. If they are awakened too soon, it may not be completely over. Many drugs, including methadone and some benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax, and Ativan, produce chemicals (metabolites) during their breakdown in the body that are themselves addictive. If present, these can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms long after the patient has left the clinic.


answered 22 Feb '12, 13:26

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These are the Policy Recommendations of the American Society of Addiction Medicine:

  1. Opioid detoxification alone is not a treatment of opioid addiction. ASAM does not support the initiation of acute opioid detoxification interventions unless they are part of an integrated continuum of services that promote ongoing recovery from addiction.

  2. Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxification (UROD) is a procedure with uncertain risks and benefits, and its use in clinical settings is not supportable until a clearly positive risk-benefit relationship can be demonstrated. Further research on UROD should be conducted.

  3. Although there is medical literature describing various techniques of Rapid Opioid Detoxification (ROD), further research into the physiology and consequences of ROD should be supported so that patients may be directed to the most effective treatment methods and practices.

  4. Prior to participation in any particular modality of opioid detoxification, a patient should be provided with sufficient information by which to provide informed consent, including information about the risks of termination of a treatment plan of prescribed agonist medications such as methadone or buprenorphine, as well as the need to comply with medical monitoring of their clinical status for a defined period of time following the procedure to ensure a safe outcome. Patients should also be informed of the risks, benefits and costs of alternative methods of treatment available.

reference: http://www.asam.org/advocacy/find-a-policy-statement/view-policy-statement/public-policy-statements/2011/12/15/rapid-and-ultra-rapid-opioid-detoxification


answered 13 Mar '14, 13:59

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I read that "rapid detox" involves a blood transfusion. They take out your blood and clean it of substances, and put it back in. Sounds scary dangerous to me. I also wonder how good an idea that is for addiction. Great if you OD'd and need emergency detox, but does nothing for your craving - won't you just go back to fixing?


I am really familiar because I have done so much homework the last few years to help different people starting with my son. It a pretty wonderful medical detox when is done properly. My sons friend did in an overnight place that was not a hospital and almost died of so much vomit and diarrhea. My son did it .... [promotional message removed by editors]


answered 01 Nov '13, 23:12

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Blessed Mom B
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Asked: 15 Feb '12, 22:53

Seen: 27,421 times

Last updated: 15 May '17, 22:39