The precursor to active addiction is substance abuse. Often sparked by curiosity, some individuals begin experimenting with alcohol and drug abuse under the pretense that the behavior is voluntary and within their control. As these individuals continue their substance abuse over time, they develop physical and even psychological dependency on alcohol or drugs. In other words, the body begins to actually need chemical substances, even to perform natural bodily processes and function, while the mind becomes increasingly fixated on continuous intoxication. As months give way to years and then decades, addiction becomes central to individuals lives, a primary force around which each day revolves.
Although addiction recovery is possible, it can be a lengthy process that requires much motivation and effort for success. From detox to aftercare and sustained relapse prevention, individuals who have overcome addiction have passed through specific steps on the road to recovery. With active treatment in recovery programs lasting as much as several months, many have wondered if there aren’t ways of making the rehabilitation process faster and more painless, especially alcohol and drug detoxification as that represents the point during which individuals must overcome withdrawal.
Unfortunately, there’s not been any treatment or medication that can offer an instant cure to the disease of addiction, but there have been many experimental procedures developed in the hope of streamlining addiction recovery. One relatively recent procedure—rapid detoxification—has been highly controversial with there being many who have sung praises for the treatment while others tell stories of its inferiority to traditional detox programs. As there is no singular way of recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, there will inevitably be some individuals who experience much success in rapid detox while others do not. However, the following information will help individuals to determine whether a rapid detox program is a right choice for each individual.
What is a Rapid Detox?
There have been numerous detox methods developed since the 1950s, but more often than not they take place over the course of a week or more. Since many addicts avoid recovery due to the inevitable withdrawal symptoms that are experienced upon cessation of substance abuse, experts have been trying to find a less painful and intimidating way for individuals to detox from alcohol and drugs after beginning the process of recovery, which led to the development of rapid detox. Instead of requiring up to a week or possibly longer to overcome physical withdrawal from heroin and opiates, rapid detox is a detoxification process that takes condenses detox into a period of fewer than 48 hours.
The development of rapid detox is often attributed to the Weissman Institute and become commercially available in the 1980s, but there have been many other physicians and facilities to offer much the same method. In a rapid detox program, the individual is admitted to an intensive care unit in a hospital and put under anesthesia by a licensed anesthesiologist. While under anesthesia, opioid blockers and antagonists are administered to the individual, which effectively throw the individual into immediate and severe withdrawal. However, since the individual is under anesthesia, he or she doesn’t have to deal with the discomfort of withdrawal. The medications administered make the withdrawal period more intense for a far shorter period of time, allowing the individual to wake up after only hours and not have to experience the withdrawal symptoms.
Rapid Detox vs. Traditional Detox Program: How Do They Differ?
In a traditional detox program, an individual will reside in a facility for a week or more while under constant medical supervision; during that time, he or she is given comfort medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms as the body works through the detox process and is cleansed of the alcohol, drugs, and other harmful toxins. Rapid detox differs from a traditional detox in that the individual experiences only minimal withdrawal symptoms since the detoxification is induced and completed while he or she is under anesthesia; upon waking, the individual will experience minimal or no symptoms at all and have overcome the physical component of alcohol or drug addiction.
However, rapid detox programs are often very expensive with some individuals paying as much as $10,000 to even $15,000 to undergo a rapid detoxification procedure. Additionally, since rapid detox has been studied much less than traditional detoxification, the procedure is still widely considered to be experimental and, therefore, is not covered by health insurance or government health plans. It’s been suggested that rapid detox is not significantly less painful than traditional detox programs for individuals suffered from severe addictions or who have been in active addiction for an especially long period of time; according to testimonies, rapid detox is most beneficial for those who have suffered from short-term and less severe addictions.
Benefits of Detoxing in a Rapid Detox Program
Though not the ideal choice for everyone, some individuals may prefer or benefit from utilizing a rapid detox program to overcome physical dependency. For individuals who have only a limited amount of time in which they can spend detoxing, the condensed length of a rapid detox program will allow individuals to quickly overcome withdrawal and return to work, school, or their other obligations in a timely manner. Additionally, there’s something more accessible and less intimidating about being able to get through the period of withdrawal while under anesthesia and wake after the symptoms have subsided; as such, rapid detox will likely be an attractive option to those individuals who would not be likely to begin the recovery process due to fear of withdrawal. Since rapid detox is not a procedure that is covered under health coverage, individuals who want or would prefer a rapid detox program will have to have the financial ability to pay the high cost associated with this procedure.
Forge Your Path to Sobriety with Recovery Hub
There’s not a singular path to sobriety. What results in optimum results for one individual won’t be the best avenue for all others; however, when it comes to recovery there are many different options available, which can be tailored to each individual’s needs. If you or someone you love is suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction and would like to discuss treatment, call Recovery Hub at 888-220-4352. We have a team of recovery specialists available, offering free assessments to match individuals to the programming they need to achieve sobriety, health, and live fulfilling lives once again.