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What is Rapid Detox?

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Addiction is on the rise and has become quite an epidemic in the United States. According to a survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, illicit drug use in the United States has been steadily increasing since 2002. In 2013, 9.4 percent of Americans, or an estimated 24.6 million, aged 12 or older had used an illicit drug within the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002.

With these alarming statistics of usage, comes an even more overwhelming rise of people who become addicted to these illicit drugs and in turn seek help or treatment.

Individuals who are suffering from a substance abuse disorder often try many times on their own to clean up their lives. Typically, these attempts to sober up are unsuccessful because withdrawing is a painful and uncomfortable process that usually sends people back to their addiction as they desperately want to make the grueling withdrawal process go away.

Physical withdrawal symptoms from opiates, in particular, are often what keep people going back to the drug, thus creating dependency or addiction. In an effort to bypass withdrawal, people look for detox options that help assist them in overcoming what has inevitably kept them hooked for as long as they have been.

It’s no surprise in this day and age of instant gratification that a process has emerged to speed up how a person can detox from drugs. This process is called rapid detox. Naturally, with this being a viable option, questions, concerns, and risks arise that patients should be aware of.

In this article, we will discuss the effectiveness of rapid detox, how it works, what it costs, and what you need to know before you choose to undergo rapid detox.

How Does Rapid Detox Work?

As with anything, people are in the pursuit of the quickest fix for their problems. People trying to come off of substance dependence will most likely experience severe withdrawal symptoms. This is especially true for opiate addiction. Because of the intensity of the withdrawal, patients will often attempt what is known as rapid detox.

During this process, the patient is placed under anesthesia while substance-related toxins are flushed out of their systems. In most cases, this is done in a hospital and is accompanied by various medications to speed up the process as well as block receptors in the brain. This not only condenses the detoxification process but it also spares patients from the pain and physical discomforts of withdrawal.

Due to the risks as well as costs related to general anesthesia, it is crucial that highly trained medical professionals perform the procedure in a setting that is fully equipped for any complications that may arise.

How Much Does Rapid Detox Cost?

If you’re looking to undergo rapid detox, you can expect to likely spend thousands of dollars depending on the establishment you choose for the procedure.  According to USA Today, “Rapid detox has many critics. [Medical establishments are] leery of a quick fix that costs as much as $10,000, is not covered by insurance and has not been compared in peer-reviewed clinical trials with traditional treatments.”

The process is not covered by health care as it is not considered medically necessary and is classified as experimental.

What Are The Risks of Rapid Detox?

Numerous studies have been conducted which undeniably demonstrate that perhaps the risks of rapid detox outweigh the benefits of controlled withdrawal symptom management. Although many patients hope that they can be asleep during the toughest part of their recovery, they wake up to find that the pain and illnesses are still there.

What Are The Side Effects?

Those who undergo rapid detox run the risk of intensifying any underlying mental illnesses they may have such as depression, anxiety or panic disorder. In some cases, patients come to find out that they have a mental illness they did not know about prior to detoxing as opiates, in particular, mask the symptoms from most mental health conditions.

Other issues from the rapid detoxification process include:

  • Pulmonary distress leading to a buildup of fluid in the lungs
  • Psychiatric complications
  • Metabolic issues such as high blood sugar
  • Complications with anesthesia medications
  • Death

What Are Some Alternatives?

There are many options available to help someone come off a substance dependency that may not be as quick but offer a more holistic approach to not only treat the withdrawal symptoms, but also address the root of the issue, which is the addiction itself.

Medical detox, for example, is a very safe alternative and still offers relief from the difficulties of withdrawal using medically administered medications in a controlled environment. This process takes a bit longer and is followed by other therapies to address the mental health of patients.

Getting Help

The Recovery Village Ridgefield has highly trained and professional medical and mental health specialists that can work with you to determine which treatment options may be most appropriate for your individual needs.

We begin our process with a comprehensive assessment to determine which detox and treatment plans would be ideal for your situation. From there, we consistently reevaluate how your treatment is unfolding to ensure your recovery is as successful as possible.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can get on the road to a better life today.


National Insitute on Drug Abuse. “Drug Facts: Nationwide Trends.” Revised June 2015. Accessed October 1, 2019.

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National Insitute on Drug Abuse. “Drug Facts: Nationwide Trends.” Revised June 2015. Accessed October 1, 2019.