Is “rapid detox” safe?
You may have heard of the term “rapid detox” or “ultra-rapid detoxification.” This technique was developed in the 1980s to treat people struggling with opiate addiction. Because of the rapid nature of the process, it can cause major shock to a patient’s system. It can entail placing a patient under general anesthesia and administering Naltrexone (opiate blocker).
Many believe the procedure is risky, and opt for traditional detoxification instead. Naltrexone is in the same class of opiate antagonists as Naloxone, which can be used in emergency situations to reverse the effects of an opiate / heroin overdose.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a study found that withdrawal symptoms are no easier with ultra-rapid opiate detox as opposed to more traditional detoxification programs. The study compared the effects of withdrawal for three opiate detox methods: anesthesia-assisted, buprenorphine-assisted, and clonidine-assisted.