Rapid Detox Centers

sick from detoxing

Rapid detox centers are normally used for opiate detoxification. Alcoholics, however, sometimes use the same detoxification process. Especially if they are rich and in a hurry. Normal alcoholics don’t usually even consider this option.

For alcoholics, I do not recommend it. For the alcoholic it is good to remember the pain and the shame.

Side Note:
It is good to remember the pain and shame on the rare occasions that you think drinking again might be acceptable. It is not good to remember the pain/shame too often. The inability to forgive oneself (or at least cut yourself some slack) is responsible for more relapses they I care to think about.


Rapid detox is very controversial.

People who support it claim that it will make you drug free in 2 days, sometimes less, and that once you are detoxed you no longer have cravings for the drug. For a person “on-the-go” this can be appealing. It can be done over the weekend and, with luck, you will miss minimal days at work. It is, however, very expensive, usually about $7,000 to $10,000 dollars but sometimes more. That is about the same amount as a months worth of in-patient rehab except it is 28 days less time. Generally, both are just going to send you to AA or some other recovery group for maintenance so why not save the 28 days.


There are people who not only think it does not work but that it is also very dangerous. They further claim it doesn’t deal with the underlying reasons for drug abuse and have any maintenance program. (Even though in-patient rehab only refers you to your local AA meeting, to this camp it still counts as something special to assist in your recovery. I have been referred to AA by bartenders, do they count as rehab specialists)?

The big problem with Rapid Detox Centers is the anesthesia they use to make you sleep. Using general anesthesia is dangerous. Everyone knows that. If it were not dangerous why would we need a specialist to administer it.

For those considering this option you should go to this site for a horror story on bargain rapid detox. The site is definitely about heroin, but rapid detox is rapid detox.

What are Rapid Detox Centers.

CaduceusRapid detox centers use antagonists like Naloxone or Naltrexone to to immediately stop the effects of opoids. This throws the body into immediate withdrawal. (Normal withdrawal takes time, usually about 3 days.) A compressed time frame of withdrawal equates to compressed pain. All the pain that would normally stretch out over 3 days, occurs all at once. To make this tolerable for the patient, they are put to sleep.

In a medical setting, doctors will put you to sleep with anesthesia. Then they will administer the antagonist and the withdrawal will begin after you are asleep. That is rapid detox. Because of the stigma attached to this type of detoxing the medical community is coming up with other means of rapid detoxification that do not include anesthesia, but use powerful sedatives as an alternative. This is interesting in that many in-patient rehabilitation centers also administer benzodiazepines to help their patients get through the shakes and avoid seizures, etc.

One of the biggest dangers to an alcoholic detoxing is seizures. Something in between the 30 day and 2 day options might be more appropriate for someone needing to do stop using quickly.

Remember: Rapid Detox Centers are not used by most alcoholics. I have never met a drunk who has kicked using this method. For the alcoholic crowd, this seems to be something only the rich do.

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