Rapid Detoxification

One of the treatment options available to people addicted to prescription pain killers is rapid detoxification. Read this article to discover how rapid detox works and warnings about rapid detoxification. Learn how rapid detox may reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms.


Some of the most difficult addictions to overcome are those to opiates. While heroin was the drug most often associated with strong addictions in the past, these days prescription painkillers are increasingly encountered. An addiction to prescription painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin, Percocet and Darvocet can be difficult to overcome. Like heroin, these opioids are powerful and work quickly. They are habit forming, and the body builds a tolerance, meaning that more of the substance is needed in order to get the same effects.

Detoxification involves getting rid of the opiates in the body and then overcoming the withdrawal symptoms. In many cases, detoxification is a long process, with stepped down access to the opiates so that the body is slowly weaned away from its dependence on the drugs. Physical symptoms can be painful throughout, involving cramps, headaches, tremors and sweats. This can take months, and, even so, cravings can continue. In fact, relapse into opiate use is quite common.

However, there is a relatively new method, called rapid detoxification, that some feel can be more effective, since it shortens the time period of the detox, and helps combat withdrawal symptoms.

How rapid detoxification works

Rapid detoxification is a method in which surgery is performed in order to get rid of the cravings for the drugs. Rapid detox is often referred to as either the Waismann Method or as Nuero-Regulation. A patient is taken into an intensive care unit in a hospital, and then anesthetized. While he or she is under, there is procedure that cleanses the opiate receptors in the brain of the narcotics.

Proponents of rapid detoxification insist that it is a good way to help overcome addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers. They say that because the brain itself is cleansed of the drugs, the physical withdrawal symptoms are minimal. Conscious withdrawal symptoms are considered negligible, and patients can return to their homes within a few days, rather than spending months in a treatment facility. Additionally, proponents report that more than 65 percent of those who undergo rapid detoxification are able to remain drug free after a year. This is in contrast to reports of those who relapse within a year of regular detox treatment at a rate of 85 to 90 percent.

Warnings about rapid detoxification

The American Society of Addiction Medicine has warnings about rapid detoxification. They warn that rapid detox should be used in conjunction with other methods, especially behavior modification techniques that can help the patient replace bad habits with better habits. Additionally, the Society warns that since this requires access to your brain, it is important to be careful and understand the risks involved. The medical community by and large would like to see more studies on rapid detox and how it works.

While rapid detoxification can be helpful in overcoming addiction to opiates, it is important to note that it is not widely recommended for other types of addictions. Instead, it is a good idea to consider your options, and see if some combined behavioral and pharmacological treatments can be of use. If you are concerned about opioid addiction, and overcoming the symptoms, you can consider rapid detoxification, but be careful to research the risks and make sure that treatment really is right for you.


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