There’s a saying in many 12 Step groups, “Jails. Institutions. Or death.” That is where virtually every addict ends up if they don’t choose the path of sobriety. And, often, the path to sobriety starts with a detox, or the process of acute withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. For patients addicted to opioids like heroin, Vicodin, and painkillers, withdrawal is an excruciating process both physically and mentally.
When traditional rehab centers or “cold turkey” methods don’t work, the promise of rapid detox centers for opioids might sound almost too good to be true. It’s important to remember that when it comes to addiction and recovery, there are no easy fixes. Before you jump into this treatment method, here are the answers to some common questions that many patients and their families have about rapid detox.
How Does Rapid Detox Work?
Patients admitted to rapid detox centers are administered a “detox” drug such as Suboxone and given a general anesthesia for several hours. While the body is at rest, the drug works to rid the body of the lasting remnants of heroin and opiate use. When the patient wakes up, the drug has been flushed from their system.
Does That Mean That Addiction Is Cured?
No. Though the opiates are eliminated from the body, rapid detox patients still have to go through the symptoms of withdrawal, which are extremely painful. Acute withdrawal symptoms generally last three to five days, during which time the patient is kept under observation by a detox doctor. Drugs like Suboxone can help soothe the worst symptoms of withdrawal. The second phase of withdrawal, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), can last a year or more.
Is Rapid Detox Painful?
The detox itself is not painful, as the Suboxone treatment works while the patient is asleep and anesthetized. The withdrawal symptoms and post-detox cravings can be physically and emotionally painful, but a detox doctor and support system can help to ease the transition.
Does a Successful Detox Guarantee Full Recovery?
Rapid detox centers should not be mistaken for a miracle cure. While the treatment can help rid the body of the effects of opiates or other addictive drugs, it is not a guarantee that drug habits will cease. Rather than thinking of addiction as cured, think of it as a disease that has gone into remission. After the detox treatment, it is important to continue with an addiction recovery program to make sure that these habits are kicked for good. Recovery is often a lifelong process.
If you still have questions about rapid detox or whether this treatment is appropriate for your situation, don’t wait any longer to get the answers you need to start on the path to addiction recovery. Talk to your family doctor or call us at Peace Medical today.