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Is Rapid Drug Detox Safe?

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Drug addiction is a chronic and progressive condition that alters the way an individual’s brain functions. When someone frequently abuses a substance, their body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug. This is referred to as dependency.

Once someone is dependent on a drug, it becomes extremely difficult for them to stop using it. Individuals who abruptly stop using a drug they are addicted to will experience intense cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. Without proper medical intervention, these individuals may relapse or experience life-threatening complications as a result of untreated withdrawal symptoms.

Because of the dangers of quitting drugs cold turkey, professional drug detox programs are available. Traditionally, drug detox programs provide patients with 24/7 medical monitoring, emotional support, and medications to manage their withdrawal symptoms.

However, there is an alternative approach to treating withdrawal called “rapid detox.” Rapid drug detox combines sedation with medication to rush the detox process. While spending less time in a detoxification program sounds appealing, this new approach to addiction treatment is not considered safe.

What is Rapid Detox and How Does it Work?

Rapid drug detox is a process that claims to fast-track the opioid detoxification process. Patients who undergo rapid detox will be placed under anesthesia and given withdrawal medications like naloxone to rid their bodies of drugs while they are asleep. While this process can allow patients to complete detox in as little as a couple of days, it is a highly controversial practice.

Rapid drug detox can successfully rid a person’s body of drugs. However, because addiction is more than just a physical condition, rapid detox is not a cure. Individuals suffering from addiction require long-term mental health treatment to successfully recover. Because of this, placing an individual under anesthesia and flushing their body of substances is simply not enough to stimulate lasting sobriety and addiction recovery.

Dangers of Rapid Detox

While rapid detox can prevent an individual from having to experience uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal, there are an array of risks to be aware of. The dangers are the reason that medical experts advise against this drug detoxification method. One of the main risks is the potential for opioid withdrawal symptoms that persist after the individual has completed their detox program and returned home.

Opioids affect the central nervous system (CNS) of a person’s brain.[1] The CNS is responsible for regulating bodily functions like memory, learning, emotions, movement, pleasure, and reward.

The withdrawal symptoms associated with a dysfunctioning CNS will not be eliminated during the rapid detox process. This can cause an individual to experience significant mental withdrawal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and extreme mood swings once they are already completed with their program and at home.

Rapid drug detox is also known to cause the following adverse health effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Aspiration or choking
  • Significant increases in body temperature
  • Infection
  • Paranoia
  • Relapse
  • Cardiac arrest and death

Rapid drug detox is known to lower treatment retention levels, increase an individual’s likelihood of relapse, and pose a risk of life-threatening effects.[2] Because of this, other methods of detox like medically-assisted detox are considered to be safer and more effective.

What Is The Safest Way to Detox?

The best type of detoxification program to attend in Charlotte, North Carolina is medically-assisted detox. This type of drug detox program combines anti-craving medications with 24/7 support and supervision to provide patients with comfort and safety throughout their withdrawal process. While patients are not sedated during their withdrawal process, the medications provided prevent their withdrawal symptoms from causing discomfort.

Medications used during a medically-assisted detox program include:

Once the individual overcomes the physical aspects of withdrawal, their psychological withdrawal symptoms are treated. If an individual is facing symptoms of depression or anxiety, they will be given medications to manage the symptoms and provide the patient with immediate relief. Additionally, behavioral therapy and group counseling are important aspects of medically-assisted treatment. This increases the individual’s likelihood of long-term sobriety and provides a safe alternative to rapid drug detox.

Benefits of Attending a Medical Detox Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

While medical detox programs take longer than rapid detox, it is a safer and more effective solution to opioid withdrawal. Rapid drug detox poses significant health risks, including cardiac arrest and death. Because of these risks, spending more time in a medical detox program is worth it.

The benefits of attending a medical detox program in North Carolina include:

  • Improved treatment retention rates
  • Increased likelihood of abstinence
  • Medical treatment for physical and mental withdrawal symptoms
  • 24/7 care and supervision throughout the withdrawal process
  • Luxury care facilities
  • Extended time within the facility to ensure physical and mental health before being released from the program
  • Immediate transfer to inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment

Typically, medical drug detox programs are a part of an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Because of this, individuals who attend a medical detox in Charlotte, North Carolina can easily transfer to their inpatient program without worrying about finding another facility.

Start Your Recovery at Our Luxury Drug & Alcohol Detox Center Today

Our compassionate team of clinicians at Charlotte Detox Center understands how vital the detoxification process is to your recovery. We offer comprehensive treatment plans and a small patient-to-staff ratio to ensure that you are as comfortable and safe as possible. Our detox facility is staffed with clinicians, doctors, counselors, and recovery coaches that are here to offer around-the-clock monitoring and support every step of the way.

You don’t have to allow your fears of drug detox to stand in the way of a lifetime of sobriety – if you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction, contact us today.