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Rapid Detox: Is It Right for You?

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Heroin is a highly addictive drug with the potential to damage just about every aspect of a user’s life. Stopping heroin use is the first, essential step toward building a new, drug free life – but withdrawing from the drug can be painful, frightening – and even life-threatening. To help people get through withdrawal and on the way to recovery as quickly as possible, rapid detox and even ultra rapid detox programs can clear a user’s system of heroin in less than a day. But are these kinds of detoxes safe?

Withdrawal Effects the Body and Brain

Heroin addiction affects all the systems in the body. This potent opioid drug binds to the body’s own opioid receptors, located in places including the brain and central nervous system. Even the digestive system contains opioid receptors. When a person stops using the drug, these receptors are suddenly left empty, which causes the well known symptoms of heroin withdrawal, which include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Chills and fever
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Strong cravings for heroin

Rapid Detoxes Bypass Withdrawal

Rapid Detox

Rapid detox will help you avoid withdrawal symptoms so you can get on the road to recovery.

For many heroin users, the discomforts of withdrawal are enough to discourage quitting – or to cause them to start taking heroin again just to stop the symptoms. The various forms of rapid detox are designed to help people bypass withdrawal altogether and get the drug out of the body as quickly as possible.

But this kind of detox involves strong medications, anesthesia and a hospital stay – along with constant supervision from professionals trained in addiction medicine.

Rapid detox takes less than a day. This process is done under sedation in a hospital, usually in an intensive care setting. During the detox, intravenous injections of buprenorphine, a drug that mimics the effects of heroin, are given, along with other medications to reduce the physical symptoms of withdrawal such as nausea.

After treatment, patients usually recover in the hospital for a day or two before continuing with recovery in a rehab setting.  Rapid detox clears heroin from the body, but it can be too intense for some users. People with ongoing health conditions or those who have used heroin for so long that their bodies are very compromised might face serious or even life threatening complications.

Ultra Rapid Detox – An Even Faster Way

In some situations, an even faster process than rapid detox might be used to speed up withdrawal. “Ultra rapid detox” is an even more accelerated form of rapid detox, and it promises to clear heroin from the body within hours.

Ultra rapid detox is offered under the auspices of some inpatient rehab programs and can also be used if a person has a severe addiction along with other kinds of issues that make it essential to get off heroin quickly.

Like rapid detox, this kind of detox must be performed in a hospital under strict supervision by qualified professionals.  Ultra rapid detox processes are generally done under general anesthesia and involve intravenous infusions of buprenorphine along with naloxone, an opioid antagonist that blocks the action of heroin in the brain. Other medications such as muscle relaxants might also be used. An ultra rapid detox is even more intense than standard rapid detox, and may not be safe for everyone.

Opioid Withdrawal Doesn’t Have to Be More Painful Than Anything in the World

Stepped Rapid Detox – A Gentler Approach

Another variation of rapid detox is the stepped rapid detox, in which a patient stays awake or is under mild sedation. Every hour or so, small amounts of naloxone and naltrexone, another medication that blocks opioid receptors, are given. If withdrawal symptoms do appear, buprenorphine is added to the mix in order to eliminate them.

In a stepped detox, patients might also be given medications for specific symptoms such as nausea and body aches. At the end of the process, which lasts a day or so, patients are generally free of major withdrawal symptoms and can go on to work on their recovery in other ways.

Rapid detox programs have real risks, and they aren’t for everyone. But in all its variations, rapid detox offers a way for heroin users to withdraw from heroin in a very short time to eliminate disruption and get users on the road to recovery much sooner than other withdrawal protocols can do.

Are you struggling with an addiction to heroin – but you don’t know where to turn? We know – and we can help. Contact us at 800-662-8079 for the help you need right now.

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