The opioid epidemic has caused physicians and the drug treatment community to search for new ways to efficiently achieve opioid detoxification. The idea of rapid opiate detox is still foreign to most professionals in the addiction field.
In the past, opiate treatments were mostly based on peer support and maintenance drugs. Neither of these options has shown to be successful in helping people become opioid-free. The revolving doors of rehab centers continue to spin, while drug users become more and more hopeless.
Finding Medication-Assisted Opioid Treatment Options
Methadone Treatment – In the 1950s, methadone (a long-acting human-made opiate) became a treatment for opiate addiction. The purpose of this drug was to stop people from experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Sadly enough, methadone users were still narcotic dependent. This method of treatment also proved to be associated with high relapse and overdose rates.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) – Suboxone, buprenorphine, Subutex, Buprenex, Butrans, Probuphine, and Belbuca… With billions of dollars in sales, Suboxone and similar drugs have sold more units than Viagra and Adderall. The medication was and still is considered a safer alternative to methadone.
However, these opioid addiction medications have a downside. Suboxone addiction has become a real problem and requires its course of treatment to remedy. The long-acting effects of Suboxone will extend withdrawal symptoms longer than most other opioids. The symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal commonly begin within 24 and 72 hours of the last dose and can last as long as three weeks.
Rapid Opioid Detoxification History
During the 1970s, doctors introduced different methods of precipitated and accelerated opioid detox and rapid detoxification. The administration of an opiate antagonist (naloxone or naltrexone) showed excellent results in speeding the withdrawal syndrome. However, they couldn’t alleviate the severity of the discomfort. Attempts to suppress these symptoms by using all kinds of anti-emetics, tranquilizers, and analgesics failed.
In 1988, Vienna researchers were the first to explore the idea of adding general anesthesia to the rapid opiate detox. This method became especially useful for opiate users that were reluctant to become abstinent due to the fear of the withdrawal symptoms. Meanwhile, various types of rapid detoxification methods were offered. The process has dramatically evolved, and doctors rarely use general anesthesia. The procedure effectiveness and safety are measured by the level of care and availability of medical resources in the facility, as well as the experience and credentials of the treating physician and inpatient time allowed before and post-procedure.
Rapid Detox Risks and Concerns
Concerns and questions regarding the benefits of the 1-day rapid detox centers are always surfacing. Some claim they expose patients to potentially life-threatening risks.
Furthermore, the lack of proper clearance and inpatient care with these overnight clinics can also become issues.
Most studies done on rapid opiate detox had a minimal follow-up. Some only reviewed the actual detoxification period. Furthermore, many studies lacked a well-screened group of patients or experienced physicians.
Much is still unclear, and anesthesia-assisted rapid opiate detox is not a standardized procedure. However, the objective and responsibility of the provider should always be clear. Providing patients with the highest possible level of medical care while concentrating on their well-being should be the utmost priority. Reduction and shortening of the withdrawal symptoms are also significant, but should not compromise patients’ safety.
Waismann Method® of Rapid Opiate Detox
There are multiple variables which can affect the safety and efficacy of a rapid opiate detox. As with other procedures under anesthesia, careful preoperative clearance, facility resources, and medical experience is a must. Furthermore, additional opioid treatment options based on patients’ unique dependence history, medical conditions, and emotional needs should be available.
Human beings are complex, and this complexity exists because we are so different from each other. Different developmental histories cause various internal conflicts and abilities. Through time, we acquire different inner strengths and vulnerabilities-different desires and problems. Furthermore, our external environments also differ.
Our common ground is that we all want to feel good physically and emotionally. For that, we need to find our unique path to emotional and physical health.
People turn to substances abuse to relieve stress or to cope with painful health and emotional conditions. We believe in treating opioid users with compassion, advanced medical science, and most of all, a clear understanding of where they are and where they wish to be. Contact us today to speak to a detox expert.