8 Red Flags that a Detox Center Isn’t Providing Adequate Rapid Detox

wife sits on hospital bed next to husband getting rapid detox for opioid dependence

Numerous drug treatment centers claim to offer rapid detoxification, but most of them do not actually provide detoxification under anesthesia. Responsible rapid detox providers offer significantly higher levels of medical care than what non-hospital detoxification programs or rehabs can. Knowing the differences between opioid detox providers can help you find the right treatment for you.  Look for the red flags below you making your decision.

8 Ways to Tell a Trustworthy Rapid Detox Center from the Rest

Knowing what to expect when you choose a detox treatment is important for several reasons. If you know what to expect and you receive what was promised, then you will not be disappointed or feel misled, which makes the chance of an easier and successful treatment much higher.

As you research rapid detox centers, look carefully for differences in their descriptions. These points can help you think of questions you might want to ask about the facility, physicians, treatment or anything you don’t understand.

Look for information on the website about the facility, including its:

  • Accreditation
  • Level of individualized care
  • Services provided or available in case of immediate need

Evaluate the photos of the treatment facility. You might find side-by side beds and a lack of medical equipment indicating the facility is not a hospital. A proper ICU treating room should have electrical, gas and various other medical equipment mounted onto the wall beside the head of the patient’s bed so that those resources are immediately available during anesthesia detox.

Learn about the physician who would be treating you by asking questions such as:

  • How much experience does the treating physician have with anesthesia detox?
  • Is he board certified?
  • Are his credentials from well-known organizations?
  • Does he offer multiple protocol options to accommodate each patient’s health needs, or are the patients all offered a single detoxification method regardless of what’s really adequate for them?

Read the website’s description of what the detoxification treatment really consists of. Look for claims on the website that sound “too good to be true,” such as “painless,” “cure,” and “unlimited care.” Those promises are simply impossible to keep in most cases, and especially in all cases.

Here are more examples of what to look for to tell safe rapid detox procedures apart from others:

1. ‘Three Days’ or ’48 Hours’ Is Not Rapid

Rapid detox is a procedure created to allow doctors to speed the withdrawal syndrome while patients are under anesthesia. Throughout the decades, the procedure has evolved into a much safer, faster and reliable technique than its original form.

Proper rapid detox occurs while the patient is under sedation for approximately two hours or less. Any other time frame — such 24 hours, 48 hours or three days — should not be referred to as rapid detox but rather a “faster detox.”

2. Outpatient Accelerated Detox Is Not Rapid Detox

Most websites that claim to offer “48-hour detox” or “accelerated opiate detox” do not provide rapid detox. They also do not provide inpatient, hospital care. Instead, they often offer outpatient detox assistance with medication. The withdrawal period is not shortened in this “accelerated” method to the degree it is with rapid detox treatment, and patients are also not sleeping under anesthesia through the acute withdrawal phase.

Providers of outpatient accelerated detox often give patients medications to flush a patient’s system of opioids and shorten the withdrawal syndrome. In general terms, this process might sound similar to rapid detox, but there are major differences. These centers have patients in hotel rooms with family members during a very stressful and unstable time — one that can lead the patient to erratic mood swings, actions and consequences. Although this process is much cheaper than the real rapid detox, it offers a substantially less medical care and professional management. Ultimately, it creates more possibilities for failure.

3. Safe Rapid Detox Is Performed in a Private ICU of an Accredited Hospital

Although different rapid detox approaches might work for some patients, they also present risks to others. A patient can be exposed to unnecessary discomfort and serious health risks when this kind of treatment is performed under the following circumstances:

  • In a facility lacking the resources of an accredited, full-service hospital
  • By inexperienced staff members
  • On numerous patients at the same time or in the same room

Facilities such as outpatient surgical centers or multiple-patient recovery rooms do not have medical equipment, medications or medical specialists that accredited hospitals have. Some of these resources come in handy for additional evaluation or in an emergency situation when immediately available resources can make a difference.

rapid detox is not performed in side-by-side detox center beds like these

Some rapid detox centers treat patients side by side in a facility, which presents risks to patients. Waismann Method® only treats patients one at a time in the privacy of a private ICU room in a full-service, accredited hospital.

Many sub-par detox centers treat patients side by side in the same room. Although this practice might reduce costs, patients do not receive staff members’ undivided attention, which is so important throughout rapid detox.

Additionally, having strangers going through their own emotional and physical difficulties by your side can greatly elevate your level of stress. You don’t share a room with stranger when you go to your cardiologist, and you should not share one through anesthesia detox either. Patients benefit from privacy, focused attention from the medical staff, and a calm environment throughout an already stressful time.

The best rapid detox centers treat each patient in a private ICU room of a hospital. In an ICU, a medical doctor performs the treatment with full access to the hospital’s highest level of resources. Each room has medical equipment installed to provide the support and response needed throughout a detoxification under anesthesia. This comprehensive monitoring ensures the patient’s well-being before, during and after treatment.

4. The Rapid Detox Cost Reflects the Level of Care

The difference in facility type, level of care, length of impatient time and amount of services provided is evident in the cost of rapid detox. Rapid detox in a full-service, accredited hospital is more costly because it includes a much higher level of medical care.

At an accredited hospital, patients have immediate access to many more medical resources and recourse. There is no limitation on length of stay like there is at a surgical center. Instead, patients are discharged from the hospital based on their physical readiness, not at preset times that are often too early. All of these factors offer the peace of mind that comes with being in treated according to much higher standards.

To evaluate the cost of treatment, you need to consider what you are receiving. When you pay more for higher-value care from the beginning, you save money by avoiding the costlier consequences of substandard care.

5. General Anesthesia Is Not Used in Updated Rapid Detox Protocols

Detox under general anesthesia has become obsolete. It was first used when the procedure started, but safer, shorter and more evolved protocols have been available for over 10 years. If a treatment provider uses general anesthesia, they are still using archaic, outdated protocols of rapid detox.

Current rapid detox protocols have evolved into much more comfortable, safe and effective versions that only require sedation for less than two hours. They involve using the same type of sedation as you would get for a colonoscopy or having a more involved dental procedure.

6. Rapid Detox or Medical Detox Is Tailored to Each Patient’s Specific Needs

Many rapid detox centers often offer one single treatment method to all patients. This cookie-cutter approach attempts to fit every person into a single treatment plan, which can lead doctors to treat patients who are not the ideal candidates for the detoxification under anesthesia.

One of the many things that sets the Waismann Treatment™ apart is that patients don’t have to adapt to the treatment. Instead, the Waismann Method® medical director will adapt the treatment to each patient’s health needs.

Being treated individually in a full-service, accredited hospital allows for modifications to the detox protocol, immediate medical assistance, and flexibility regarding the length of treatment. From the initial comprehensive medical evaluation to the completion of the rapid detox, the Waismann Detox medical director, Dr. Michael H. Lowenstein, and the medical staff are monitoring the patient’s well-being and adjusting treatment as necessary.

7. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Usually Is

There is no such thing as “painless” detox. Any detox center claiming to offer “painless” rapid detox is probably not providing accurate information.

There also is no such thing as a single, miracle “cure” for opioid use disorder. Humans are complex beings, and treatment involves multiple factors, but there are treatments that are more effective than others.

Rapid detox is a highly successful treatment for reversing a patient’s physical opioid dependence. Because the treatment reduces the discomfort and duration of acute withdrawal, it enables patients to complete the detox phase successfully and move on to effective emotional support or other forms of physical or psychological therapy.

Read: Why Rapid Detox Works So Well

Rapid detox is a medical treatment for a physiological condition. Although this successful detoxification does not treat addiction, which is a behavioral issue, it certainly gives the patient the best foundation to do so. Any website claiming to end opioid addiction in a short period of time is not providing an accurate depiction of effective treatment. Even worse, it could mean that the “professionals” involved do not clearly understand the difference of the condition they are claiming to treat — physical dependence or addiction.

The best rapid detox centers provide straight talk and accurate information. They factor in your medical history, opioid use and personal needs to determine what kind of treatment and length of stay you’ll likely need to complete detox safely and successfully.

8. If It’s Not in Southern California, It’s Not Waismann Method®

Waismann Method® is one of the originators of rapid detox and has contributed to significant, pioneering efforts to make safe and effective medical protocols for the treatment of opioid use disorder. The Waismann Treatment has maintained the highest opioid detox success rate in the U.S. for over 20 years because it has carefully controlled the parameters under which the Waismann Treatment is conducted.

The only location where you can receive the Waismann Method® treatment worldwide is in Southern California. Through the last two decades, thousands of patients have flown from all over the world to California to undergo this treatment. Waismann Method® does not train other doctors or partner with other facilities anywhere in the world to offer any medical detox or rapid detox treatment.

Because of Waismann Method®’s success, many professionals claim to offer the same treatment or claim to have some kind of affiliation with Waismann. It is critical to know that other detox centers offer alternative detox treatments that do not meet Waismann Method® safety standards. The Waismann Method® team has concentrated all of its efforts in Southern California for over two decades in order to provide the best rapid detox in the world and will continue to do so.

Published on April 5, 2019
Reviewed by Clare Waismann, CATC, Founder of Waismann Method® Advanced Treatment for Opiate Dependence