What is Rapid Detox?

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  • Written By: J.Gunsch
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 28 May 2019
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Rapid detox, also called rapid opiate detox, is a method of treating drug withdrawal in a person who is addicted to certain kinds of drugs. A physical addiction to drugs is a serious medical issue that must be supervised by health care professionals when a person reduces or eliminates the substance that the body has become dependent upon. In the past, detoxification was a long process, lasting anywhere from a few days to a week. Rapid detox is a medical procedure that allows detoxification to occur within the span of a day.

Rapid detox is used to quickly eliminate the extremely uncomfortable and life threatening withdrawal of opiates, heroin, prescription medications and alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms of these drugs include shaking, sweating, confusion, headaches, cravings, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, agitation, depression and anxiety. Sometimes, seizures and heart attacks can occur from detoxification.

A person undergoing this type of detox is placed under anesthesia for about four to six hours. Under the supervision of doctors, the person is administered a special medication that speeds up the withdrawal process in the body. Because the patient is anesthetized and unconscious, he or she does not experience the withdrawal symptoms that accompany the traditional detox period.


The medications used in rapid detox work by blocking the receptors in the brain that are responsible for absorbing the substance that the patient is addicted to. This causes the body to begin to expel the toxins and consequently causes withdrawal signs and symptoms. Once a person’s body is free of the substance or substances that were abused, they can begin the drug or alcohol recovery and treatment processes. Substance abuse treatment usually includes education, psychiatric therapy and learning lifestyle changes.

Like almost everything, there are pros and cons to detoxing quickly. This method may help to encourage people with addictions to seek treatment because they do not have to fear the painful experience of withdrawal and detox. It is also positive because it allows a person to begin recovery sooner.

However, in rare cases, rapid detox has had unexpected side affects such as heart attack and death. It has also fallen under harsh criticism because it is seen by some as a ‘quick fix’, which is what addicts characteristically seek in the first place. For this reason, it is believed that rapid detox prevents addicts from experiencing the full consequences of their addiction, thereby making them more likely to begin using another type of drug or returning to the drug that they were addicted to.


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Post 14

Rapid opiate detox is the best available option for heroin addiction. I saw my son fail a number of different rehabs and the Suboxone therapy. Finally he went to the Waismann clinic in California. He was in the hospital for three days and then was supposed to stay a week in their after care Domus. He ended up staying three weeks al together and it was worth every penny of it. I actually see a future for him right now. He has a renewed belief in himself.

I don't know about the other rapid detox center places, I have read crazy stories. All I can say is what I know and what we received was really the best.

Post 13

@anon87196. Please don't be so naive. You get a description with each medicine (especially with opiates like tramadol) that clearly tells you it is addictive and can be a pain to ween off.

You may have a stupid doctor but the biggest responsibility is on you. If you take it, you make sure to find out what its all about.

Post 12

I'm in treatment now but this is not the way to go about it at all.

Post 11

I believe if rapid detox is done by responsible doctors and in a hospital inpatient where patients stay a few days, then it's got to be the best method of detoxification out there.

The problem is with any medicine that is done irresponsibly.

I've heard of places that send people to hotel rooms hours after rapid detox. That is insane, to say the least. It should be more regulated.

Post 10

I agree that rapid detox, when done responsibly, and in a proper setting, can be a great option. It is not for everyone. But for those who need it and can't tolerate the traditional detox, it is a Godsend. The program in Santa Rosa called Clear Minds does a wonderful job. They are discreet and safe. My friend was an addict to heroin for 40 plus years. He got detoxed in a matter of hours and he is doing really well.

Post 8

My son went through rapid detox in California and afterward to their after care, and then the psychologist from the after care who is a God sent person, worked with him and still is once a week.

My son's friend went to Michigan and you are right -- he ended up in the emergency room a day after and relapsed almost immediately because he was so sick.

So with all that I learned is that rapid detox like any other medical process has to be done responsibly and safely. Check the Waismann people in California. They saved my son's life from heroin.

It's not a miracle cure and it's not a quick fix like you said. After a great detox, he followed with intense therapy.

Post 7

I have a question? Can rapid detox cause a stroke?


Post 6

i have been on hydrocodone for five years due to fibromyalgia and chronic back pain. i am also taking klonopin for gad, panic disorder and ptsd. i would love to get off them but is rapid detox for me? i also have hbp and a brain tumor. Any suggestions?

Post 4

I cannot believe this, I take tramadol for Fibro, and I want to come off of it. This is so sad. I never drank, never did drugs -- all this for pain, and my doctor said you will be fine and four years later I am so scared to come off of this due to all the side effects.

This company who makes this may have a lawsuit on their hands for not letting the public know.

May god bless me and my girls. they should not have to see me like this. Time for a good attorney.

Post 3

I must say I like the way you explained the use of methadone and its benefits in recovery from heroin or other opiate addiction. I have been on maintenance for four years now and the quality of my life has improved drastically. I wish I could have gotten on it earlier -- maybe my marriage could have been saved.

Post 2

Not only high-income family but also low-income families are affected with drug and alcohol addiction problem. Low-income people can’t afford the high cost of treatment for drug addiction. But there are many drug rehab centers which offer affordable treatment to these people.

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