Detoxification from drugs or alcohol is the first step an alcoholic or drug addict takes when getting clean and sober. Depending on the type of drugs used, detox can last as long as two weeks. A type of detox called rapid detox speeds up the process and allow an addict to take the next steps in their recovery more quickly.

Differences from Regular Detox

When a person goes through detox from drugs or alcohol, the physical withdrawal symptoms can last up to two weeks, and can be quite painful. The length of time, as well as the pain, can cause some people to put off treatment when they really need it. Rapid detox is different from regular detox. Medication is used to remove the drugs or alcohol from the client’s body and speed up the physical withdrawal symptoms. The client is usually under general anesthesia during the procedure to avoid feeling the painful withdrawal symptoms of drugs and alcohol. In some cases, the client is finished with the medical portion of rapid detox in four to six hours.

Benefits of Rapid Detox

Rapid detox is gaining popularity over regular drug detox. The short length of time it requires is attractive to working professionals. A client can go through rapid detox at a recovery center over the weekend, then return to work on Monday morning. The client then can continue their recovery from drug or alcohol addiction elsewhere. Another reason recovering addicts prefer rapid detox is because the client is usually sedated during the procedure. The sometimes painful withdrawal symptoms that are a part of drug and alcohol detox can be avoided.

Downsides to Rapid Detox

Rapid detox is relatively new on the drug and alcohol detox scene, and there are several downsides to it. Rapid detox is a somewhat controversial treatment due to a higher risk of death or medical problems than from regular detox. The risk of death from rapid detox is several times higher than that of regular drug and alcohol detox. There are also increased risks of other health problems, such as thyroid problems. Other studies show an increased risk of relapse after rapid detox compared to regular detox. Part of rapid detox is to take follow-up drugs after the procedure, but sometimes clients fail to do so. This leads them to relapse into their drug or alcohol addiction.

Another downside to rapid detox is the extremely high cost. Costs can range as high as $15,000 USD and more, including care after the procedure. This is comparable with the cost of a standard stay in a drug or alcohol rehab facility. A client’s health insurance will often pay for treatment in a rehab facility. However, as of 2011, health insurance does not cover the cost of rapid detox due to its status as an experimental treatment.

Future of Rapid Detox

Rapid detox may one day become a standard form of detox. But first it must become less controversial. The high rate of fatalities and other medical issues must decrease. If this happens, rapid detox may become more common, and health insurance companies may begin covering the costs.

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