Ultra rapid detox is a procedure where you go in and they put you to sleep for several hours and flush your body clean from opiates. This would be used for either painkillers or heroin. The procedure takes less than a day and the person is essentially accelerated right through the detox process while they are sleeping. When they wake up, there is generally very little withdrawal symptoms left to go through and most people will be feeling much better within less than 24 hours.
Sounds great, right? It sure sounds like it beats the heck out of 5 days of cold turkey detox on your couch at home. But there are some serious drawbacks to rapid detox that most people do not really consider:
1) Rapid detox is very expensive, and not covered by insurance companies for the most part. Therefore you will have to pay cash for the procedure, and it usually costs as much or more than a full length residential program where you would stay in an inpatient setting for several weeks. So the cost is very prohibitive.
2) Rapid detox can be a bit risky – as some people have died during the procedure. There is no additional risk of death with ordinary opiate detox, even though it might feel like you are going to die. This is actually not true when it comes to alcohol withdrawal, as that can be quite dangerous. But regular opiate withdrawal is harmless, even though it is extremely uncomfortable.
3) Rapid detox provides no added value to recovery – if you go to rehab for 28 days and you relapse, at least you still get to keep the experience and the lessons learned while in rehab. This can make a long term difference to your recovery. But with rapid detox, if you relapse, you are simply back at square one, and you have learned and gained nothing. With traditional rehab, at least you get to keep some knowledge.
4) Rapid detox sets people up for failure – in that they are not preparing themselves adequately for the challenge of long term sobriety. Because they are using such a tricky shortcut, they are not prepared to go through the challenges of short term recovery. The relapse rates for ultra rapid detox are no more impressive than the relapse rates for the most prestigious treatment centers. People who are not done using drugs cannot buy their way into an addiction cure. Part of making it into long term sobriety is suffering through the misery of opiate detox. You have to remember what you do not want to go back to.
Any time an opiate addict hears about the idea of rapid detox, they tend to get excited because it is such a pain-free shortcut. But we have to learn the hard way sometimes that there really are no shortcuts in life, and so if you somehow manage to skate through opiate withdrawal without any negative symptoms, you are somehow cheating the process. Based on the typical success rates with this type of procedure, that would seem to be the case, as most do not stay clean and sober over the long run.
It takes guts, hard work, and sacrifice to achieve recovery. Shortcuts in general do not work well. Be wary of them.