Josh Chandler | July 1, 2022

The Dangers of Rapid Drug Detox

What Is Rapid Drug Detox?

There is a form of detox known as Rapid Drug Detox where an individual is placed under general anesthesia, and their system is rapidly cleansed of opioids using the opioid antagonist Naloxone. This process is considered a medical detox addiction treatment. Still, it is not the Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT), also known as medication-assisted treatment, that is now considered the gold standard method of detoxing from opioid products. Rapid Drug Detox rids the body system of opioid toxins within a few days, much faster than other detox methods, but current medical guidelines recommend against the practice for multiple reasons.

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The Risks of Detoxing Too Quickly

Undergoing a Rapid Detox places the body under immense strain as it attempts to regulate its systems to function without the presence of opioids. In a study on this detox procedure involving 75 test subjects with opioid addiction, 75 suffered severe adverse reactions during the treatment, requiring extensive hospitalization after opiate detoxification, and two individuals died.

In fact, many individuals who have developed a long-term dependence on opioids have poor health and cannot even undergo anesthesia, let alone handle the compacted stress that Rapid Drug Detoxification places on the body.

Is Rapid Drug Detox Effective?

The short answer is no. Rapid Drug Detox is not practical. Shortening the amount of time it takes to rid the body of opioid toxins does not shorten how long an individual experiences drug withdrawal symptoms, the most challenging part of going through opioid withdrawal. It also does not affect an individual’s ability to discontinue substance abuse unless they receive additional therapies and outpatient treatment to teach them how to handle life’s stressors with healthy coping skills.

Rapid opiate detoxification is a standalone procedure. It is not offered in facilities that guide their patients to begin effective methods of recovering from substance abuse like residential treatment or an intensive outpatient program. Also, once the detoxification procedure is done, many individuals leave the Rapid Drug Detox center to experience the days of withdrawal symptoms that follow on their own, leading to a high chance of relapse to alleviate their pain.

Between the increased health risk of undergoing Rapid Drug Detoxification and the lack of improvement it offers in the process of recovery, Rapid Drug Detox is not an effective method of detox or substance abuse treatment and is considered dangerous.

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Benefits of a Medical Detox Program

Certified medical detox programs carefully assess individuals struggling with drug abuse who are going through withdrawal and administer medications. Medically Assisted Treatment medications are intended to alleviate the painful symptoms and keep them as comfortable as possible so they will complete the detox process and begin a traditional recovery program.

A licensed MD and medications oversee these treatment programs are administered by certified nurses or other medical staff. Individuals undergoing medically assisted detox are monitored around the clock until all withdrawal symptoms alleviate to ensure their safety and health throughout the process.

Once detox is complete, patients will work with a medical professional and often a case worker to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Removing drug toxins from your system is not a cure. It does not guarantee that you will not continue using drugs unless you develop the tools and coping skills to turn to healthier methods of handling stress and negative emotions.

Why Slow Taper off Drugs?

Slowly and responsibly detoxing from drug addiction, especially opiates, gives your body time to adjust to functioning without the influence of these potent chemicals. This lessens the strain on your body and decreases the risk to your overall health. Speeding up this process has increased the chances of cardiac arrest.

If the process of detox is less physically, mentally, and emotionally upsetting to go through, you are set up on the right foot to begin a successful recovery journey that results in long-term sobriety.

Medications Used to Manage Drug Detox Symptoms

There are previously existing medications developed to treat unrelated conditions that the FDA has now approved for use during medically supervised detox. Some of the most common ones are listed and described below.


Often used as a short-term protocol to detox from opioid addiction, methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist that reduces opioid cravings and holds off withdrawal symptoms without triggering the euphoric effect of heroin use. Methadone can be taken in doses that gradually decrease, so the withdrawal process off methadone is less severe than what would be experienced at the height of an individual’s opioid addiction.


This FDA-approved medication is administered during detox and binds to and blocks the opioid receptors in the brain to reduce cravings for heroin, morphine, fentanyl, and codeine.


It is used to lessen the intensity of withdrawal symptoms from heroin detox or other forms of opioid detox. It is made from a combination of buprenorphine and Naloxone.


Many individuals undergoing detox experience severe nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting, considered one of the most debilitating and long-lasting symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Some common anti-nausea medications prescribed are Zofran and metoclopramide.

Antiadrenergic Agents

These medications, known as Clonidine and Propranolol, inhibit the signals of epinephrine and norepinephrine. They are used to treat withdrawal symptoms from opiates as well as alcohol and benzodiazepines.


Some individuals react to alcohol or drug withdrawal with various convulsion symptoms ranging from severe shaking to seizures. Medications like phenobarbital or Klonopin are prescribed to alleviate these symptoms.


These might be prescribed to alleviate symptoms of depression that result from discontinued drug use where the substances ingested interfered with the body’s natural ability to produce mood-regulating hormones. These can be prescribed short-term while the body is detoxing or long-term as a part of a patient’s treatment plan. Common antidepressants used during medical detox are Celexa, Prozac, and Zoloft.


Commonly known as Campral, this is one of three medications approved by the FDA to treat alcoholism by reacting with the brain’s neurotransmitter systems to reduce alcohol dependence.

Safe Medical Detox at Muse Treatment in Los Angeles

Located in Los Angeles, Muse Treatment is a network of facilities and treatment centers that offer detox programs, intensive outpatient services, residential inpatient treatment programs, and sober living homes to facilitate addiction recovery. The focus of Muse Treatment is to create a community of healing throughout the Los Angeles area, so clients don’t feel removed from society.

Muse Treatment’s recovery center is committed to maintaining a standard of excellence, respect, and integrity in all aspects of the operation. It strives toward helping clients move forward in their recovery journey and achieve emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing. This is accomplished by providing a full continuum of care that utilizes advanced clinical services and holistic treatments administered in a safe and healing environment.

The drug detox program offered at Muse Addiction Treatment Center is built on understanding the impact and sensitivity of the initial detox process and how each individual may respond differently during withdrawal. Their qualified staff will work with you individually to make the experience as comfortable, safe, and therapeutic as possible.

When clients arrive at Muse Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, they receive a comprehensive medical and psychiatric assessment upon admission. The information gathered at this time is designed to work with any medically necessary detox needs and carry through to monitoring and the dual diagnosis of any co-occurring mental health disorders that often accompany addiction.

Clients less than 48 hours after their last instance of consuming an addictive substance are pre-qualified to enter detoxification and can continue with the qualification process. Individuals mustn’t be physically impaired in any way that would interrupt participation in the detox and following the residential program with or without support. A physician must medically clear them to undergo medical detoxification.

We will do our absolute best to make the drug detox process as manageable as possible with assistance from a compassionate and knowledgeable staff, up-to-date techniques, and a comfortable detox environment.

After your intake assessment, you will be taken on a tour of the facility or directly to the room you will be staying in if necessary. You will be made aware of your medically assisted treatment plan and begin to receive medications to alleviate symptoms. The detox process can range from three to 10 days, depending on each individual’s health status and history of substance abuse, and Opioid detox typically takes seven to 10 days. The peak of intense discomfort is felt around day three, with symptoms beginning to subside by day five for most recovering opioid abusers.

It would help if you did not have to fight the monster of drug addiction on your own. A community of recovery is available for you at our Los Angeles Muse Treatment and Recovery Center, where you can get the emotional, physical, and medical support you need to get through drug detox and begin your path to long-term recovery. Reach out to our compassionate team at (800) 426-1818 today to learn more about our programs, the admission process, and how we can get you, or a loved one help to begin their journey of healing.

Alcohol Detox,Drug Detox,
Josh Chandler
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