If you’ve researched different opioid addiction treatments, you probably thought that rapid detox under sedation sounds like a miracle. Not only is it painless, but it also promises results within just a few hours.
If you think this sounds too good to be true, you aren’t wrong—there’s a reason why rapid detox under sedation is somewhat controversial. While some clinics still offer this treatment, others advise strongly against it, and it’s not without good reason.
On that note, let’s take a closer look at rapid detox under sedation and the risks and safety concerns associated with this treatment.
What Are Opioids and Opiates?
Opioids are a broad class of drugs that act on opioid receptors to relieve moderate and severe pain.
These drugs are typically prescribed to manage pain that can’t be treated by non-opioid pain medication, such as aspirin. That said, they can also be used to treat diarrhea, cough, and opioid addiction.
While it’s not uncommon for the words “opioids” and “opiates” to be used interchangeably, there’s a difference between the two.
Simply put, “opioids” is an umbrella term that encompasses natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic drugs that affect opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS).
Opiates, meanwhile, only refer to those substances that are derived directly from the opium poppy plant. In other words, only natural opioids such as morphine are considered opiates.
Opioids, whether natural or not, relieve pain by binding to opioid receptors and disrupting the transmission of pain signals between the body and the brain.
Besides pain relief, opioids can cause various side effects, such as vomiting, lightheadedness, and nausea.
In some patients, opioids induce euphoric feelings by stimulating dopamine release. Since this increases the risk of opioid abuse and addiction, ideally, opioids should only be used for short-term pain treatment.
It’s important to note that all opioids are highly addictive, including the weaker ones (e.g., tramadol). You should always take them according to your doctor’s instructions to minimize the risk of addiction and other negative effects.
Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is synonymous with opioid addiction and refers to the ongoing, habitual use of opioids despite their harmful effects.
OUD is characterized by symptoms such as:
- Intense opioid cravings
- Multiple failed attempts at quitting opioid use
- Preoccupation with getting and taking opioids
It stems from the chemical brain changes caused by prolonged opioid use, making it very difficult to overcome.
Nonetheless, the good news is that OUD is a treatable condition. No matter how long you’ve been struggling with addiction to opioids, it’s always possible to recover and return to a sober life.
What is Rapid Detox Under Sedation?
Rapid detox under sedation is a medical procedure that quickly flushes out opioids from the body with the help of anesthesia and an opioid antagonist.
Although opioid withdrawal symptoms usually last for weeks and sometimes even months, rapid detox forces your body to go through the withdrawal process much faster. In total, the process takes no more than 48 hours, including hospitalization.
Rapid detox under sedation is often advertised as a quick way to overcome opioid addiction without pain or discomfort. This often misleads people into thinking they’ll be simply put to sleep and wake up addiction-free.
However, while some detox centers claim that rapid detox can help you get off opioids for good within 4–6 hours, the truth is that addiction is a brain disease. As such, removing opioids from the body isn’t nearly enough to help people make a lifelong recovery from opioids.
How Does Rapid Detox Under Sedation Work?
Rapid detox under sedation works by putting the patient under general anesthesia or sedation and administering an opioid antagonist, such as naloxone, to trigger opioid withdrawals. Since the patient is heavily sedated, this procedure can minimize the pain and discomfort associated with opioid withdrawal symptoms.
After the procedure, the patient may be hospitalized and monitored for a day or two. That said, rapid detox under sedation doesn’t provide any other treatment besides clearing out opioids from the system.
Rapid detox under sedation only manages withdrawal symptoms and thus doesn’t eliminate opioid addiction. Once the medications wear off, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience opioid cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, which can lead to relapse, overdose, and even death.
How Effective Is Rapid Detox Under Sedation?
Although rapid detox under sedation can remove opioids from the system, there is a lack of scientific evidence to prove that it is effective for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
As mentioned above, many patients undergoing rapid detox end up relapsing, which only shows that this procedure isn’t as effective as most patients believe. It’s also not unheard of for people to undergo this procedure multiple times without lasting results.
The main reason why rapid detox under sedation is ineffective in treating opioid addiction lies in the fact that it doesn’t address the root cause of opioid dependency. At most, it cleanses opioids out of the body but doesn’t restore normal brain function or yield long-term results.
Safety Concerns and Risks Associated with Rapid Detox Under Sedation
If you’re considering undergoing rapid detox under sedation, you should keep in mind that this procedure comes with several safety issues and risks.
In fact, rapid detox is generally regarded as a dangerous procedure with no clear benefits to outweigh the risks. As a one-size-fits-all treatment that puts a massive strain on the body, it may put your health at stake, especially if you’re dealing with other medical issues besides opioid addiction.
More specifically, anesthesia-assisted rapid detox is linked to adverse events, such as vomiting under sedation, pulmonary edema, and suicidal ideation. Another report found that rapid detox can cause cardiac arrest, exacerbation of mental health issues (panic attacks, depression, etc.), and death, among other potentially life-threatening side effects.
Not to mention, rapid detox under sedation often leads to relapse. Since your tolerance to substances reduces during periods of abstinence, relapse greatly increases the risk of overdose and death.
ANR Treatment – A Safer Way to Treat Opioid Dependence
Accelerated Neuro-Regulation (ANR) is a groundbreaking opioid dependence treatment that has helped more than 24,000 people worldwide safely and effectively recover from opioid addiction.
The ANR treatment is specifically designed to cure opioid addiction instead of just treating its symptoms.
It’s the only opioid dependence treatment that tackles the fundamental cause of opioid addiction by reversing the brain changes resulting from opioid use. As a result, ANR eliminates cravings and other opioid withdrawal symptoms, thus negating the risk of relapse!
The treatment is performed under sedation and takes about 4–6 hours, during which your endorphin-receptor system will be returned to its normal state. On average, patients are discharged after a 36-hour hospital stay, making ANR effective and quick.
At ANR Clinic, we believe that everyone deserves an equal chance at overcoming opioid addiction. For this reason, we’ve established ANR Centers in several countries, including the United States, Switzerland, Georgia, and Brazil.
Why Choose ANR Treatment Over Rapid Detox
If you’re looking to recover from opioid addiction quickly and effectively, the ANR treatment is, without a doubt, your best option.
Here’s what makes ANR superior to rapid detox under sedation:
- Safety. Unlike rapid detox, ANR is only performed in an ICU setting of accredited hospitals by highly experienced medical professionals, including anesthesiologists and critical care physicians.
- Quality. While the quality of rapid detox may vary from one detox center to the next, the ANR treatment—whether it’s performed in our centers in Brazil, Switzerland, or elsewhere—always meets the highest quality and care standards.
- Effectiveness. Rapid detox under sedation only manages opioid withdrawal symptoms but doesn’t effectively treat opioid dependence. Meanwhile, ANR goes beyond detox and restores your brain to its pre-addiction state, which makes it highly effective.
- Cost. The cost of rapid detox varies widely, with some detox centers offering the procedure for up to $24,000. Still, no matter how much you pay, rapid detox can lead to relapse. Meanwhile, the ANR treatment costs $19,500 (including pre-admission, hospitalization, and all follow-up appointments, a private room, etc.). Most importantly, ANR eliminates the risk of relapse, making it a better investment than rapid detox.
- Personalization. Unlike rapid detox under sedation, the ANR treatment is tailored to each patient’s specific needs and medical history. Because of this, ANR can be safely performed on virtually anyone, including patients with heart disease and other medical conditions.
If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, it’s only natural to look for ways to get off opioids quickly. However, as incredible as it may sound, rapid detox under sedation is neither effective nor safe, which is why fewer and fewer clinics offer this type of treatment.
The bottom line is that rapid detox under sedation doesn’t cure opioid addiction, as it is only designed to detoxify your body from opioids.
While this can be a helpful first step in overcoming opioid dependence, it simply isn’t enough to bring sustainable results. Due to the high risk of relapse and adverse effects, avoiding rapid detox under sedation is in your best interest.
Dr. Waismann identified the biological roots of opioid dependency, Since then he has successfully treated more than 24,000 patients worldwide that are struggling with opioid addiction.
Throughout his career, he has lectured and educated health professionals in dozens of countries around the world to this day.