What is rapid Detox? Safety risks and more

“Rapid detox” refers to the accelerated process to rid the body of the drugs or alcohol being abused within addiction. Some of the reasons why people pursue rapid detox are concerns about excessive time off from work or the desire to have the discomfort period of detox shortened as much as possible. Also known as “anesthesia-assisted opiate detox,” rapid detox is a controversial procedure with a variety of critics within the field of recovery.

Rapid detox is not a completely standardized procedure across the recovery industry so centers that offer this service may differ in their approaches. Rapid detox usually involves sedating a patient (e.g. general anesthesia) during the initial withdrawal period. After sedation, the patient receives an opiate blocker such as naltrexone,1 perhaps in a very high dose. The sedation period is relatively short, between four to six hours, though there are records of anesthesia lasting longer. The entire rapid detox process may last between two to three days, with the time after anesthesia being a period of close medical observation.