Risks of Rapid Alcohol Detox

In the pursuit of a quick fix for their withdrawal symptoms, many patients attempt what is known as rapid detox. This often involves the patient being placed under anesthesia while any alcohol-related toxins are expelled from their bodies with the help of various medications. There have been numerous studies that clearly outline the risks of rapid detox, and prove that said risks outweigh any clinical or symptom management benefits. As much as patients would like to think they can be asleep for the worst part of their recovery, it's just not possible. Once they wake up, they wind up experiencing the same pain and illness as those who went the traditional route. In addition to its lack of effectiveness, rapid detox has also been linked to several fatalities since its first application in 1990. Since 2001, there have been at least seven rapid detox-related deaths in New Jersey, as well as one in Seattle. This has led numerous members of the addiction care community to publicly denounce the process as dangerous and counterproductive, and have asserted that it has no advantage over traditional detox.

What Does Rapid Detox Entail?

While under anesthesia, patients are given medications that would be given to traditional patients over a more gradual process, during which doctors can see how they're responding in real time, and make adjustments accordingly. While traditional detox is done through the course of several days, practitioners of rapid detox claim that the process can be conducted in as little as 4 to 6 hours. Rapid detox is most commonly given to patients addicted to opiates, but many alcoholics also attempt rapid detox and sometimes the consequences can be fatal.  Once the medication is administered, patients are supposed to wake up with minimal withdrawal symptoms but many patients wake up feeling the bulk of their symptoms, and complain of pain and illness. Almost every major study conducted to identify the risks of rapid detox disproves this. Please read this article below from about.com website that reviews some of the studies regarding rapid detox from alcohol or drugs and concludes that there is no magic pill for detox.


Life after Rapid Detox

In the earliest study of the risks of rapid detox, it was found that 80% of participants dropped out of follow-up treatment. Additionally, it's not uncommon for patients whose existing medical condition would otherwise preclude from attempting rapid detox to deliberately hide their medical histories. This can result in long-term medical complications, such as pulmonary disease, diabetes, or the aggravation and progression of any existing mental illnesses. Over the years, several patients have died within days of their rapid detox treatment. The procedure has also resulted in disciplinary action and license-suspension of otherwise qualified physicians.

There Is No Quick Fix

The best way for alcoholics or anyone else suffering from substance abuse to pursue detox is through a quality, established and reputable treatment facility. The risks of rapid detox compared to its lack of results are a dead end for those looking for the elusive painless detox. If you or your loved one has developed an alcohol addiction, you need a genuine and proven treatment formula to help you reclaim your life and attain sobriety and lasting wellness. While quality detox can't promise an entirely painless process, the right program will drastically diminish the symptoms.

Contact the National Alcoholism Center anytime toll-free at (888) 515-7704 or through our online form for our recommendations of the best alcohol treatment centers for you or your loved one!

Alcoholism treatment should never be attempted in your home or without medical supervision at a professional licensed treatment facility.