What is detox like?
We try to make detoxification and substance abuse treatment at Sunrise Detox as comfortable as possible for our guests. There are scheduled daily activities, including group therapy and meetings, which are specifically designed to help our guests get on the road to recovery. The schedule is not so hectic that guests are overwhelmed, nor is it so relaxed that it becomes boring. We are not a hospital or a psychiatric ward, so our guests are not locked in: We see our clients as our guests, and treat them as such.
When is detox necessary?
Detox is needed when someone is abusing alcohol, heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, pills or other addictive substances. When someone consumes large amounts of alcohol on a daily basis, they can become dependent on it. This is the same with heroin and opiate pain medications which also may require detox. Other pills such as benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, etc.), barbiturates, Soma and Ultram also cause withdrawal symptoms and may require detoxification.
How long does detox take?
The exact answer depends on the type and amount of a drug being used so our intake specialists will help determine the best course of action on a case by case basis. A person's age and health condition also plays a role. As a general guide, the average length of stay is 4-5 days for alcohol detox, 7 days for opiate detox and 10-12 for benzodiazepine detox.
What about outpatient detox?
Numerous physicians and pain clinics now advertise outpatient detox programs, in which someone can live at home, and perhaps even continue working while they detox from opiates. Proponents of these programs claim that, with the use of various medications, their clients experience no side effects or withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, these programs have serious drawbacks. It is unrealistic to ask someone who is going through detox to be responsible for taking their medications safely and according to instructions. These programs are rarely successful and expend time and resources that could otherwise be used for proven detoxification methods.
Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox Myths
What about Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox?
Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox is a medical procedure done under anesthesia that infuses a person's body with an opiate antagonist, in turn accelerating the detoxification process. There is a 1 to 2 day recovery period after the procedure. UROD is purported to be a "miracle" treatment that eliminates withdrawal symptoms, however, the procedure is dangerous because it uses full sedation. It is an expensive procedure and there are no known studies that show it successful in helping people achieve long term opiate abstinence.
About Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox
Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox is a procedure that has been in use since the late 1980s. The method uses an opiate antagonist to "clean" the opiate receptors in the brain. Since giving an opiate antagonist to an addicted person causes immediate and agonizing withdrawal symptoms, this procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia and can be risky. The process takes several hours, and there is a lengthy recovery period that lasts anywhere from 6 hours to 2 days. Facilities that advertise UROD say that when the patient wakes up, they are completely free of withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opiates. These claims are, unfortunately, not true.
UROD does nothing to address psychological craving for opiates and patients that go through the procedure will still experience significant withdrawal symptoms. Some facilities actually send patients home with supplies of other addictive drugs to deal with the withdrawal symptoms, which only continues and accentuates the cycle of addiction.
There are several other major drawbacks to the Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox method, which likely contributes to the fact that it remains relatively uncommon almost 2 decades after its introduction. Firstly, there have been numerous deaths resulting from the procedure as UROD is a major medical procedure that is far more dangerous than traditional detoxification. The use of general anesthesia has inherent dangers and little is known about the stress that UROD places on a body that is already weakened by dependence. Also, people who relapse following UROD are also statistically far more likely to overdose.
Secondly, the cost of Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox is prohibitive. Practices charge up to $15,000 for UROD and do not include any follow-up care. Further, major health insurance companies do not recognize UROD as viable substance abuse treatment and in general will not pay for it. Also, UROD does not help the dependent person deal with the psychological cravings they are bound to experience after the detox. Patients are released from the facility without any of the tools they will need to maintain long-term abstinence from opiates.Back to top
Outpatient Detoxification Programs
Many doctors' offices and pain clinics have begun to operate so-called "outpatient" detoxification programs. In actuality, there is no formal "program" whatsoever. Treatment usually consists of the doctor writing a prescription for the drug dependent person and sending them home. The cost of these programs can be very expensive, often exceeding the cost of an inpatient detoxification.
If not used properly, the drugs prescribed by these "outpatient programs" are potentially addictive, and many people become dependent on their detox medications. It is also no surprise that many addicts don't take these medications as prescribed, whether intentionally or not. Oftentimes, people continue to abuse drugs while on these programs, creating a dangerous detox medication mix.
"Outpatient detox" implies someone can go through the detoxification process quickly and not miss a day of work. These expectations are unrealistic as detoxification is a complicated medical procedure and should not be taken lightly. We believe that in order for a drug dependent person to achieve long term recovery, they must invest the time necessary to be safely and properly detoxed from the drugs and substances they are abusing. We don't agree that this can be accomplished overnight, or at homeBack to top