alcohol recovery and recovery from alcohol

Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification


Is ultra rapid opiate detoxification the drug addiction treatment "silver bullet" as frequently asserted or is it a potentially important component in the drug addiction rehab arsenal that has great value if it is employed as a part of the overall treatment protocol?

Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification and Drug Addiction Treatment

Ultra rapid opiate detoxification, also known as rapid detox, Rapid opiate detoxification (ROD), and ultra rapid opiate detox, has a relatively short ten-year history.

As the name implies, this type of treatment focuses primarily on drug addiction detoxification via reducing the withdrawal symptoms related with addiction to opiates such as methadone, morphine, and heroin.

As the treatment protocol gained momentum, moreover, it expanded to the extent that it now is utilized to reduce the withdrawal symptoms related to the addiction to prescription drugs such as percocet, vicodin, codeine, darvocet, and oxycontin.

Depending on the drug to which the addict is addicted, ultra rapid opiate detoxification is commonly undertaken in a hospital or in a detox facility where the addict is anesthetized for 4 to 6 or even up to 48 hours.


This is usually enough time to eliminate the drug from the individual's blood system. While under anesthesia, the addict is also given doctor-prescribed medications that speed up the physical reactions to the drug withdrawals.

The main advantage of this treatment method is that the addict not only remains unaware of any part of the withdrawal process but also that after detox, he or she is no longer dependent on the opiate or on the prescription drug.

In short, ultra rapid opiate detox is a detoxification approach that uses anesthesia and the administration of medications in a closely scrutinized hospital environment.

The Drug Addiction Method Is Challenged

Ultra rapid opiate detoxification probably received its worst form of criticism in the late 1990s when seven patients under the supervision of Dr. Lance Gooberman died within days of receiving ultra rapid opiate detoxification.

Gooberman asserted that the patients who died took cocaine or had "undetected heart problems," therefore eliciting their heart attack.

A number of medical doctors who also utilize the ultra rapid opiate detox approach, interestingly, articulated that the procedure might have critically frazzled the addicts' easily broken bodies, thereby resulting in death.

Based on this information, then, it is appropriate to ask if ultra rapid opiate detoxification is a "miracle" treatment protocol or is it something much less spectacular? (1)

Is Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification a Miracle Addiction Treatment Approach?

Making the withdrawal process shorter, less serious, and less painful appears to be an addiction treatment "grand slam" but is it really?

Addicts, as demonstrated in the substance abuse literature, frequently take the "course of least resistance" or focus on the easy way out.

Additionally, to the extent that productive and long-term addiction recovery involves TOTAL abstinence as well as a major transformation in lifestyle, such a "quick fix" framework will not usually prove itself to be effective in the long term.

In fact, according to one study, addicts who received ultra rapid opiate detoxification still had withdrawal symptoms 24 hours after detox treatment. Perhaps more importantly, 80 percent of the addicts experienced a relapse within six months after the detoxification.

The Mentality of a Drug Addict

Another attribute of addicts is that they may conquer their addiction to one drug such as heroine, but then become addicted to another drug, such as oxycontin.

The bottom line: addicts don't usually experience addiction problems with just one drug. To be more precise, addicts typically experience potential problems with ANY and ALL mind-changing drugs or chemicals.

A number of substance abuse researchers and practitioners openly assert that after the detoxification process, addicts need to get in touch with the foundational issues that are at the root of their addiction if they are to experience successful recovery.

Such an undertaking, nonetheless, commonly involves self-reflection, much effort, a lot of time, extreme honesty, and an evaluation of one's moral and ethical behavior.

Sadly, such "character issues" and the "difficult work" needed for "insight" and for meaningful recovery are almost 180 degrees opposed to the "quick fix" mentality that is embraced by many, if not most addicts.

Can Cocaine Addicts or Alcoholics Receive Ultra Rapid OpiateDetoxification?

Does the ultra rapid opiate detoxification procedure "work" with alcoholism or with cocaine addiction. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is: "no, not at this time."

After having stated this, it seems that from a conceptual perspective, however, the pertinent question is this: "why can't ultra rapid detoxification be used with alcoholics or with cocaine addicts who suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms"? Obviously, more research is needed to better answer this question.

Conclusion: Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification

In the final analysis, even if the ultra rapid opiate detoxification approach "works," it must be regarded as only an one component of the drug addiction recovery process.

Stated more precisely, ultra rapid opiate detoxification is a drug treatment methodology that addresses "withdrawal symptoms" and little, if anything else.

If ultra rapid opiate detoxification is used as an integral part of the entire addiction rehab and recovery process, perhaps it can become a necessary and important part of the process.

If ultra rapid opiate detoxification, on the contrary, is perceived as the "magic bullet" of drug addiction detox and recovery, then its appeal as a "miraculous cure" will not only be unreliable but perhaps more importantly, it will quite possibly result in death.


Please note: At this time, ultra rapid opiate detoxification has not been used with alcoholics or with cocaine addicts.

At least from a theoretical framework, however, it would appear that alcohol and cocaine addicts who experience serious withdrawal symptoms might eventually be able to receive rapid detox. Stay tuned to the latest research and news on this "hot" topic.


1.  Fast Detox Method.