Rapid Drug Detox - A Safer Alternative

Talk to a Detox Advisor

A Safer Alternative to Rapid Detox


Rapid Detox is a term that refers to one of several procedures that promises to make withdrawal pain-free. Before you pursue this, you should know more.

The overly enticing promise made by facilities that offer this service is simple:

  • Come to our facility.
  • You will be placed under full anesthesia.
  • You will feel no pain or discomfort.
  • When you wake up you will be detoxed from the drug.

However, below are the details from the studies that show these to be false promises, that this “rapid detox” under anesthesia:

  • Can be life-threatening;
  • Is not pain-free
  • Patients’ withdrawal were as severe as those of patients undergoing other detox approaches
  • Has no advantage over other methods


At Novus Medical Detox Center, a patient can become drug-free in a matter of days, but in a safer and much more comfortable alternative treatment.

  • Novus patients are conscious and alert—many patients can even continue handling business and family matters remotely.
  • No anesthesia.
  • Novus uses medications as needed, and patients have the added benefit of nutritious meals and natural supplements to help build up their body so they can recover quickly.
  • After completing their Novus detox, most patients will feel better than they have felt in a long time.
  • The average stay at Novus is between 5-14 days, often far less than the time required to recover from the effects of the “rapid detox.”
  • When you leave Novus, you will not be on new medications to handle discomforts created by your detox.


A study was done on this procedure entitled “Anesthesia-Assisted vs. Buprenorphine- or Clonidine-Assisted Heroin Detoxification and Naltrexone Induction: A Randomized Trial”, a report produced by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and published in 2005 by the Journal of American Medicine.
In an editorial accompanying the JAMA report, Dr. Patrick O’Connor wrote:

  • Anesthesia-assisted detoxification should have no significant role in the treatment of opioid dependence. When detoxification is provided to patients, other approaches using clonidine, methadone, or buprenorphine are likely to be at least as effective as anesthesia-assisted detoxification and also are safer and far less costly.

Dr. Eric Collins of Columbia University Medical Center, a co-author of the study said,

  • Anyone who tells you it’s painless can only honestly be referring to the period the person is under anesthesia.
There is hope for a new life.Call to speak to one of our experienced & caring detox advisors today!


Three treatment groups were created. One group received ultra-rapid detox and were anesthesized for about four hours. During this time, a powerful drug was injected into the person’s bloodstream that forced the patients into withdrawal. After they came out of the anesthesia, the patients had to be given additional drugs for withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Painful aches in muscles and joints

Eighty percent of the rapid detox patients dropped out of follow-up recovery treatment. Almost 10% of the patients suffered life-threatening events despite taking very careful safety measures.

The study showed that rapid detox:

  • Can be life-threatening;
  • Is not pain-free
  • Patients’ withdrawal were as severe as those of addicts undergoing other detox approaches
  • Has no advantage over other methods


In 2005, the American Society of Addiction Medicine reversed its five-year policy supporting rapid drug detox, saying the procedure has “uncertain risks and benefits, and its use in clinical settings is not supportable.”


All rapid detox procedures involve the use of a general (meaning whole body) anesthesia to fully and completely knock the person out so that they will not be conscious of the trauma their body is enduring. One of the best ways to understand the risks of anesthesia is to look at an anesthesia waiver required by a hospital. This is an excerpt of one published on the internet by University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas.


TO THE PATIENT: You have the right as a patient to be informed about your condition and the recommended anesthetic to be used so that you may make the decision whether to undergo the procedure after knowing the risks and hazards involved. This disclosure is not meant to scare or alarm you; it is simply an effort to make you better informed so you may give or withhold your consent to the procedure.
I (we) understand that the anesthesia planned for my surgery is _________________________________________________.
I (we) realize the anesthesia may have to be changed possibly without explanation to me (us). I (we) understand that certain complications may result from the use of any anesthetic including respiratory problems, drug reaction, paralysis, brain damage or even death. Other risks and hazards which may result from the use of general anesthetics range from minor discomfort to injury to vocal cords, teeth or eyes. I (we) understand that the risks and hazards resulting from spinal or epidural anesthetics include headache and chronic pain.
Below are definitions and explanations about each type of anesthesia that I (we) have reviewed prior to signing this consent.
a. General Anesthesia: Causes a patient to be unconscious during surgery. The medication is either inhaled through a breathing mask or tube placed into the trachea (wind pipe) and/or given through a thin plastic tube inserted into a vein.
b. Additional risk of this type of anesthesia includes permanent organ damage, including the brain, heart or other major organs and memory dysfunction/memory loss. Awareness (being awake) during your surgery is a rare complication.


There comes a time in most addicted people’s lives where they have decided that they must stop using drugs. Once they’ve made the decision, they just want it to be over with as soon as possible and with a minimum of pain, sickness and discomfort.
Drugs that need a safe, medically-assisted withdrawal include:

  • Heroin
  • Methadone
  • OxyContin
  • Oxycodone
  • Vicodin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Morphine

Most of our patients tell us that they have tried to stop prior to coming to Novus Medical Detox Center for treatment, but the pain was too great and they resumed taking the substance they were trying to quit.


There is an old saying that if something sounds too good to be true, it is. Rapid detox sounds like a great solution, but the problems and risks outweigh any potential benefits. For a safer, more effective and more comfortable drug detox…

There is hope for a new life. Call to speak to one of our experienced & caring detox advisors today!

Recent Blog Articles

Rapid Drug Detox: Six Reasons …

For nearly two decades, rapid opiate detox programs have been touted in the media and on the Internet as “the big new detox thing”, and… Learn more.

App Connects Naloxone Carriers…

Since 1996, when community-based organizations first began to distribute naloxone, the life-saving drug is estimated to have reversed over 26,000… Learn more.

The Novus Prescription Drug Bo…

THE CONSEQUENCE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM Some say that it is intended and others say that it is unintended, but one certain consequence of President… Learn more.
Email Us

SUBSCRIBE to our weekly newsletter