Understanding Rapid Opiate Detox Under Anesthesia
The time has arrived to pursue addiction treatment for a serious opiate addiction, but fear of opiate withdrawal and detox may feel so overwhelming that you hesitate. You know the addiction is destroying your life and impacting everyone you care for, so why is it so difficult to pull the trigger and enter treatment?
There is no way to sugar coat the reality that opiate detox is very unpleasant. In fact, due to the severity of the symptoms experienced during detox, a large percentage of addicts simply go back to using. But there are detox options and methods that can drastically reduce the severity and timeline of this initial phase of addiction treatment, including rapid opiate detox under anesthesia.
What are Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms?
The opiate/opioid category of drugs encompasses heroin and prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone, fentanyl, hydrocodone, meperidine, hydromorphone, and codeine. When someone who has developed a dependency to opiates decides to get clean, they will experience highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms with hours of last using the drug. These symptoms mimic extreme versions of flu symptoms, accompanied by psychological symptoms as well.
Opiate withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Runny nose
- Tearing eyes
- Profuse sweating
- Muscle pain
- Poor sleep quality
- Cramping and diarrhea
- Chills and goosebumps
- Dilated pupils
The severity of the withdrawal symptoms varies based on how entrenched the addiction is, frequency of use, dosing, the specific drug used, physical and mental health status.
What are the Differences Between Standard Detox and Rapid Opiate Detox?
Standard opiate or opioid detoxification is usually carried out in a medically supervised setting where withdrawal symptoms can be monitored. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications will be prescribed to assist with various symptoms, such as gastrointestinal distress, insomnia, anxiety, and fever. Opiate withdrawals usually last a few days to a week or longer, although psychological symptoms can linger for weeks. Psychological symptoms include fatigue, depression, irritability, concentration, anxiety, and insomnia.
Rapid opiate detox under anesthesia significantly reduces the time and discomforts of the withdrawal phase by placing the patient under general anesthesia and basically flushing the toxins from the body. The patient will receive opiate blockers, anti-nausea medications, and muscle relaxants through an intravenous line. Physical detoxification from the opiates occurs within 4-8 hours, and is performed in a hospital. This rapid detox method may be beneficial to those who have been unable to complete standard detox due to severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Pros and Cons of Rapid Opiate Detox Under Anesthesia
Rapid opiate detox does carry some risks as well as rewards:
Pros of rapid detox
- Shortens the detox period dramatically
- Reduces the discomforts of the drug withdrawal symptoms
- Helps keep addict from giving up and not receiving needed treatment
Cons of rapid detox
- Risks and hazards associated with general anesthesia
- Still may require follow treatment for muscle aches, diarrhea and vomiting, etc.
- Very costly
Rapid opiate detox under anesthesia must be administered in a hospital setting, usually in the operating room, with licensed physicians present throughout the procedure to monitor the patient.
The Treatment Specialist Resources for Detox
Detoxing from heroin or other opiates can be a painful and grueling experience. For assistance with this important step toward recovery, please contact a treatment center today at (866) 644-7911.