Jul 15, 2013
Just a few days ago yet another famous and successful young man was found dead from a drug overdose. Cory Monteith has been through many high priced drug rehabs, one just recently, but to no avail. And now the world is mourning another talented actor.
My partner and I run a rapid drug detox facility - MDS Drug Detox. We have detoxed hundreds of addicts successfully and keep most of them drug free. It bothers me immensely that we are not able to help more people stay off opiates and keep them healthy and alive. Every time I hear of a death of another young human being it hurts me that I was not able to help.
We are probably one of a dozen of places around the country that do rapid detox from opiates. WE offer an unparalleled level of care and have performed and sustained hundreds of detox procedures.
Yes, a rapid detox clinic can be built on a grand scale, in a spa like facility, or use a hospital wing - both of which will add on thousands to the cost and may jeopardize the privacy by exposing the patients’ chart to the JCAHO inspectors. All of which does nothing to improve patient safety, outcome or long term success.
We carefully screen patients, both psychological and physical; using protocols that are individualized to each patient, which can only be done after years of experience. We also provide unrestricted follow-up using long-term Naltrexone therapy.
Naltrexone therapy has been shown in study after study to be effective in minimizing cravings for opiates and preventing relapse. In fact, the longer one stays on Naltrexone therapy, the less likely they are to relapse.
By continuing Naltrexone therapy and encouraging patients to stay in touch with us, we significantly improve the long term success of their rapid detox treatment.
So why don't more people take advantage of this highly successful method of addiction treatment? Why do they insist on spending untold thousands of dollars and many months of their lives in artificial environment of spa-like rehabs that do nothing to teach them how to live in the real world? All that happens in those highly artificial environments is they meet other addicts and find new friends and new connections to new dealers and new ways of using once they are out. But it is in vogue and in high fashion to get clean in a fancy high priced rehab where the stars go. It is as easy to get clean and sober in such a spa as it is to lose twenty pounds in a fat farm eating bean sprouts and exercising eight hours a day.
What matters most is if you are able to sustain what you have achieved. Time after time it has been shown that such success in long term rehab facilities is ephemeral and extremely short lived. In fact, studies a have shown that general success rate of a standard rehab at a year is a measly 3 to 7%.
So what is stopping the wide spread use of rapid detox followed by long-term naltrexone therapy? I recently wrote a blog about patients who come to our facility to be detoxed from Suboxone and methadone which they were led to believe were treatments for their addiction. Instead they got addicted to these even more insidious legal opiates. I got plenty of positive responses from the addicts themselves, but when this blog was placed on the Addiction professionals’ forum the amount of negative blowback I received was incredible.
To my utter surprise, I realized that it was not the addicts that were closed minded to this physiologically logical and medically empirically proven procedure, but the addiction establishment itself. Layers and layers of addiction counselors, many of whom have been or still are addicts, remain deeply invested in traditional long term rehab as well as substitution therapy - what they call OMT - opiate maintenance therapy. Arguing with them is beyond useless, their life, livelihood and their theory of all existence depends on it. It matters not that patients came to us begging to detox them after years of being on OMT. These professionals actually compare these medications to insulin therapy. For me as a physician comparing a life threatening disease such as insulin dependent diabetes to opiate addiction that I know can be treated and overcome is utterly preposterous.
I cannot presume that I can break through the wall of the professional resistance that I have encountered from the Addiction counselors. They must be open-minded to understand the amazing possibility that the procedure that we do and the initiation of the long term receptor blockade offers to opiate addicts.
I can only pray and hope that less people die from drug overdose because of the intransigence of our professional community.