Avatar universal

Info re rapid detox program


My son has been on Methadone for 15 years and is desperate to get off the methadone and has been looking at the Rapid Detox programs.  I am looking for the research success rate and the dangers and so far I found the actual centers which of course promote this treatment because they are selling it but I would like some real info.  I have read quite a few notes from personal experience which have made me even more skeptical about this procedure but these notes are quite a number of years old.  I was wondering if anyone has tried this rapid detox more recently ..if maybe there have been improvements in the treatment and results.

I have tried finding a center in Canada but cannot seem to find one..I have called Toronto with no result even some in the states which I had found on the Internet but who no longer offer this treatment even the one in florida which Dr. Phil recommended a few years back are no longer offering it which leads me to think that this treatment is not working and also might be dangerous.

Would anyone  able to provide me with information regarding this Rapid Detox treatment treatment where the patient is put to sleep and within a few hours they are detoxed off of their opiate addiction and put on  Neltrexone for a few months or sometimes a year to help them stay clean.

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
20 Responses
4202953 tn?1377183506
Hi and welcome! I'm so happy that your son is ready to get off the methadone and take his life back! I don't really know much about methadone since I strictly dealt with pain pills, but there are a TON of people on here that do. I think you'll hear some good news and be given some good advice. It tends to be slow during the day so don't get discouraged if you don't get a lot of replies quickly :). Your son will get the support he needs to get off the methadone. You've come to the right place!
Avatar universal
You came to the right place. I myself looked into rapid detox at one time when I wanted off methadone after 5 years of being on it. The doctor informed me it would not work with methadone reason being is it metabolized differently in the body and they had not had any success with it. I know the horrors of methadone use all to well so my suggestion would be another route. This is what I did;

At first I weened myself from the methadone by replacing them with another opiate. This wasn't easy because I had to lie to the doctors I saw to get the opiates because I found when I told them the truth about what I was doing the were reluctant to help so I simply went to 2 different doctors and got prescriptions for pain meds then I just replaced the pain meth with pain meds and did this for about a month. Next I found a Suboxone doctor and told him the truth about my situation and I was placed on suboxone. I stayed on suboxone for 6 mo and then began a long, very slow taper. It took 10 mo to get completely off and since that time, 10 yrs ago, I remained relatively clean. What I mean by that is I didn't get it perfect. We have to be realistic about this and even though I didn't get it perfect the quality of my life greatly improved and the first slip I made after 3 yrs was quickly nipped in the bud. The second  and third slip were the same. If your saying to yourself "well that didn't help" you have to understand I'm talking about a 10 yr period and let's be real, this is a deadly disease fought on a daily basis. I never had the need to return to methadone and my life is so much better now that I've learned to manage my disease.

I know the medical system in Canada is different than here in the us so I don't know what your options are. Good luck.
4810126 tn?1503942735
Hi there & Welcome. Thanks for reaching out! Would you be able to tell us a little more about your son: What dose is he currently on & how long has he been on Methadone?

I was on my last clinic for 20 yrs. I looked into the very detox you're talking about & nixed the idea for a variety of reasons. a) It was over the top financially. b) You can't stay there -- you're in a hotel & have to  provide your own transport. c) I googled complaints & discovered that people were leaving with Suboxone prescriptions. d) The center is awfully vague on the actual medical mechanics of 'readjusting neurotransmitters' (paraphrase) during the procedure. e) There are other detoxes where you can get vitamin drips & healthy food. The thing that I especially felt was a red flag was that they were willing to take patients off of high doses of Methadone. (M'done is a full synthetic & stores in bone & fat tissue.So, a slow taper is indicated in order to allow the drug to leach from your system & so that the trauma of the eventual detox is not so abrupt.)

Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet. Even if the procedure is safely done, my personal opinion is that it is a major shock to the body/mind in too  short period of time -- even more so than cold turkey & that you still will feel rough for months afterwards. Methadone/Suboxone are arguably the two most difficult opiates to come off of [if the person has taken them long enough.]

I completely understand & support your son's desire to come off of Methadone & It's ABSOLUTELY doable but it's no day at the beach. So, it's best to prepare well for this. Would it be possible to get him to the site so that we could talk some more  & he  could see that people have done this successfully. It's really inspiring. There are quite a few ex-M'doner's & other folks who would be honored to share their hard won wisdom & support him through this. (I couldn't have gotten to 8 mos. without MH!) He's got you in his corner & that's great. There are other possibilities for detox & rehab. Please, if you could answer the question re: dose & time, it would really help. Thanks! We're here & we're pulling for you both.
Avatar universal
He has been on methadone for 15 years and he is presently down to 67ml
4810126 tn?1503942735
Hi there (me again)

Do you think he'd be willing to come & talk to us? How are you doing?
67 mgs. is a high dose to go to detox on. He should really taper down. Is he on a clinic?
1235186 tn?1549257619
please use the medhelp search at the top right of the page, enter either
rapid detox or waissman method.
you will read a lot of threads about this same topic.

these methods of detox are very controversial. there have been deaths linked to these type of procedures.
they cost in the range of $15,000.

with any rapid detox, even if he went to a detox center for a week the physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal and detoxing from an opiate take several months with different stages as time goes on.

he should continue to taper his dosage of methadone as he is now. yes it is a slow process but that has the best outcome for success and to help prevent relapse.
is he going to a counselor, therapist? attending any support groups?
does he exercise, eat a healthy diet, stay away from the people, places and things associated with his drug addiction?
is methadone the only substance that he is on?
does he drink alcohol or take benzos?

slow and steady wins the race..... how much is his drop in dosage each week? how long has he been tapering? what was his highest dose?
Avatar universal
There is no magic easy answer.  These rapid detox places don't work. It ***** but there is no easy way out.
At rapid detox they use a drug that blocks the receptors but what happens is the withdrawal is far worst that before. And once you take that med you can't take the drug of choice because it blocks. Success rates from my memory are very low.
Bottom line is there is no easy way to get out. Have to taper down and then after treatment programs.
4810126 tn?1503942735
Thank you Ballgame  (also atthebeach) ! I couldn't agree more & It's a pet peeve of mine that there are places out there that would deceive like this. I don't know ANYONE who's been on a substantial dose of opiates for an appreciable length of time that this has worked for. In fact, I personally believe that it made it harder for them in terms of healing (they were promised a miracle) & relapsed when it was super difficult. In point of fact, what they do to you is throw you into precipitated w/d's (even though they put you 'under', it's so traumatic!!)
1796826 tn?1578874779
I think every former addict (or "recovering addict" depending on your epistemology around addiction) will pretty agree on two things: 1) Withdrawal sux and 2) Your long-term support-system is critical to preventing relapse.

As has been previously stated, "rapid" detox for a long-acting opiate is at some levels, impossible. Regardless, when you do get through withdrawal, it takes a long-term plan to stay clean. I'd focus your energies less on figuring out a way to get through withdrawals, and more on what kind of systemic support you'll put in place long-term.
1235186 tn?1549257619
The recovery road is a marathon not a sprint.
It is a long and winding road.

Staying clean requires work on a daily basis.
Recovery is a process, there is no cure for addiction.
Your son can be free of the chains and bondage of addiction,
He needs to take it one day at a time.
4522800 tn?1470325834
Hi. Well about a year ago I called one of those places and they said because of my High Dose on Methadone for 12years they could not do this at all do to the Methadone..BUT they said I could go on the F-patch and then they could..Well I am SO glad I did not do it that way because I have read a lot about it lately. Just one of those things that sounded to good to be true..Right!!
My question would be if he is getting this prescribe or from a clinic he should continue to do a nice and easy taper with the DR and they can help prescribe some thing to make the w/ds a bit less intense. I would recommend it because I did a cold turkey with out ANYTHING for a while and it was no walk in the park for a long time. They can give him some Clonidine which is BP med and it will help with sleep and anxiety. When I finally broke down and took it I only took it at night with some Buspar during the day. Only then for a short period.
I also would agree with the Above. If he wants to join here we have Many tips that we can give on what to use in a Natural way and something OTC that could help. Plus he needs Support to keep pushing and staying clean.
The mental and emotional battle will be the hardest. I wish you the best and to your Son too. Have him Join!!!
Avatar universal

He has tried going down gradually but then he starts getting sick ...this is the lowest he has been able to go.  He is followed by a clinic but they do not give anything else to help him off ....they don't want him to get hooked on something else.  They want him to get to 40ml in order to convert to a pill form of opiate which they claim has less side effects then the liquid methadone.  He has his hopes so hi on this Rapid Detox...he says he realizes he will still be sick once he wakes up but nothing compared to a regular detox and he feels at least he has a fighting chance to
Avatar universal
Has anyone used the Rapid Detox in Michigan....Clarity or MDS?

4810126 tn?1503942735
.Hi there,

To be honest. there's not much else that's stronger/worse that he can be hooked on. The fact is this: If your son TRULY wants off, he's going to have to go through a couple of months of discomfort. We did it & so can he!! BUT -- he's really got to want it. Rapid detox is the same wherever you go. The place that we were initially talking about is probably the safest & best in the country. You can get comfort meds like Clonidine, benzos & Neurontin from an understanding Dr. but that's about the extent of it.

As you've probably noticed, all of the above posters are in agreement about this. I know it's hard to see your son in pain but I'm here to tell you (at the age of 48 & a lonnnnng term heroin & M'done person) that he must do this for himself. It takes hard work. Period. Some of this work is physically grueling but he'll be SO glad that he did it. At least he'll have a chance at life again because I'll tell you -- he's not living ritght now & somehow he knows this. It's only after you detox that you realize how narrow your life had become -- how little you cared, felt, grieved or were able to engage. I'll reiterate, here, : This is a process & takes time & hard work. He/we have changed our actual neural/bodily chemistry over the years. Addicts use for emtional/stress-related reasons. This is what separates us from the 'physically dependent'. There IS NO magic bullet.

I know it's hard for a mother to hear this but the sooner you understand this, the sooner you can TRULY start to help him. I'm sorry for being so emphatic but I'd really like to be able to reach you guys so you can do the best for him. Clinics (in my [considerable] experience just don't tell you this stuff.)
Avatar universal
Look I wasn't going to come on here for fear of shocking you. My friend went into one of these places, a real plush UK one with all the bells and whistles and had a horrid time, he was only using Heroin, I say only just on the basis it leaves your system a whole lot faster than Methadone. He was woke up to find himself in a world of hurt, shakes, sweats, hallucinations all kinds of crazy, he left and went straight back on! If he had done a natural detox from heroin he would have felt pretty good after a week so that says it all in my mind! It cost his family a small fortune for nothing!!! Be wise my friend and stay well clear of them, I don't trust those clinics, money is all they want! Once your walking away a week later they don't mind if you go straight back on your DOC, more money on the revisit! He needs to taper and come down naturally, so much safer for all concerned. I wish you and him well.
4810126 tn?1503942735
Thanks Digger! You always manage to say what I'm not brave enough to say  directly or only hint at.  All power to you, my friend.
Avatar universal
I don't understand how the government could take a very young addict that is trying to detox off of heroin and tell them they need to go on methadone or else they will not make it ....hence getting them addicted to something far worse then heroin and something that they have no hope of getting off of.  I say the government because our rehab programs are funded by the government and run by their  rules and regulations....
1235186 tn?1549257619
unfortunately many people are misinformed about methadone and suboxone. they are told they will get off their drug of choice. yes that is true but now they have a new addiction that is harder to detox from.

people are desperate and believe what they are told without doing the research on their own.

your son will experience some discomfort and withdrawal symptoms as he is dropping on his methadone dose. he might be going to fast. there are some things that he can do to minimize and help reduce the symptoms.
there are really no way around them totally. the toxins have to leave the body and it isn't comfortable.

do you know how much he comes down and how often? what was the highest dose he was on?
495284 tn?1333894042
Those Rapid Detox Centers dont give 2 hoots about the patient.  It is all about the money.  We have had some people come thru this forum who have gotten real messed up from these places.  They can say all they want how great their center is but the bottom line is they arent.  It is dangerous.  You would be further ahead by spending the money and getting your son some long term in patient help.
Avatar universal
Agreed. Again think you're looking for the easy way out and this will only bring heartache and pain to all involved.
What happens is your body develops receptors in the brain. When body starts growing more that's tolerance. It's a cycle. Soon the drug isn't enough for the high because brain builds more receptors. So the person takes more of the meds. Stopping drugs leaves those receptors open....that's the withdrawal.  So there is no way for the body to absorbs the extra receptors in such a short time frame.  That's why I feel rapid doesn't work. Yes they can block the drugs but doesn't help with withdrawal
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495284 tn?1333894042
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