Addiction Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Rapid Detox

My brother has been going to methadone clinic for a year - he takes a 70mg dose- Over the holidays he started using xanex as well.  Our family has confronted him about this and he says he wants to get off the methadone.  He thinks if he goes through rapid detox to get off the methadone and then goes to a counseler  - all will be well.  Any thoughts or suggestions?  I don't want to see my family pay 10K for a treatment that doesn't work or just addresses the chemical part of the addiction.
5 Responses
666151 tn?1311114376
I am not a fan of rapid detox.  I try to keep an open mind-- there are a number of pathways to sobriety and what works for one person may not be the answer for someone else...   but my problem with rapid detox is that opiate dependence is a life-long problem, and rapid detox addresses the easiest part of addiction- getting through the physical withdrawal.

Many people, particularly those in early stages of addiction, think that if they can only get through withdrawal all will be well...  but those in late addiction will attest that the physical withdrawal is not the biggest problem.  In later stages of addiction the addict will be miserable enough to find the motivation to get through the physical withdrawal, but then later, just as the addict starts to feel better, he relapses!  Or sometimes the relapse will occur after 3 months, or a year... but in the absence of either recovery or a maintenance agent, active addiction generally returns.

There have been suicides, or cases of patients digging the naltrexone implants from under the skin...  there are also studies that evaluated the level of discomfort, and found that the benefit from rapid detox-- even when considering just the physical part of withdrawal-- were insignificant.

The money would be better spent toward a 30 day residential program followed by at least 2 months in a halfway house-- studies of opiate dependence show quite clearly that the odds of finding sobriety go up substantially with 90 days residential.  Shorter-term programs have much lower success rates, unless followed by longer stays in halfway houses of in recovering communities such as the ones in Prescott AZ.

46174 tn?1223881264
Your brother has a common misconception which has been brought about, unfortunately, by some Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification (UROD) centers intent on simply making money from the procedure and not on actually treating the addiction. Without exception UROD must always be followed immediatley by the same ************** program which any opiate addict must undergo. UROD is a beneficial treatment specifically for individuals who want to get off methadone. It DOES NOT cure addiction nor does it prevent all physical withdrawal symptoms, and it does nothing for psychological withdrawal or furutre drug craving. Seeing a 'counselor' does not either. A structured drug rehabilitation program is a must, or the money for UROD is a complete waste. That said, methadone is difficult to get off of because of protracted withdrawal and severity of withdrawal symptoms...and UROD can make the difference for success.

An addict should NEVER be making choices regarding the treatment plan that is best for them. Instead, a professional from a SAMSHA approved treatment center should make that determination...just as a cardiologist might decide on heart treatment. Addicts want the 'easier, softer way'. Your brothers plan will never work and paying for treatment he is running is the same as buying him drugs...you will love him to death.  

An addiction professional~
Avatar universal
also not a fan of rapid detox.....
i am just throwing out a few options here
maybe you could help him taper, does he get take homes?
or call local mental health center and ask them what day they take walk-ins
try for a referal to a more cost efficient tx plan
then there's na, its free
and the people there will know how to get into a detox that is self pay
you can also check out a book called no more letting go, i read it when my husband was on methadone, i wanted to help him, this book gave me several options
one more thought.....
mixing methadone and xanax is a deadly combination, if you feel that his life is in danger, you can take him to the ER asap
he's lucky to have a sis like you, addiciton is a family disease, takes the entire family down, if he refuses help, please check out narcanon, for your sanity
happy new year
Avatar universal
Also not a fan of rapid opiate detox. No first hand experience but I know people who have had it done, both patients and friends, and most say they wouldnt do it again. Then again,as the other posters have commented that doesnt mean that it is 'all bad'.  It has some benefits and I think to sit down with an addicition medicine specialist who doesnt have a personal bias in either direction(ie, rapid detox, traditional 30 day programs or quick several  day detox with a rapidly  tapering  dose of methadone) Suboxone is certainly another option but I believe that it is probably best to get the dose down to at least 30 mg before starting on suboxone therapy. good luck to you both.  
Avatar universal
Thanks to all who have commented- I have forwarded to my family and am still praying.
Popular Resources
Is treating glaucoma with marijuana all hype, or can hemp actually help?
If you think marijuana has no ill effects on your health, this article from Missouri Medicine may make you think again.
Julia Aharonov, DO, reveals the quickest way to beat drug withdrawal.
Tricks to help you quit for good.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.