Drug Detox under Anesthesia vs. Conventional Drug Detox

This article is written to assist users to make an informed educated decision pertaining to the treatment options for opiate dependence. On occasions we encounter patients inquiring about drug detox in general. There seems to be some degree of confusion as how a user should proceed with drug detox.

Surprisingly, most patients choose the conventional method of drug detox to find that a daily dose of medication is still required to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. Some of these patients continue with this method of treatment. But other patients still feel restrained and not free.

For the patients that proceed with the unconventional method of drug detox, i.e. detox under anesthesia, sedation detox, anesthesia assisted detox, or rapid detox, it is clear that the user chose to stay free of drugs.

In both situations, critical issues related to family, employment, financial, and health surface as very powerful and determining factors to make lifetime commitments to be again a functional branch in society.

Below, find the differences between each method of drug detox, whether conventional or non-conventional.

Conventional Drug Detox:

Enrolling in one of these conventional drug detox treatment programs requires a lengthy stay at that facility. Anywhere from 2-4 weeks of in-patient therapy is the time needed to accomplish the treatment protocols at such a center. That is time lost from work, time without being with your loved ones. When enrolled in this conventional method of drug detox, the patient is given another replacement “œopioid”, like Suboxone! Being an opiate, Suboxone cannot be stopped without feeling the withdrawal symptoms just like coming off Heroin, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Morphine, Oxycodone, OxyContin, Tramadol or Vocodin! You will learn that a daily dose of Suboxone has to be taken by mouth. Suboxone prescriptions will be dispensed by a certified physician at regular timely intervals to assure compliance with the program. Bimonthly visits to the Suboxone certified prescriber are part of the treatment program. After all that time that was spent for this inpatient treatment, dollars spent, and effort, the patient is given another opioid that cannot be discontinued! You will realize, sometime in your life, Suboxone will need to be detoxified too! Most insurance cover this method of detox.

Similarly, another replacement opioid is Methadone. This drug is given in Methadone Clinics. Daily visits to these clinics are required. With Methadone use there is more divergence and worsening addiction. We have seen many patients using large doses of Methadone. Eventually, Methadone will need to be detoxified too!

That was the conventional method of drug detox. In this context, the patient is preoccupied and not free of opiates.

The Unconventional Method of Drug Detox i.e. Detox under Anesthesia:

The one distinctive aspect of this method is being free from opiates, not replacing one opiate with another.  All opiates are removed from the brain receptors while the patient is sedated under anesthesia. That means, the bulk of the withdrawal symptoms occur during sedation. Some remnant of these withdraws lag over the next 2 days. Insomnia will last for about 2 weeks, but can be managed with medications. During this method of drug detox under anesthesia an opiate blocker, Naltrexone, is placed under the skin acting as a shield against all opiates, preventing them from getting back into the brain receptors. The user is free of all opiates after this method. Proponents of the conventional method are concerned about the side effects during anesthesia. But with adequate preparation for the protocol, patient selection, and compliance would greatly improve outcomes with this method. This procedure when performed by a knowledgeable anesthesiologist and medical doctor improves outcomes tremendously. Medical Insurance does not cover this method of detox. Patients have to pay for such services. This method is done in an outpatient setting since no major surgical intervention is required. By doing so the price is contained and the detox becomes more affordable. However some proponents of this method perform the procedure in a private hospital setting jacking up the price and cost would be an issue. For some, it is cost prohibitive.

Whichever method you choose, it is advisable to maintain a close contact with a therapist, a counselor, group meetings, or church groups and family support. A patient has to stay focused and remain alert as temptations are so common and prevalent.

I hope these differences clarify any confusion between the two methods, and help patients make the right and informed decisions regarding their treatment options.

At MDS Drug Detox we chose the unconventional method of drug detox under anesthesia to help users who want to be free from all opiates. If you need further assistance, please call us at 888-637-6968, and we will help you make the appropriate decision. A professional is available to answer all questions 24/7. We are here to help you.

Thank you.

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