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Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification


Is ultra rapid opiate detoxification the addiction withdrawal symptom "silver bullet" as often claimed, or is it an extremely limited approach that, if not seen as a part of the overall addiction treatment process, is a potentially destructive treatment methodology that has been over-hyped?

Please continue reading to learn more about ultra rapid opiate detoxification.

Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification and Addiction Treatment

Ultra rapid opiate detoxification is also known as ultra rapid opiate detox, Rapid Opiate Detoxification (ROD), and rapid detox and has a relatively short, but controversial ten-year history.

This type of treatment focuses primarily on "withdrawal symptoms" and little, if anything else.

More to the point, ultra rapid opiate detoxification is a drug addiction detox method that centers on reducing the discomfort and pain associated with withdrawal symptoms experienced by drug addicts when they abruptly quit taking opiates such as heroin, methadone, and morphine.

As the treatment approach gained impetus, nevertheless, it expanded its applicability from focusing only on a method of administering opiate detox to a protocol that now is used to treat the withdrawal symptoms associated with the addiction to prescription drugs such as codeine, percocet, oxycontin, darvocet, and vicodin when these drugs are suddenly not taken.


Depending on the drug to which the drug dependent person is addicted, ultra rapid opiate detoxification is typically done in a detox center or in hospital that specializes in detoxification where the addict is "put under" (i.e., anesthetized) for at least 4 to 6 hours and in extreme circumstances, up to 48 or more hours.

After this phase of detoxification, the drug or drugs to which the person is addicted typically have, for the most part, been eliminated from the addicted person's blood system.

While under anesthesia, the drug dependent individual is also administered medications that help speed up the physical effects to the drug withdrawal symptoms.

The Positive Aspects of Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification

Thee are two primary benefits of this treatment protocol. First, the addict, while anesthetized, remains unaware of any pain or discomfort associated with the withdrawal process.

And second, after completing the detox process, the addicted individual is, for the most part, no longer dependent on the opiates or prescription drugs to which he or she has been addicted. In a word, ultra rapid opiate detoxification is a treatment approach that has the following key components:

  • It uses doctor-prescribed medications and anesthesia in a closely monitored clinical setting.
  • It addresses the addict's need to safely rid his or her body of the drugs that remain in his or her system.
  • It minimizes the pain and discomfort of the withdrawal symptoms that almost always occur when an addict suddenly stops taking the drug or drugs to which he or she is addicted.

The "Wonder Detox Method" Is Challenged

Ultra rapid opiate detoxification, in all likelihood, received its most challenging criticism in the late 1990s when seven patients under the medical guidance of Dr. Lance Gooberman died within days after receiving ultra rapid opiate detoxification.

When Gooberman was questioned about the method of treatment he chose for these patients, he stated that the patients who died either had undetected heart problems or induced their own heart attacks by taking cocaine.

A number of medical practitioners who also adhere to and administer the ultra rapid opiate detoxification methodology, however, claimed that Gooberman's procedure might have seriously overwhelmed the addicts' frail bodies, thus resulting in death.

Is Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification a Miracle Drug Addiction Treatment?

Ensuring that the withdrawal process is less dangerous, shorter, less uncomfortable, and less painful seems to be a drug addiction treatment "home run" but is it really?

Drug dependent individuals, as shown in the substance abuse literature, often take the "easy way out" or focus on the quick fix to their "problems." Not only this, but to the degree that effective and long lasting drug addiction recovery necessitates 100% abstinence as well as significant changes in one's lifestyle, such a "quick and easy" mentality is not often conducive to success in the long term.

In point of fact, according to one recent research study, chemically dependent individuals who received ultra rapid opiate detoxification still experienced withdrawal symptoms 24 hours after their detox treatment.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is the verifiable fact that 80 percent of the addicts who received this form of detoxification experienced a relapse within six months after treatment.

Addiction Problems With More Than One Drug

Another characteristic of chemically dependent individuals is that they may overcome their addiction to one drug such as oxycontin, but then become addicted to another drug, such as vicodin.

In other words, drug addicts typically do not experience "addiction problems" with only one drug. To be more specific, drug dependent people usually experience potential addiction problems with ANY and ALL mood-altering drugs or chemicals.

As a consequence of the limited and "quick fix" mentality exhibited by most drug addicts, a number of chemical dependency practitioners and researchers claim that after the detoxification process, addicts need to address and work through the primary issues that are at the root of their addiction if they are to experience productive and successful long-term recovery.

Such an endeavor, however, if it is to be effective and fruitful, usually involves a lot of effort, much time, self-reflection, brutal honesty, and an accurate assessment of one's moral and ethical behavior.

Regrettably, such "character traits" and the "difficult work" needed for "insight" needed for lasting recovery are almost diametrically opposed to the "course of least resistance" mentality that is manifested by many, if not most addicts.

Can Alcoholics or Cocaine Addicts Receive Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification?

Does the ultra rapid opiate detoxification approach "work" with cocaine addiction or with chronic alcoholism? Unfortunately, this treatment protocol is not available at this time for either alcoholism or cocaine dependency.

From a theoretical perspective, however, it would seem that this form of detoxification might eventually be generalized and expanded to apply to the whole family of chemical and drug addictions. As is frequently the case, however, more research is required before such an expansive approach is undertaken.

Conclusion: Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification

At the end of the day, even if the ultra rapid opiate detoxification methodology "works," it needs to be seen as merely one facet of the drug addiction recovery process.

More specifically, ultra rapid opiate detoxification is basically a treatment approach that targets "withdrawal symptoms" and little, if anything else.

If ultra rapid opiate detoxification is employed as a possible beneficial component in the chemical dependency rehab and recovery process, maybe it can become a key player in the treatment and recovery regimen.


If ultra rapid opiate detoxification, conversely, is viewed as the "magic bullet" of chemical dependency detox and recovery, then its reputation as a "miraculous cure" will not only be unreliable but perhaps more significantly, it may possibly result in death.

Please note: at this time, ultra rapid opiate detoxification has not been used with cocaine addicts or with alcoholics.

At least from a conceptual orientation, however, it would seem that those who are addicted to cocaine and/or to alcohol and who suffer from excessive withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop taking their drug of choice, may be able to receive rapid detoxification in the foreseeable future.

For now, the best advice is this: Stay informed about the latest research developments regarding this "hot" and controversial topic.