Understanding Rapid Detox

By The Fix staff 03/05/18

Suffering through detox does not have to be the first step to getting sober.

Waismann Method Hospital
Allowing people to suffer through withdrawal is cruel, unproductive and with no therapeutic value.

For people considering getting off opioids such as heroin, Oxycodone, Suboxone and Methadone, the idea of going through detox and dealing with the overwhelming withdrawal symptoms can be a huge barrier. After all, many people suffering from substance use disorder continually seek their dose in order to avoid the dreadful withdrawal symptoms. The idea of confronting their physical dependence can be incredibly daunting, particularly for those addicted to powerful opioids.

Medical detoxification programs are often recommended as the best option to help individuals overcome their physical dependence on opioids. Unfortunately, some drug treatment programs use a “one size fits all” approach to detoxification. These programs place every patient through the same treatment protocol without considering his or her unique personal preferences, psychological history, or even health condition.

The Waismann Method Opioid Treatment Program has established itself as the premier opioid detox in the nation for its commitment to a safer, more humane approach to opioid treatment. Rather than detoxing in a group facility, surrounded by strangers who are also fighting their own demons, individuals who choose the Waismann Method® receive top-level medical care in a private room of an accredited hospital. Physicians and addiction experts work with each patient to conduct a comprehensive assessment and develop a personalized detoxification protocol. Once in the hospital, patients receive around-the-clock medical supervision and medications to manage the uncomfortable symptoms of opioid withdrawal. For some, the individualized protocol might include a rapid detox option, which shortens the withdrawal duration while also ensuring patients’ comfort through the use of sedation.

“The idea behind our treatment is to provide opioid-dependent patients the best available medical techniques to safely and comfortably overcome the withdrawal symptoms, while also curbing the physical cravings, which are often a cause of relapse,” says Clare Waismann, a drug and alcohol counselor and founder of the Waismann Method®.

“Allowing people to suffer through withdrawal is cruel, unproductive and with no therapeutic value. Additionally, there is no reason to put someone's health in jeopardy through an unsupervised and painful detox.”

After patients get past the medical detoxification phase, they undergo an individualized emotional evaluation to help identify the root causes of the substance use. Care providers often encounter issues including abuse, trauma, anxiety disorder, depression or other untreated mental health conditions.

“In our treatment program we don't see or treat addiction as a disease,” Waismann explains. “Instead, we treat the ‘patient’ who is suffering from the addiction. We believe that opioid addiction is a symptom or a consequence of a distressing underlying condition which has not been properly treated. It could be a physical condition, an emotional condition, and often it is both. Individuals struggling with opioid addiction are self-medicating to alleviate pain. Unfortunately, this type of remedy leads to continuous drug use, followed by tolerance, dependence, and eventually opioid addiction.”

Individuals fly from all over the world to undergo opioid detox at the Waismann Method. The treatment begins with thorough medical evaluation so Dr. Michael Lowenstein, the medical director, can evaluate patients’ unique health needs, history of substance dependence, and personal preferences in order to determine the most adequate and effective course of treatment.

Approximately 70 percent of people are candidates and choose to undergo a rapid detox treatment. In these cases, patients begin admission at the hospital at least one day before the procedure. That extra day allows for a comprehensive medical evaluation to ensure the safety and effectiveness of treatment. Furthermore, medical management of any co-occurring medical conditions is essential to provide a smooth detoxification process.

The next day, patients receive the rapid detox treatment in a private room in the intensive care unit. Patients are placed under sedation so that they can sleep during the withdrawal process. This detoxification option avoids the worst part of an opioid withdrawal, which can be distressing for patients to experience and overcome. After the completion of the rapid detox treatment, patients remain in the hospital overnight or until physically ready to go into our private recovery retreat for a few days. At this point, oral naltrexone or Vivitrol therapy can be initiated to minimize cravings and reduce the risk of relapse.

Image via Waismann Method Rapid Detox

For individuals who do not qualify for Rapid Detox or simply prefer not to be under anesthesia, other medical detoxification options are available. Instead of anesthesia, doctors work to manage the withdrawal symptoms while controlling the vital signs medically. The goal is also to achieve full detoxification while maintaining patients’ safety, privacy and comfort.

“Because we provide treatment in a full-service, accredited hospital, patients have access to numerous medical specialists and resources,” Waismann says. “Elderly patients or those with more complex medical histories may not be suitable candidates for anesthesia-assisted detox or commonly referred to as Rapid Detox. However, they still benefit from safely and privately withdrawing in a hospital environment, which makes the detox better tolerated and far more comfortable than other methods.”

Whether patients undergo rapid detox or another medical detoxification protocol, they conclude their care at the Domus Retreat, an exclusive recovery center. Recovering from opioid dependence causes the body to go through a significant adjustment, both physically and emotionally. Chronic opioid use disrupts many physiological functions. Thus, patients need time for their bodies to re-regulate. The supportive staff at Domus Retreat provides guests with the much needed around-the-clock care. There are no groups or chores, which makes Domus the best place to be during the early days of their recovery.

“There are no miracles when treating drug addiction,” says Waismann. “However, as healthcare professionals, we have a responsibility to use our skills and experience to benefit the people who need it most. Our goal is that one day every person struggling with opioid dependence will have access to a safe, compassionate and effective medical detoxification. By treating our patients with dignity, respect and by easing their suffering, we can provide them with a much better chance to achieve successful and long-lasting recovery."

Image via Waismann Method Rapid Detox

Waismann Method Rapid Detox is an opiate detoxification treatment program serving clients in Beverly Hills, California. Connect on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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