- What has been your success rate?
- What is Narcotic dependence?
- What are the different ways to detoxify from narcotics?
- How Does the Accelerated Opiate Detox Program Work?
- What is Naltrexone Therapy, and why is it important?
- How long should I be on Naltrexone Therapy?
- Is AOD effective for detoxing from methadone, Suboxone® (buprenorphine) and Subutex?
- Are there any risks and side effects?
- How do patients feel during the detox?
- What happens after the detoxification?
- What is the risk of overdosing after completing treatment?
- What is the follow up with your facility?
- What does Accelerated Opiate Detox cost?
We have been performing the Accelerated Opiate Detox since 2001. To date, we have successfully detoxed over 98% of patients.
Narcotic dependence is a medical condition where a person has been taking a narcotic (Opiates, Heroin, Methadone, Suboxone® or other painkillers) and their body becomes physically dependent on the substance. Drug dependence often happens very quickly: Heroin can be addictive after only one use, and other narcotics can take as little a week or two for a user to become dependent. After someone develops a narcotic tolerance, they’ll experience very painful withdrawal symptoms if they don’t use it. Without medical assistance, withdrawal typically takes about 10 days and includes extreme discomfort and pain, diarrhea, sweats, sleeplessness and abdominal cramps. Most people are unable to tolerate the symptoms without professional help.
There are a number of ways to detoxify from narcotics.
- Accelerated Opiate Detoxification: This outpatient approach uses sedative medicines and Naltrexone to help patients safely and comfortably detox in as few as three days. At our clinics, 98% of patients successfully complete their detox, without the risks and costs of general anesthesia, or the need to take an extended break from their daily responsibilities.
- Self Detox: Also known as “cold turkey,” a person who self detoxes simply stops using the opiates, without any medical or professional support. This approach is so uncomfortable that most patients are unable to tolerate the pain and end up using drugs again.
- Inpatient Detoxification: This method can be very expensive and requires people to take a break from their daily responsibilities and life. Many insurance companies will not pay for people to stay in inpatient care long enough to fully detox.
- Methadone or Suboxone®: This common approach uses opiates to help people detox from another opiate. A clinic guides patients through a weeks-long taper period, where the individual begins uses Methadone or Suboxone® in place of another, more dangerous opiate. Unfortunately, while they may be legal, both of these medications are also highly addictive opiates — so many people end up trading one addiction for another.
- Ultra Rapid Detoxification (URD): This inpatient, hospital-based method involves putting patients under anesthesia and pushing the drugs out of their system in as little as five minutes. URD has a 100% completion rate, but it comes with a high cost and serious medical risks — including death.
The Accelerated Opiate Detox is an outpatient detoxification performed in one of our 10 medical clinics nationwide.
- Before patients arrive: We medically screen them to ensure they’re a good fit for our process. Patients must stay off their narcotics for 8 – 16 hours before beginning their detox.
- During the detox: Patients come to our clinic for guided care and to receive medicines that help with their withdrawal symptoms.
- On the final day: Patients fast after midnight, take a dose of sedatives and arrive at the clinic in the morning. They stay in a private, comfortable room with a bed where we insert an IV line and monitor the patient closely. Over a 6- to 8-hour period, we use medicines called “narcotic antagonists” to gradually push the opiates out of their brains, until their bodies completely clear and detox. The patient may experience a small amount of discomfort, but we provide sedatives to help ease any symptoms.
- After the detox: We release the patient and start on Naltrexone therapy, usually with the Naltrexone implant.
We require each patient to have a support person who stays with them throughout the detox duration and 48 hours after their detox. Patients are not allowed to drive and must be monitored at all times.
Naltrexone is a non-addictive medicine that blocks the opiate receptors in a person's brain, which means patients don’t crave drugs or alcohol when they’re taking it. And if they happen to relapse, the medicine prevents them from feeling high.
Although patients can take Naltrexone orally, we’ve found that many people either forget or choose not to take it — so they’re more like to relapse. In order to improve these results, we provide two specially compounded Naltrexone options for patients, depending on their unique circumstances and needs.
We believe that patients should receive Naltrexone therapy for the first 12 months of their recovery. This approach gives the patient a chance to have their brain physically recover from the damage narcotics cause — while freeing them from cravings, so they can begin focusing on the psychological aspects of staying clean.
Naltrexone prevents them from relapsing back to narcotic use and gives the patients a chance to start making changes in their lives and building up a support program.
We have found that this detox works particularly well for methadone, Suboxone® (buprenorphine) and Subutex, as long as we extend the Accelerated Detox Program from its standard 3-8 days. We are able to safely and comfortably detox patients from even very high doses of these long-acting opiates.
As with any medical procedure, there are some possible risks if patients:
- Do not follow through with the physician's instructions,
- Do not come in for their scheduled appointments, or
- Take more medicine than prescribed.
Unlike Ultra Rapid Detox — which we do not offer because it has caused a number of deaths — the Accelerated Opiate Detox procedure is extremely safe.
On the initial detox day, patients will be in mild to moderate withdrawal, but we will give them medicine to dramatically reduce any symptoms. Throughout the rest of the detox, patients typically sleep a lot, eat well, have mild amnesia and report feeling quite comfortable.
Following the detox, patients often experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). During this recuperation period after detox, the brain receptors are healing and endorphin levels are rising back to a normal level. No matter which route a patient chooses to detox, there will always be a post-acute withdrawal phase. These vary a lot from person to person but tend to only last a few weeks. If a patient is having difficulty with post-acute withdrawal, our physicians can call in medications to help.
We believe strongly that detoxification without appropriate follow-up and treatment is almost always unsuccessful. Therefore, we strongly encourage all of our patients to participate in an appropriate treatment program. This should include 12-step programs and professional therapy. We expect that all patients will identify and begin therapy with an appropriate substance abuse treatment facility in their area as soon as possible following the detoxification.
Studies show that patients can commonly overdose and even die following periods of abstinence from narcotics. This can occur because their tolerance is much lower than when they were actively using.
Naltrexone is extremely good at making people abstinent, but when the Naltrexone wears off, patients will have very low opiate tolerance. Following any Naltrexone therapy, it is extremely easy for them to use too much heroin and have an overdose, which can be fatal. The Naltrexone is not causing the low tolerance, but instead the length of abstinence.
Patients need to clearly understand that if they choose abstinence, their lowered narcotic tolerance means that any relapse could be fatal.
We are available on a continuing basis. Feel free to call us anytime, and we’ll respond as soon as possible.
We base our pricing on the specific type of opiate the patient is using and which TCI location they’ll visit. Please call for exact pricing. If you need help with financing, we may be able to provide a referral to a third-party affiliate. We accept all major credit cards. Worker's Compensation may also cover the cost of this treatment.