(832) 648-4412 [email protected]

Opioid withdrawal can be agonizing, especially if you quit cold turkey without any medical assistance. If you’re looking for an easy and fast way to detox from opioids, rapid drug detox may sound like a dream come true, but there are some hidden risks and costs you should know about before you commit.

What is Rapid Drug Detox?

Rapid drug detox is a drug detox method that involves sedating the client or putting them to sleep before flushing the opioids out of his or her system. This is usually accomplished with naloxone, an opioid antagonist, which breaks the opioid’s bond on the brain while the client sleeps.1 Naltrexone may also be used during this process.

Anesthesia-assisted rapid drug detox was developed during the 1980s to reduce the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and encourage people to enter addiction treatment programs.

This type of drug detox treatment generally takes place in a hospital or clinic and it is largely viewed as a controversial drug detox method because it has not been proven to be safe or effective, even though it has worked for some people. The American Society of Addiction Medicine does not recommend rapid drug detox and instead, encourages people to consider safer, alternative methods of drug detox, such as medically-assisted detox.2

How Long Does Rapid Drug Detox Take?

Rapid drug detox only takes a few days. Though this may seem ideal, the short duration of detoxification can put extreme stress on the body, increasing the risk of medical complications and negative side effects. Additionally, a person may be able to detox in a few days with rapid detox, but it won’t cure their addiction or address their addictive behaviors. Sustaining sobriety requires behavioral therapy, ongoing treatment in rehab, and time.

How Much Does Rapid Detox Cost?

Rapid drug detox can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000.3,4 Unfortunately, it is also unlikely to be covered by health insurance benefits because it is considered “experimental” by many insurance companies. Additionally, payment is often due upfront in one lump sum.

Health Risks and Side Effects of Rapid Drug Detox

There are many health risks and serious concerns regarding rapid drug detox. Some of the primary risks and side effects of rapid detox include:

  • Intensified symptoms of mental illness such as depression, panic disorder, depression, or anxiety
  • Complications caused by anesthesia medications
  • Increased blood sugar and metabolic issues
  • Pulmonary distress and fluid buildup in the lungs
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Organ failure
  • Death5

Due to these serious health risks, most people find that the risks of rapid detox far outweigh the benefits. The potential for relapse is also very high without further treatment.

Alternatives to Rapid Drug Detox in Houston

In reviewing the potential health risks and side effects of rapid detox, you may be having second thoughts about following through with the idea. Fortunately, medically-assisted drug detox is an excellent, safe, and effective alternative to rapid detox in Houston.

Although your aim may be to get sober as quickly and as easily as possible, recovering from substance use disorder takes time. There is no simple or fast cure. However, medical detox can provide medication-assisted treatment and therapeutic assistance to help make the detox process as safe and comfortable as possible. You are also much more likely to remain sober after completing a medical detox program because your treatment provider will likely offer clinical care to address psychiatric issues, provide rehab referrals, and help you prepare you for ongoing treatment in rehab.

A medical detox program may take longer, but it’s a much safer and more effective way to get sober. It’s also usually covered by health insurance benefits which can greatly reduce the price tag. Call Briarwood Detox Center today to learn more about our medical detox programs in Houston, TX. We’re here to help you start living your best life today.



  1. https://www.asam.org/advocacy/find-a-policy-statement/view-policy-statement/public-policy-statements/2011/12/15/rapid-and-ultra-rapid-opioid-detoxification
  2. https://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/public-policy-statements/1rod-urod—rev-of-oadusa-4-051.pdf?sfvrsn=aeedda17_0
  3. https://www.foxnews.com/story/rapid-drug-detox-hope-or-hoax
  4. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2002-08-13-detox_x.htm
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6238a1.htm?s_cid=mm6238a1_w