Drug Detox

Written by Michael Federico
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Drug detox takes many forms in the United States. Some centers offer secluded locales and a resort-like atmosphere. They generally cater to wealthier patients, and are the stuff of tabloids and romantic comedies. Other centers focus on those who cannot afford retreats, focusing on those who have nowhere else to go.

Regardless of location, most drug detox centers use traditional psychological therapy, or as in the case of many Heroin detox centers, the use of one drug to combat the withdrawal symptoms of another. These centers usually maintain a 10% success rate among patients. Many believe that these rates could and should be higher, so as advances have been made in the study of addiction, new detox methods have emerged.

Alternative Drug Detox Programs

Rapid detox focuses on treatment of opiate addiction. It attacks the addiction through the brain's opiate receptors, cleansing them of the drug while the patient is under anesthesia. Rapid detox takes only a few days, and doctors who practice this method believe that it is the most effective way to treat addiction, sparing the patient the physical and mental suffering that usually accompanies withdrawal.

Although the procedure, including pre-treatment, can be as fast as forty-eight hours, after-care can continue for up to a year. During this time a patient is prescribed a non-addictive, non-mood altering opiate inhibitor, which nullifies the narcotic effects of an opiate, essentially eliminating the high that draws addicts to the drug in the first place. It is the clinic's belief that after a year of after-care and continued counseling, a patient is far less likely to return to drug use than they would be had they undergone a more traditional drug detox program.

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