Why Rapid Detox For Substance Abuse Falls Short
Why won’t most insurance companies pay for rapid detox for substance abuse? Because they don’t want to pay to detox their members twice. And, you shouldn’t want to exert your hard work, money, blood, sweat and tears to detox twice. Moreover, the evidence from thousands of cases shows that rapid detoxification patients still experience the misery and symptoms of substance abuse withdrawal.
Rapid Detox became popular in the 1980s. Then, after about two decades of treating patients with rapid detox, doctors and research scientists looked back at all of the data and concluded:
- Rapid detox has a higher substance abuse relapse rate.
- Rapid detox has a higher death rate than traditional detox.
- Rapid detox does not help patients withdrawal symptoms, and they may even be more severe with rapid detox.
Insurance companies looked at the data and agreed.
But you may ask, aren’t these insurance companies just trying to save a few bucks? Yes. That is what insurance companies do. But, it’s a no-brainer to steer their members away from an unproven treatment—one that had twenty years to prove its value.
When we hear the term “rapid detox” is sounds appealing. When you learn that you could be sedated or anesthetized for the most miserable part of detox, that sounds astonishing. Proponents of rapid detox say it can help alleviate and even remove withdrawal symptoms, pain and discomfort. Many patients who have been through the rapid detox experience disagree. And so did the National Institute of Drug Addiction (NIDA) way back in 2006, when it examined the data of many heroin victims. Some rapid detox patients suffered withdrawal symptoms that are equally if not more severe and threatening than those experienced by patients treated with traditional detox methods, according to the NIDA.
The Risks of Rapid Detox for Substance Abuse
All drug detox and rehabilitation methods have risks. There are patients who go through traditional drug detox and experience complications. However, rapid detox introduces so much additional risk, that the first hours of treatment must occur in an intensive care unit—a place where many of the patients are in “serious” or “critical” condition. The risks of general anesthesia or IV sedation are no laughing matter, either. But, there are medically sound reasons why rapid detox requires the patient to be in the hospital for two or three days.
In traditional substance abuse detox patients still receive ample medical and therapist supervision. Doctors still prescribe helpful drugs such as buprenorphine, clonidine, and methadone. Traditional detox is more effective than anesthesia-assisted detoxification. It is also are safer and far less costly. Moreover, a patient can interact with physicians and therapists when they detox unanesthetized or without sedation. It is easier for the medical team to detect complications when the staff meets with and observes an alert person.
With the risks linked to the more complex rapid detox, it is hard to recommend the treatment. But, if a person wants to take a little more risk, fork out a few thousand additional dollars, and still experience the challenges of withdrawal, there are facilities and doctors who will gladly offer you the service.