Rapid Detox, a First Step in Recovery, Not a Replacement
Rapid detox, or ultra rapid detox, should only be the initial part of
the recovery process, to always be followed by extensive psycho-social counseling, therapies and life habit-changing arrangement.
Without these follow-up steps, there is chance for relapse. Rapid detox only stops the physical addiction, without putting
the patients through the torture of feeling the withdrawal process, but it does not address the psychological and social underpinning
of the addiction. The patient must get psycho-social counseling and realignment therapies following rapid detox. With Rapid
Detox, patients can enter the long recovery process without the bulk of the suffering from physical withdrawal. In this context,
it is an advantageous first step, because it quickly achieves significant reduction in addiction and physical withdrawal if
performed correctly. It does not require super-human will power or tolerance for the physical withdrawal process that may
last 5 to 10 days. Without Rapid Detox, patients may be dissuaded from even trying, or they may not even be able to sit through
counseling sessions due to the evolving physical withdrawal.
As a board-certified anesthesiologist
with 19 years of clinical experience, especially with constant exposures to both pain management and cardiac anesthesia, I
have come to appreciate some finer points of the techniques of rapid detox. We perform what I believe to be a more advanced
rapid detox technique at our center, www.rapid-detox-clinic.org. For example, we keep patients under anesthesia and receiving intravenous naloxone for at least 8 hours, longer than any
other treatment center (they do between 2 to 4 hours). This works better because the displaced opiate molecules, away from
the opiate receptors, still needs time to be eliminated by the liver and kidneys, a process that cannot be accelerated, requiring
at least 8 hours. This and many other variations in technique and expertise among rapid detox treatment centers make it difficult
for scholars to compare the efficacy and safety between rapid detox and other methods.
the central nervous system is the site where most of the competitive inhibition takes place between the naloxone molecules
and the opiate molecules, it makes sense to monitor the brain. That is why in our treatment, we monitor the brain's electro-encephalogram
(EEG) and cerebral oximetry (rSO2) continuously to ensure adequate and appropriate anesthetic depth and optimal brain oxygenation
and perfusion. These are techniques adopted from my parallel practice as a cardiac anesthesiologist providing service to open-heart
surgeries. It is essential to monitor the patients as if they are undergoing major surgeries. Being over-prepared and being
over-cautious are very important in creating a safe rapid detox process.
During a patients'
first 36 hour stay in our program, we never have fewer than 1 person dedicated to staying with the patient, by the bed-side,
at all time. Not only is it always at least one-on-one, but often two-on-one. This is important not just to take care of the
patient's comfort needs, but also to provide constant and compassionate care with immediate human responsiveness. This and
the above features separate us from all other rapid detox clinics.
Thomas Yee, MD
Board-certified by American Board of Anesthesiology (1994) and American Board
of Pain Medicine (1997)
Las Vegas Rapid Detox Medical Clinic