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Overcoming addiction is a complex and challenging journey, and there are various addiction treatment options. One option that is becoming increasingly used is undergoing a rapid drug detox as an inpatient at a specialized clinic. Also referred to as rapid medical detox, ultra-rapid detoxification, or accelerated detoxification, this is a controversial and debated technique among addiction treatment professionals.

In this blog, we will delve into how a rapid drug detox works to assist people in overcoming their physical dependence on drugs like alcohol or drugs, the pros and cons of this addiction treatment option, and how to find a safe, rapid drug detox clinic in the UK.

Here is what Danielle Byatt, a therapist for addiction therapy and Co-Founder of Step by Step Recovery Residential Rehab, advised us to remember:

“It may seem as if a rapid drug detox is the ideal way to overcome addiction and start your recovery; however, the success rates of rapid detoxes can be misleading. While they effectively aid in physical detoxification, they fall short in preventing relapse over the long term. Relapse rates after rapid detox can be alarmingly high, with many individuals returning to substance use shortly after completing the program.”

What is a Rapid Drug Detox?

Rapid drug detox programmers are provided by private clinics. Typically lasting three to five days, people will stay at the clinic as an inpatient during the detox. Some may be administered sedatives and medications to assist with withdrawal symptoms.

Upon completing a rapid detox, the body will be drug-free and, therefore, should not be experiencing any severe withdrawal symptoms. But when it comes to addiction, there really is no quick fix, whatever way you choose to begin your journey towards recovery. Although it is possible to overcome physical addiction, the underlying causes of addiction, such as psychological triggers and environmental effects, are not addressed by rapid detox.

How to Find a Safe Rapid Drug Detox Clinic in the UK

It’s essential that you carefully assess and investigate facilities providing rapid drug detox programmes. Prior to selecting a clinic, you should always check that:

  1. The clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
  2. A doctor registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) is in charge of prescribing medications.
  3. You are constantly being supervised and have access to competent nursing and medical experts.

NHS Addiction Treatment

Rapid drug detox programs can be an essential step in the journey toward recovery. However, any money spent is wasted if you relapse shortly after a rapid detox. This is why it’s critical to speak with your GP or call the FRANK helpline on 0300 123 6600 to arrange support and additional treatment following your detox if you are not in a position to afford private residential rehab.

Alternatives to a Rapid Drug Detox

While a rapid drug detox might be tempting, there are a number of alternatives that can be accessed through the NHS or charities and support organization’s without charge. The key addiction treatment options that you can enquire about include:

  • Gradual medical detoxification: This entails gradually weaning off the substance while under a doctor’s care. To alleviate withdrawal symptoms, doctors can prescribe drugs, which can then be progressively reduced over time.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): MAT involves taking drugs like methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone while receiving treatment to assist in managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. This strategy works particularly well for opioid addiction.
  • Support groups: Organisations like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) offer a community of people who have conquered addiction or are in the process of doing so.

Before making any decisions on rapid drug detox and addiction treatment options, it is extremely important to speak with a GP or addiction specialist. No one person’s situation is the same, and the best course of action will vary based on the kind of drugs and the extent of time they have been used, their physical health, medical history and personal circumstances.

Addiction Support Groups in the UK

UK Narcotics Anonymous — Free crisis and support line providing information on treatment for alcohol and drug addiction.

Families Anonymous — Seeks to support friends and relatives of addicts.

Parentline Plus — Anyone caring for children can get guidance and assistance through Parentline Plus, as well as information about drug addiction.

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