Drug Detoxification and its Effects on Human Health


Drug detoxification (informally, detox) is variously the intervention in a case of physical dependence to a drug; the process and experience of a withdrawal syndrome; and any of various treatments for acute drug overdose. A detoxification program for physical dependence does not necessarily address the precedents of addiction, social factors, psychological addiction, or the often-complex behavioral issues that intermingle with addiction. The principle of rapid detoxification is to use heavy sedation alongside dosing with opioid antagonists. This approach is expensive, ineffective and extremely dangerous. Rapid detox and ultra-rapid detox are non-standard medical detoxification protocols that have been investigated for their role in managing opioid withdrawal. Naltrexone therapy, which critics claim lacks long-term efficacy and can actually be detrimental to a patient's long-term recovery, has led to controversy.

Additionally, there have been many questions raised about the ethics as well as safety of rapid detox following a number of deaths resulting from the procedure.Some researchers say that relapses to injection use of illicit opioids during or following repeated detoxification episodes carry the substantial potential for injury associated with uncontrolled drug use and include drug overdose, infections, and death.