You’ve been binging on drugs and alcohol for weeks and now you need drug detox fast for a job interview later this week. You know you’re going to be drug tested and you need to pass to get the job. So, what do you do?
For some people, rapid detox may seem like the perfect solution and a quick fix for this dilemma. But what are the risks? And does it even work? Before we answer those questions, let’s take a look at how long common drugs of abuse stay in your system.
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How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?
The length of time a drug stays in your system will vary based on a number of different factors, including your metabolism, the dose you took, your tolerance, and the type of test that is used, (among several other factors).
It’s important to note that each person’s situation will differ, but generally speaking, this is how long you can expect the following drugs to be detectable in your urine and blood.1
|Type of Drug||Detectable in Urine||Detectable in Blood|
|Alcohol||3-5 days||10-12 hours|
|Amphetamines||1-3 days||12 hours|
|Barbiturates||2-4 days||1-2 days|
|Benzodiazepines||3-6 weeks||2-3 days|
|Cannabis||7-30 days||Up to 14 days|
|Cocaine||3-4 days||1-2 days|
|Codeine||1 day||Up to 12 hours|
|Heroin||3-4 days||Up to 12 hours|
|LSD||1-3 days||2-3 hours|
|MDMA (ecstasy)||3-4 days||1-2 days|
|Methamphetamine (crystal meth)||3-6 days||1-3 days|
|Methadone||3-4 days||24-36 hours|
|Morphine||2-3 days||6-8 hours|
What Is Rapid Detox and How Does it Work?
There are two types of rapid detox: rapid opioid detoxification (ROD) and anesthesia-assisted opiate detoxification (AAROD). ROD was developed in the 1980s with the intention of reducing the duration of detox treatment and related hospital stays. During this type of detox treatment, clients receive an oral antagonist to trigger withdrawal while being simultaneously treated with medications to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.2
What Is Ultra-Rapid Detox and How Does it Work?
Anesthesia-assisted opiate detoxification, also referred to as ultra-rapid opioid detoxification, is riskier than rapid detox without anesthesia, although many clients who don’t want to feel the pain or discomfort of withdrawal opt for this type of treatment. During this type of detox, clients are heavily sedated and enter treatment with the hopes of going to sleep and waking up clean. Unfortunately, research has shown that most AAROD patients still experience severe withdrawal symptoms for several days after the procedure.2
What are the Risks of Rapid Detox?
While a rapid detox program that promises to get you sober in a matter of hours may seem like the perfect solution, the truth is, there are many risks you should consider before enrolling. Here are some of the potential risks and dangers involved with rapid detox programs.
- It’s not a lasting solution – First and foremost, even if rapid detox was completely effective every time (which has not been proven), it is merely a short-term solution and does not address the psychological aspects of addiction. As a result, it would do very little to curb or eliminate addictive behaviors in the long run.
- Physical harm and death – Second, studies have not been able to conclusively prove that it’s safe. In fact, while standard medically-assisted drug and alcohol detox procedures have no risks, rapid detox has several potential physical dangers, including physical and psychiatric complications. The risk of mortality is also very real. Rapid detox methods are not endorsed by the leading medical experts and many of them think the risks are too high. Experts are currently calling for more research into the safety of these procedures.3,4
- Lack of efficacy – Research studies have not conclusively shown that rapid detox methods are completely effective. The truth is, nothing will help you detox in a matter of hours and it’s dangerous to try. Although the promise of sobriety after just 48 hours of detox treatment is alluring, there is no magic way to bypass the withdrawal process once you are physically addicted to a drug.
- Patients still experience withdrawal symptoms – Some people might be drawn to the idea of rapid detox for the promise of less severe or no withdrawal symptoms, but this simply isn’t true. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one study concluded that patients who received anesthesia-assisted rapid detox for opiate addiction experienced withdrawal symptoms that were just as strong as those who received clonidine or buprenorphine-assisted opiate detox.5 So enrolling in a rapid detox program is not only potentially dangerous, but you’re also still likely to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms regardless.
- Not covered by insurance – Since rapid detox is still considered experimental, these types of detox programs are usually not covered by insurance or government assistance programs.6 Therefore, the cost of rapid detox is often much more expensive than medically-assisted detox programs because clients cannot receive any financial assistance via their insurance policies or government aid.
Although faster detox may seem like the better option, there have been several deaths associated with rapid detox procedures that have been reported on and investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).7 All in all, it’s simply not worth the risk.
How Long Does Medically-Assisted Detox Take?
Unfortunately, there is no safe method that will help you detox within a matter of hours and detoxing on your own at home is extremely dangerous. Medically-assisted detox, however, is the safest and most comfortable way to detox from any addictive substance. This method of drug and alcohol detox can take anywhere from 5 to 7 days or longer, but it’s truly impossible to say exactly how long your detox will take without first completing a comprehensive physical and medical evaluation.
Effective drug and alcohol detox is a complex, individualized process that requires 24/7 medical care and consistent re-evaluation. It should always begin with a comprehensive evaluation and be designed to address the unique physical and psychological needs of the client. It should also incorporate therapeutic support to address the client’s emotional responses to the process. Medically-assisted detox programs at Briarwood provide all of this and more while ensuring the comfort and safety of all clients throughout the detox and withdrawal process.
Although it’s impossible to provide safe and effective detox within a matter of a few hours or even days, having realistic expectations about the detox process can promote a healthier outlook on getting sober and the overall process of addiction recovery in general. If you’re looking for fast drug detox options, considering a more long-term solution like medically-assisted detox could prove to be much more beneficial to your overall health and wellness.
For more information on medically-assisted drug detox or to enroll in a program, call (888) 857-0557 to speak with an admissions representative at Briarwood Detox Center today.