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Ultrarapid Opiate Detoxification 

Ultrarapid Opiate Detoxification
Ultrarapid Opiate Detoxification

Clifford M. Gevirtz

, Elizabeth Frost

, and Alan D. Kaye

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date: 27 January 2021

Extended opioid use results in physical dependence and neural adaptation. Opioid dependence treatment can be carried out with opioid receptor agonists, partial agonists, and antagonists. Conventional treatments have low success rates. Methadone and buprenorphine treatments involve substituting long-duration agonists for the opiate of abuse, essentially substituting one opiate for another. Rapid opiate detoxification is a 3-day process involving large amounts of an opiate antagonist. Both treatments have associated problems. Ultrarapid opiate detoxification (UROD) anesthetizes a patient and precipitates withdrawal while unconscious. It shortens withdrawal, avoiding much of the subjective withdrawal discomfort. Clonidine is critical to reduce catecholamine levels and mitigate central nervous system hyperarousal in acute withdrawal. A UROD advantage is that the withdrawal period is markedly shortened to 8 hours or less versus up to several months for conventional treatments. The patient is anesthetized during the acute withdrawal period and does not experience the unpleasant consequences of acute detoxification.

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