About Detox5UK and how we differ from Detox 5 (Notice the space)

At Detox 5 UK Addiction treatment Services, our aim is to help as many people as possible overcome drug addiction. Based in London but operating throughout the UK, we offer FREE drug addiction and recovery advice to anyone who needs it. As well as guiding people towards recovery, we also help people access treatment, whether this is via the NHS, charity and private options, as well as helping with sustained post-treatment advice and guidance.

We’re all in recovery here, so we know how to get well. Contact us today to find out how we can help you or a loved one overcome drug addiction.

Despite our name, we have nothing to do with the Detox 5 drug treatment system that is now defunct (well, almost) in the UK. Read on below to find out more about that system of detox and why it shouldn’t be used.

The old Detox 5 Rapid Opiate Detox – The Treatment Now Defunct

Detox 5, or D5, was a detox regimen or system used a number of years back by a few treatment centres or healthcare providers that offered a rapid, 5-day detox from opiates, particularly heroin. The system was distinct in the way that it administered the detox. Under Detox 5 (also known as UltraRapid Opiate Detoxification or UROD), dependent opiate users were detoxed using a sedative, as well as an opiate blocker, often in addition to an anaesthetic. And, all in 5 days.

Now, most people in the industry know this is unfeasible as well as dangerous (including NICE guidelines), yet many providers offered it and some still offer a variation.

Fast and Effective Detox?

This seemingly ground-breaking five-day, ultra-rapid detox claimed users could be free of opiate addiction in under a week. The client would be put under anaesthesia, and then they would be “washed-out” or detoxed from opiates including heroin, morphine, methadone, and other substances. Then, when the client came to, the idea was that they would no longer feel the compulsion to take the drug. This proved to be controversial, with many questioning its validity and whether it could help one sustain long-term (and often even short-term) recovery from opiate addiction in a short space of time. This combined with concerns over the cost, alongside further medical and social considerations, lead to the process being discontinued in the UK.

The 5-day detox, also referred to in some circles as the “wakeful detox”, would see those undergoing treatment being sedated, through a mixture of Naltrexone and Midazolam. The process would also involve encouraging the symptoms of withdrawal, using the drug Naltrexone, which is an opiate blocker and hence would bring forward withdrawal symptoms. Many providers of the ultra-rapid detox also endorsed the application of the often-costly Naltrexone implant for a minimum of a year following treatment, which added to the expense. The D5 had been widely publicised as a simple, comfortable detox, which could minimise the pain and discomfort of going through rehab. Although, in many instances, it did not always appear to be the case.

Drug Detox and Withdrawals

A typical five-day detox consisted of oral medications, starting with benzodiazepine sedatives on day one. The next day, clients received a dose of the anaesthetic called Midazolam, which is often used in dentistry. During the first two days of the detox, clients were kept under sedation to help bring on withdrawal. However, some clients, who were withdrawing from Methadone or Subutex, would probably not have felt the withdrawal effects until three days in.

After the third or fourth day of the detox, clients receive what is known as a “challenge dose” of medication, normally Naltrexone, where they would experience heightened withdrawal, which is difficult and very unpleasant. The only, perhaps, saving grace being that clients would possibly have been too sedated to feel the full effects – which is the point of the Detox5. However, it is not unheard of that some clients still experienced severe effects of withdrawal, due to tolerances of anaesthetics. On the fifth and final day of the detox, clients who hadn’t already had a dose or perhaps needed more, received their final Naltrexone dose to remove the residual substances from their system.

And, that was it. Clients were then allowed to “wake up” or come to, and that was it. There were many reports of those undertaking the Detox5 leaving the treatment early as well as a high rate of relapse, when clients were supposed to no longer crave opiates. There were many concerns about the sedation and anaesthetic parts of the procedure too.

Successful Drug Detoxes

The system, which had many critics in the industry due to its safety and effectiveness, ultimately came to an unhappy conclusion and was banned by the UK medical profession. Many treatment providers agree that five days is not long enough to successfully complete an opiate detox. And undertaking a rapid detox was harmful for the addict and not a good foundation on which to build a solid recovery on.

Currently, the detox duration from opiates is 10 – 14 days, with some detox units or rehabs offering slightly longer durations too. Naturally, this can vary depending on the individual, their physiology, drug usage, age etc.

This, slightly longer duration, is the most up-to-date recommended detox duration, despite some rehabs still offering quicker detoxes, if not necessarily calling it Detox5.

Drug Detox For Long-Term Addiction Recovery

A good, well-managed detox is the basis for sound, long-term recovery. Done correctly, it can provide clients with a safe and effective withdrawal from drugs, overcoming the symptoms of withdrawal without pain or fuss, allowing for a smooth transition to stage two of recovery and rehab, if required.

Contact us today to find out about fast opiate detoxes, where to go, how to access free and cheap drug rehab, and get advice about starting drug recovery. Call 0800 009 6599.