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Frequently Asked Questions

What is rapid drug detox?

The objective of Anesthesia Assisted Detox (AAD) is to shorten the detoxification period while alleviating withdrawal symptoms. The process involves going under general anesthesia (as one would do for surgery), receiving medication that strips the opioid from the body's receptors causing withdrawal, and then blocking the effects of the withdrawal while in an unconscious state. While under anesthesia, the subjective feeling of withdrawal is masked.

How is AAD different from methadone treatment?

Methadone is a long acting opiate that is often used to substitute for the opiate addiction. Patients use methadone as a substitute for other opiate drugs. In AAD, opiate substitutes are not used. The effect of the opiate is instead blocked from the body until it is cleared from the system.

Does rapid drug detox work?

Detox is a process of ridding the body of drugs. With that in mind, all detox methods can work. The difference is that ALL people who undergo AAD get detoxed, whereas, many people who attempt to undergo detox by themselves or with other methods quit because of the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Will I remain off opioids once I am detoxed?

AAD allows the body to undergo opioid withdrawal with minimal physiologic effects; it does not affect the psychological changes that must occur in order to become rehabilitated. Once you have undergone AAD, we strongly recommend that you undergo a rehab program. We cannot stress enough that AAD is just the first step in recovery. Recovery from opioid addiction is a lifelong process.

Is Mid Ohio Detox a rehabilitation center?

No, Mid Ohio Detox is not a rehabilitation facility. However, our patient coordinators can assist you in finding a rehabilitation counselor or center.

Do I need to stop taking pain medication and be in withdrawal before I come for the detox procedure?

No, you do not need to stop using before the procedure. It is best to not be experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms at the time of treatment. If you are on long-acting medication such as Methadone, Oxycontin or Suboxone, you may be changed to a short acting medication prior to the detox procedure.

Will I be in withdrawal after the treatment?

Typically, patients feel tired and sleepy after the detox treatment. Some people experience some nausea and body aches as well. Mediations are prescribed to help relieve these symptoms and encourage rest. With AAD, the heavy withdrawal symptoms are passed while patients are under anesthesia during the detox procedure. Usually, only mild withdrawal symptoms may persist after awakening from anesthesia after the procedure.

Where is AAD the procedure performed?

The detox procedure is performed in an accredited outpatient surgical facility that is fully equipped and staffed to provide safe anesthesia care and post-detox recovery. The facility is equipped to provide full monitoring capabilities as dictated by current ASA standards for providing general anesthesia care.

Why is the AAD performed in a surgical facility?

Safety of our patients is our number one priority. Our patients are admitted into an independent accredited surgical facility where they receive excellent individual care. Patients are detoxed in a fully equipped operating room under general anesthesia. The anesthesia, and detox procedure is performed by a board certified anesthesiologist who is directly providing patient care. Patients receive close and careful monitoring with state-of-the-art medical equipment and highly trained and experienced staff throughout their stay. Patients will remain in the facility for approximately 24 hours post detox procedure. The facility is staffed 24 hours by experienced licensed nurses and detox staff; and an AAD physician is available to our patients all night to ensure they will continue to receive expert medical care and attention until the time of discharge.

Who performs the AAD procedure?

The AAD procedure is performed by a board certified anesthesiologist, with the assistance from highly qualified licensed nurses. Our anesthesiologists each have a minimum of 12 years' experience providing anesthesia care for major surgical patients in large hospital settings and outpatient surgery centers. They have special expertise in cardiac anesthesia as well as pain medicine and have outstanding records for patient safety. Our anesthesiologists are all board certified in anesthesiology by the American Board of Anesthesiology.

Will the anesthesiologist be present during my detox procedure?

Yes. The anesthesiologist will be present during the procedure and will be directly providing the anesthesia care and monitoring during the detox procedure until you are awake from anesthesia and in the recovery phase.

How long am I under anesthesia?

The AAD procedure of rapid detox is performed in just 2-3 hours. Full standards of safety and monitoring as established by the ASA are followed to maximize patient safety.

Is the AAD procedure safe?

The AAD procedure is safe. It is as safe as having your tonsils taken out or having minor plastic surgery. When earlier forms of anesthesia-assisted detox were first developed, longer periods of anesthesia were used. These procedures were not performed by physicians trained in anesthesia and appropriate anesthesia safety measures were not followed closely, this lead to higher rates of complications such as aspiration and breathing difficulties. Many advances have been made since then. The AAD protocol has been fine tuned to address various comfort and safety issues while reducing the amount of time required under general anesthesia. The performance of the AAD by an experienced anesthesiologist trained in the appropriate anesthesia safety measures has improved safety of the detox procedure while reducing time under anesthesia.

Why do I need general anesthesia?

Other protocols for rapid detox involve the use of only "sedative" medications. The practice often involves providing heavy dosages of "sedation" while not providing appropriate protection for your breathing and airway. This practice can lead to an unconscious patient and dangerous complications where your breathing is severely compromised either by aspiration or lack of oxygen. While under general anesthesia, measures are taken to "protect the airway" and provide breathing assistance and oxygen during the detox procedure in order to maximize patient safety.

What is involved in "protecting the airway"?

As in all of the thousands of general anesthesia procedures performed each day in the US, the airway is protected by placing a breathing tube past the vocal cords. This procedure greatly reduces the possibility of any stomach contents reaching the lungs in the unconscious patient. This procedure is done painlessly while the patient is unconscious.

Is there any reason that would prohibit me from undergoing the AAD procedure or cause it to be cancelled after my arrival?

A complete patient medical history will be completed prior to scheduling the detox procedure. If you have a seizure disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease you may be required to undergo further tests. These may or may not affect if you are a candidate for AAD. If you are pregnant, you are not a candidate for AAD. If you are a cocaine user, you will be required to stop using at least one week prior to the detox procedure. Your openness about your health and history is extremely important to your safety and success with AAD.

How long do I need to stay in the area? Where will I stay?

The detox procedure with critical care post detox care requires a 23 hour observation admission to our facility. See "patient resources" for a list of local hotels for any accompanying family members from out of town.

Do I need to bring someone with me when I have the procedure?

Yes, all patients are required to be released to an accompanying adult.

Will you keep my information confidential?

Yes, all patient information is kept confidential. We follow all HIPPA requirements, and since you will be treated at a surgical facility that sees and treats many other types of patients, only the staff treating you will know why you are here.