Friday, 3 August 2012

Detox 5, the 'wakeful detox' - Too good to be true?

A friend recently asked my thoughts about 'detox 5', the private, magical, five day (private) heroin detox. 

Detox 5, is a very successful business model, They charge £3200 for an ultra rapid opiate detox (UROD)

The idea being, you go in with a heroin/methadone/subutex/morphine/fentanyl habit and leave five days later clean!.. (note there's no difference between the opiates, they treat for any of them)
Sound too good to be true?!... Read on..

Using a combination of midazolam and naltrexone, you will be 'sedated' whilst precipitated withdrawal is induced using naltrexone. 
They recommend you opt for the (very expensive) naltrexone implant for at least 12 months after your treatment. This is if you even get that far.

I've known maybe half a dozen people that have subjected themselves to D5, all of them left (one halfway through) left treatment and relapsed. 
They have a great hook, I'll grant them that.. A 'comfortable, easy detox'  that you'll barely remember, what isn't so clear as you hand your money over is their version of sedation and yours are likely very different.

It would be too impractical to fully sedate patients. They would need to be fed and hydrated, catheterised both ends etc etc.. all requiring constant monitoring.
Fluids mean IV access, something that requires medical training and constant monitoring. 
Sounds expensive huh? All those doctors and nurses...

In reality you'll actually be medicated orally, given water to drink and food as required. 

Yeah, you're given benzos, but just enough so your still awake enough to talk, use the bathroom and take your meds. 
You'll most likely still piss and shit the bed, conscious but too out of it to get to the bathroom.

On day one your settled in, given a medical and maybe a Valium. 
Day two your given you first dose of midazolam, a very useful benzo usually used for dental work and day patient hospital investigations. 

Your kept 'sedated for a couple of days to start the withdrawal process, if your coming off heroin you'll be at the peak of the detox, methadone? Barely scratching the surface, methadone withdrawal doesn't even really start to kick in for three days, subutex is similar.

As we all know naltrexone is an opiate antagonist. 
It's used to reverse heroin overdoses and is doing pretty much the same thing to you. 
Day three/four you'll get your 'challenge dose'
Your gonna go into precipitated withdrawals. The worst, most acute, painful thing you've ever experienced. Hopefully your sedated enough that you sort of dream your way through it!?
You'll ask to be sedated more, they'll refuse and tell you that you you've reached your maximum allowance.
What do you do? Well nothing, what can you do? Your bowels are liquidising and you feel like your dying but you aint going anywhere! 
Day five is much the same, they titrate your naltrexone up to 'throw' any remaining opiates out. 
Naltrexone has a very short half life do you'll be given a dose every couple of hours. 

You shit and snot your way through four days of hell, semi lucid, the odd five minutes of sleep if your lucky, begging for more sedation and being refused, until you reach day five. Hey, your clean my good sir! 

Yes, all those years of abuse magically washed away!
They stop giving you benzos and as you come around you realise you stink, your still in withdrawals and that the pretty nurse you fancy has spent the last three days wiping your ass. 

'Time to leave, we need the bed' you're told

One day turn around til the next lot on Monday. 

'The doctor needs his weekend off!'

So, I think you get the gist of it. 
It's an overpriced, painful and quite disturbing way to detox. 
If your new to opiates, maybe with only a year or two of using heroin then this may work out for you. 
Any long term junkie with a methadone or subutex habit doesn't stand a chance. 
Methadone takes weeks and months to detox from, not days. You'll be hitting the peak of the withdrawal as they're chucking you out the door...

One friend discharged himself on day three because he wasn't sedated enough and in agony. 
He got in the car and DROVE home! Obviously under the influence of some pretty heavy benzos still. He crashed the car into a lamppost and luckily didn't die. 

I did some digging into the actual company too. They have a pretty dubious history. Very profitable though!

On their own website they state a '97% completion' rate, this is printed in bold on every page, very, very misleading. 
Completion merely means patients that didn't discharge themselves and completed the five days. They're bandying it around like it's an abstinence at 12 months statistic

Dig a little deeper you come across a 70% rate. 
Sounds great doesn't it!?

What that actually equates to though is 70% of the 50% of patients who replied to the survey, attained abstinence for twelve months WITH a naltrexone implant. 
Anyone with an implant is literally unable to get high so yes, they would logically and by default be abstinent. 

50% of the people surveyed didn't respond so we can assume they relapsed. This means we're down to one in three.
These stats by the way, were removed from the site recently. They were well out of date, 2001 I believe.
As I said before, the only statistic they have on the site is the '97% success rate' one, after lots of googling I can't find much more than that, they don't back up this '97%' with any in depth analysis, I find this very telling but make your own conclusions.

They have, through the clever use of meta tags and SEO managed to get themselves onto the first three four pages of google results, most of the other information is from unhappy customers.

Long and short of it?

Unless you've only been using a year I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, let alone pay for the pleasure..!

Here's my alternative, get a load of Xanax, diazepam and some Imodium, get a mate to drop in and check on you ever day, knock yourself out with benzos for three days then go to your gp and ask for oral naltrexone!
Same thing, without the medical staff, rules and regs of a 'rehab' and the £3,200 price tag.. !

Next up I'll be giving you a rundown of 'Narcanon', a U.S based rehab based on the philoshies of Ron L Hubbard. Very interesting it will be too! Lot's of weird stuff goes down at the 'most succesful' rehabs in the states.. Scientology and recovering, detoxing drug addicts? Sounds highly questionable to me!


karl said...

You're absolutely right mate ! D5 is a money spinning "quick fix" that may or may not work depending on the patient. My advice would be pretty much the same as yours,. Stay well clear unless you're pretty much clean anyway or have a habit in its infancy !
Could you send me details of the upcoming work with David Scott as I'm very interested in his work & ibogaine treatment.
Karl X

Fallen Angel... said...

Hello Sid!! Hope things are going well across the big pond lol. Sadly I can not say things are going so great on my side but thats another story and way to long for your comment section haha. So I totally agree with you on this. Even tho I havnt ever heard of this D5 detox after reading your post and doing some digging of my own on Google I TOTALLY dont see why anyone would subject themselves to this "treatment"!! Trust me I know first hand what a hell you are in when you put yourself into precipitated withdraws. We actually had that conversation when you had that little mishap a few weeks or so back. There is NO WAY IN HELL I would pay that much money for someone to actually purposly put me into precip WD. Uh no thanks! Now is this D5 something just in Europe? Or is it over here and other countries as well? Thats not something I remember reading when I did my digging online. See the only "rapid detox" that I have ever heard of is kind of similar to this except its not 5 days its like 2 and you ate totally knocked out and it actually is done in an actual hospital in there ICU section with your very own team of special rapid detox Dr's. Now I dont know what the conversion rates are for our dollars to your dollars lol but the rapid detox I have ever heard of costs a min of about $20,000 US dollars and thats for the bottom of the barrel options. I have seen some offered that are as much as close to $50,000 but that also inclused private jet to the city the Dr is located in, limo service, private penthouse at there recovery resort with your very own team of any kind of servent you need to do EVERYTHING you need fopr you and private medical care teams as well, all your meds, and a mini vacation while recovering at their RECOVERY RESORT. Now I have to admit I havnt really found any bad reviews for this option but I would have to say its pretty much something offered to the ppl living much higher up on the dollar scale then me or most other junkies I know and for that kinda cashand the ppl they are treating I would say it might and probly does work well and probly very painlessly. However just bcz your thru WD in 2 days and get to recover in a dam resort in the lap of luxery does not mean your going to maintain this new found sobriety. I actually think something like that would encourage someone to not care about relapsing because if they had the money to do it in the first place they are obviously very well off and when they relapse and start right back where they left off all they have to do is get their check books out and book another detox vacation at Detox resort lol. They dont experience any of the horrible unpleasent things that normal junkies associate with the quitting process and go through all the things that sear into your brain as your detoxing and trying to change your life forever. The awful shit you go through in detox I think are actually a big help in detouring me from wanting to use again. Now does those memories and risk of going through all that over again actually stop me or most ppl from usuing, no not really but it deff has made a big change in my thought [rocess on using. Its not I wanna use anymore its I dont wanna use and I realize if I can still lose and use knowing all the shit I now know and have experienced then I am so deff powerless to my addiction. And hey thats the first step right!? Well I do appologose for my lenghty comment. I get carried away sometimes and find myself saying way to much in a place I should have kept it short and sweet!!

Sid said...

Hi Karl, yes course, the film he's working on at the moment is 'iboga nights' that I'm in, he's just started a blog actually, I think just using his name if you want to google it.

Fallen, hiya.!

Yep 'UROD' comes in different forms, detox 5 is a UK thing, based in London. It's around £3000 which is about $5500?

I just feel sorry for less clued up people that fall for the sell. I mean it sounds great but really, your giving me a naltrexone IMPLANT 3 days after stopping methadone! Wow! That's gonna hurt, and no reversing it either, I've known people cut their implants out! Pete Doherty being the most famous example haha

And yes our totally right, going through that pain is part of the process, why not go back to using if it's that easy to get off!?

Anonymous said...

Hey Sid,
Uh huh, after reading that, I was thinking to myself
"Cut the implant out!" too...
Heard some harsh relapse stories about this detox 5 scam over the years too, mostly paid for by desperate parents and spouses in what's described as "rapid intervention" aka "this is your last chance, or you're out" in that cruel bullshit scenario they call "tough love"

Note to families of addicts:

(mostly a tall order, I know...)

Glad to see you posting again, it's been a while...still haven't sorted my blog out (I commented on your letters to young Gary at some point, not deliberately anonymously, but because I've not worked out how to not be anonymous via my shitty phone)

Anyways, I look forward to reading your posts: all good stuff, putting the human (yes, we're human...not rats...) back into the grotty image the general PUB-LICK hypocrites have of us...twenty pints down the local, go bash someone they fear in words or fists then whinge on facebook groups about "bloody scrounging junkies wasting valuable NHS resources..."
...when in reality, the smallest sniff the NHS have that a patient is an opiate (why has this word become associated with fear and paranoia?) addict, the faster they forcibly create suffering by denying us the pain meds we need...even when we have months or even years of clean time...that's my we deserve to suffer pain for the "crime" of having been addicted...and to die, or good as, for the "crime" of still being addicted...
A friend of mine just paid for a private detox...not detox 5, a 2 week thing I think...
I'll ask her if she minds me sharing her experience here if she goes through with it.

As for me, bollox to that, I'm all for legalisation and useful rather than bullshit maintenance. So many people getting seriously worried about forced reductions...
All in a day's work for profiteering "save money not lives" buffoons eh?

Wow, that was an unexpected rant! (Not uncommon lol!)

Take care of you,
Vee X

Robert said...

@Fallen Angel. Do you know what your talking about? just because some people may go through acute hell does not mean they will be deterred. I know many folks who have gone through many detoxes cold-tukry i.e heroin, tramadol, methdone, subutex, naltrexone etc yet it never stopped them from relapsing.

People go through cold turkey heroin and other opiates yet still continue to do drugs and opiates, going CT can be as hard as detox 5 or whatever. What people or addicts will think is that if detox 5 or where gives you a tough lesson in opiate detox then they will tell themselves not to use this method again but go cold turkey next time or taper but as long as they crave for drugs and get them then it does not matter how acute and terrible the detox is, people will still relapse. So its NOT a good thing. So dont be naive or assume. Nalttexone blocks natural Endorphins so you will be depressed.. I know someone who went detox 5 but had PAWS for 6 months, he detoxed off subutex. He claimed the inplant may have been giving him brutal depression. I know another person who said it was the worst withdrawal she ever went through (detox 5) and very painful but still had withdrawals later and PAWS, yet relapsed later, it didnt deter them folks. They will just tell themselves they will not go through rapid detox again thats all.

@Sid what if someone is on a very low dose of methadone or subutex or has been clean from them opiates for several weeks or 1 month or so BUT want to do a detox 5 or rapid detox? will it help or will PAWS still stand?

Can you also do the detox without naltrexone? am on subutesx but don't kow which method to choose, Iboga or rapid detox or just continue to wean down and jump off? I dont know if anything will make a difference in helping subby detox.

Sid said...

Hey Vee!,
I'm trying to work out if I know you? You'll have to give me a hint!
Your totally right though of course, you'd of thought those in charge would have worked out by now that enforced abstinence and this ridiculous war against drugs isn't working. Very sad professor Nutt was sacked, he spoke the truth regardless of the consequences as he found out. I'm not a vindictive person but I sometimes think that if these powers that be, policy makers were to actually experience opiate addiction/withdrawal for a little while they'd soon change their tune. 
It happens worldwide by the way, pain patients walking that very fine line between being medicated enough to be out of pain and 'drug seeking' as we know opiate tolerance increases too over time. Once that 'seeker' but has been written on your notes it's a hard label to loose!

Hey Robert,

How long have you been on subs?
As you know they ain't great long term. They are actually very useful for a short term taper, I did it quite successfully. It seems once people cross that magic 6-8 weeks though they become really hard to even cut down on let alone stop. Long term, maintenance wise they pail in comparison to methadone and thats saying something!
I tapered from 90 to 10mls meth over 18 months then swapped to 8mg subs and reduced right down to 0.2mg over about 8 weeks and I just walked off. Literally, acute wd wise, nada. I was shitting it too, expecting the worst but it was like any other drop! 
Granted I got really depressed for the next year but I'd been on opiates since 17, ten years by that stage and PAWS would have been there however I detoxed. Interestingly I'd never actually heard of PAWS then and I think that really helped. We all know how psychosomatic using can be, waking up fine until you remeber you have to go out to score that morning and going straight into snotty nose, crap yourself territory! Lol

Not sure why youd want to do detox 5 if your weeks or a month clean? The detox is literally to flood out the opiates, if your already clean of them you wouldnt need the detox part, you could just take naltrexone at this point though but as someone already said it can have some pretty nasty side effects, depression being the most common but we dont know if the depression is down to the PAWS alone. It may be a combination of the two.
If you can get weeks clean without help it may be an option, as a safety net?
With iboga, if you had a few weeks since stopping it would be really useful, in a small 'psychospiritua' dose. You woudnt need to take aywhere near a full opiate detox sized flood dose.
A small dose can really help people change their fiending drug thoughts, in a lot of people it pretty much stops drug cravings. As it is metabolised into Nor-ibogaine in the liver and hangs around in the body for a long time this stopping cravings effect can last months, up to a year in some people. You could also buy some root bark and micro dose daily for however long you feel you need to. It's not addicitive or habit forming.
If you want more advice on it I can try and help or point you in the right direction..

Fallen Angel... said...


Yes I do know exactly what I am talking about considering I am in active addiction and going through many relapses after trying many different methods to get and stay clean. I personally have gone cold turkey and fought my way through horrible detox and I know very well that even though I know without a doubt the hell I am going back into the memory of the pain I have experienced alone is not enough to keep me from screwing up again and again. No matter how bad I deeply want and need to achieve the goal I am after the urge to use is a lot stronger then the fear alone. I do however feel that knowing you were strong enough to experience the hell you go through detoxing off any opiate, mine being heroin, added with other treatement tools and very much needed positive support you might actually have a chance to get and stay clean. However I am not really sure what attacking someones opinion really does to help anyone. Everyones opinion on what is going to help them is different. At least in my opinion and so far my experience I think the masses theory of "one size fits all" form of addiction treatment is obviously not working. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa and in my opinion that is bcz no one person is the same as the next. Yes everyones DOC might have similar chemical, mental, physical effects on everyone however everyones reasoning for doing drugs and the road they have traveled and everyones "bottom" are very very different which is why in my opinion everyone needs a specific treatmengt that is tailored to their personal situation. I was not saying that I know for a fact that this Detox 5 or any other rapid detox is a joke and wouldnt work period all I was simply saying is personally I do not feel that it is worth the money and IN MY OPINION its the cushy richy way to get rid of a problem without actually having to DEAL WITH THE ISSUE. I am sorry but I have yet to meet someone that after a few sedated days and some special rapid detoxing trick they will wake up and be cured. Sorry I dont see how that can be considering if addiction, namely opiate addiction was simply physical and was able to be cured by rapidly detoxing your body of the shit thats been pumped into it for however long then there would be no need for maintence drugs like suboxin, methadone, subutex bcz we could just go through the detox process rather it be the old fashion way and just toughing it out or the new faster way and sedated in a hospital setting and once the detox process was finished you would be cured. No PAWS, no cravings, no mental and emotional shit to trudge through that most likely had something to do with why you started to use in the first place. No maybe you and others disagree and thats totally fine bcz once again this is simply MY OPINION and just as I am entitled to mine you and everyone else are entitled to theirs.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sid,
It's probably just me being overfamiliar as is my wont, but there's a slim chance we met at some point, as I was living in Manchester at the time of the airport protests and hanging round with a lot of the people involved, the squat parties and all that...
Do you remember when they built that death slide off the old flats in Hulme, Otterburn Close? Good times, good friends, good gear, good memories, and bad...
Well good luck with the getting clean stuff (dont't you just hate that clean vs dirty bullshit?)
It's not the initial detox that's the killer, is it, it's the long term that's the hard part...bless ya, it can be done.
Vee X

Caz said...

@robert if u r stable on subutex I wld taper down and not bother with a detox. I have done detox 5 and agree with the initial post, why pay to feel worse than u wld by getting up some vallies and locking urself in ur room at home. I have also done NHS detox's and that was worse than detox 5 but at least it was free although not to the tax payer b4 anyone jumps on me about that. The easiest detox's I have ever done and the most successful ones where I have stayed clean longer than going to score as soon as I have left the detox centres mentioned above as I simply needed sleep after 15 days or coz I was given naltrexone whilst being on methadone for a couple of years have been the ones where I have gathered up all the subutex or suboxone I cld get my hands on and booked myself a flight to Japan (first good detox) Thailand (second good detox) and India (my last detox) and just took advantage of the nice warm weather and took a little nibble of subutex as and when u felt I needed it along with a little self medication to help me sleep, I still had some side affects but wasn't bed bound, I tapered quite fast over about 2 weeks then cutting down to subutex every other day and so on. It does help being somewhere u can't get opiates and I am sure u r aware some of the countries I chose to go to wld not usually b a person wanting to get cleans first choice but I had a place to stay and friends to look after me and make sure I was safe so it suited my circumstances, it wasn't available in the places I was and if it had been I probably wouldn't have been able to stop. U have to do the right thing for u. All I no is I wld give anything to again b stable on subutex as that is the least painful way I have managed to get and stay clean for a while at least. Never give up giving up. I hope u have now managed to get through ur detox and r still in recovery. All the best to everyone fighting the battle

Caz said...

Hi I wld love some info on Ibogaine if u cld provide me with some? In particular I wld like to no more about how it works. If I was to do it at home where do I get it and how much do I take? Or how do I find a treatment centre which uses this form of treatment? I really don't no much about it at all although Ive been on opiates for over ten years and have tried subbeys, meth, detox 5 and NHS detox programmes as well as good old fashioned go it alone! I recently found it while researching detox options on the net last week and it keeps on coming up and seems like it does more than just detox u but helps u to get bak to the state of mind u were in b4 addiction ever came along into my life. I have read it can take u into an hypnotic state but I don't fancy doing that unsupervised. I may have been misinformed which is why I wld like any suggestions in places u can do some more research.
Many thanks

chris hc said...

In February 2006 I went to Harrogate Detox 5 and at 8 in the morning I shot up my last fix. I'd been using for around nine years, and at the end I was shooting 4g a day, and dealing about 6 ounces each ten days.
I'd had enough, and after day three in detox5 one of my counterparts said if I get a Kit-Kat we can smoke some of the smack he had. Hurray. Either way, I've never used since, and I didn't want the naltrexone. If you want to stop, why the f**k would you use meth or whatever - its the same s**t just different. So the process worked for me - but this is mostly because I wanted to stop, not because of detox5. If you don't like what you're doing don't do it. It is that simple. Making a huge problematic issue out of it is easy too. You can do whatever you want.

feralchild said...


thank you. i've been saving up for this detox 5 which hasn't been easy while maintaining a habit. nearly got enough money and thinking about booking myself up...when i read your comments about it, 5 days of semi conscious hell. thanks to your 'low down' i think i've just saved myself a lot of pain and heartache let alone 3 grand. where to turn next though?
peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

sorry guys but i think your wrong ruling this and after the 5 days would probably be harder thats when the your back to your world. i could see this being helpful for some people though if they needed to accellerate there withdrawal one of the main ones for me would be children as you cant afford to be out of action for weeks if you have small children also a lot of addicts do work whatever the misconception and can not afford weeks or months off also i truly believe it would work if the person truly wanted to knock it on the head.I have experience in this as i been clean 10 years this year not through detox 5 but through the worst and best detox there is H.M.PRISON and the was the 3rd time i had got clean.The first was after 5 years of being on it and i had a 60ml meth and 3 quarters of a gram daily habit and i got a jail sentence and the prison gave me a measly 10ml of methand 5ml valium for 3 days then half that for another 3days and i will be honest it was one of the worst experiences of my life as the withdrawals lasted about 6 weeks .But i did not learn from this and i was released 13m later clean but went straight back on it within a day and was selling it after just a week and as you probably already guessed i was back in prison two years later this time my habit was worse between 3-5 grams a day and 120ml of methadone also 30ml of valium.This time had 4 grams of gear stashed inside me when i was remanded and the prison doctor started me on 30ml of meth and 30ml valium which was cut down 5ml every day so did not get anything after six days also the 4gs did not last long it was worse that time around and i believe it was the methadone that made it so bad so bad even that i did not start to feel normal for 3 months and that is no exaggeration and even though i did not learn and sort myself out i never took meth again .After getting out after 2years and 9 months i still had not learned my lesson and it did not take long to get my habit back also aquiring a crack habit along the way and none of this was good for my two little boys or my girlfriend who i had been with since 17 and she had never got a habit as i would only let her have a bit like once a week.If any of you have ever had a problem with crack on top of H then you know its not a good mix and i was back inside after about 2 years and as a result social services got involved with my children and took them from my girlfriend and made them live with her mother this time i went in i had a 3-4 gram habit and a crack problem which for some reason was the easiest withdrawal I had ever done even with the crack and the personal stress I was under which I think there was two reasons one and the biggest was the methadone which got into every part of your body which is why it takes so long to feel normal again without that I was feeling myself after 3-4 weeks and another reason I was at the point that I'd had enough of prison and waking up every day of my life outside feeling ill also my children were a big factor in me wanting to change then a few weeks before i was getting released my girlfriend mother told me that my girlfriend had got herself a Heroin habit but instead of me going into myself and using drugs to black it out,it was like a light had finally switched on inside my head and was more determined to get my children back,help my missis and stay off the drugs which i did been clean 10 years got four kids and now married,dont get me wrong it was not easy and i've had a wobble or two and i will always be a addict,one thing that has helped with the anxiety over the years is subutex which I think are brilliant thats what got my wife off it and I nibble if a bit anxious.If i have bored you then i am sorry its just my story and if it helps one person i would be happy,my biggest point was really i don't think it matters how you detox if you don't really want too then it is bound to fail and you can have things to drive you like i did my wife and kids but you have to do it for yourself so if detox 5 helps then to me its worth it