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1. Narconon: Narconon owns a number of rehab facilities in the United States and Internationally. The facilities have been making headlines recently after several patients died while in treatment. Though cause is yet to be determined, most media outlets have attributed the deaths to Narconon’s bizarre detox protocols. Narconon’s treatment practice is mainly faith-based, centering on scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s “Purification Rundown.” In essence, patients take high doses of vitamins and other supplements and spend four hours a day in saunas that are heated to over 150 degrees. This bizarre detox can be extremely dangerous for addicts and alcoholics in withdrawal, particularly those coming off stimulants and alcohol.

The saunas and vitamins are intended detox the body. According to Hubbard, small amounts of drugs and their metabolites are stored in the body’s fat cells, and this is what causes drug craving. Only by ridding the body of these drugs can you recover from addiction and eliminate craving, according to the theory.

2. Ibogaine:  Second on our list of the top bizarre detoxes is Ibogaine. This hallucinogen is used mainly in the treatment of opioid dependency. Ibogaine is derived from a root used in African religious practices. Although illegal in the U.S., some 20 or 30 Ibogaine clinics are in operation worldwide. Some users report “visions” that help them conquer their addictions while using the drug. Ibogaine causes severe nausea, vertigo, sleeplessness, and visions that can be nightmarish, though it has been shown to block craving and withdrawal symptoms in people detoxing from heroin and other opioids.

3. Wat Tham Krabok: Number 3 on the list of bizarre detox methods is a detox process used by a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. Since 1959, the monastery has treated over 100,000 people suffering from addiction with Buddhist meditation, Asian herbal supplementation used for relaxation, induced vomiting, and the consumption of a secret detoxification potion composed of many different herbs. The bizarre detox lasts for 5 days and the elixir causes addicts to vomit every morning. The puking is a public event and sometimes schoolchildren are bused in to watch, ostensibly to deter them from future drug use.

4. Rapid Opiate Detox: Coming in fourth on our list of bizarre detox methods is rapid opiate detox, though it may not be so much bizarre as dangerous and pointless.  Rapid opiate detox is a procedure by which a patient is sedated and given medications to quickly clear the system of opiates. The procedure takes place in the intensive care unit of a hospital because patients must be closely monitored. Without the proper care and observation, this process can be deadly because it is such a shock to the system. There is no evidence that this rapid opiate detox works any better than regular detox, and it is much more dangerous. The most bizarre part is how many addicts are duped into believing this will cure their opiate addiction.

5. Serum Therapy: Though not used anymore, this bizarre detox was once very popular for treating narcotic addiction. In the 1950’s, doctors would create blisters on the addict’s stomach, remove fluid from the blisters with a hypodermic needle, and then re-inject that fluid into the addict’s arm. This was done 4 or 5 times a day for a week.

If you or someone you know needs treatment for their Addiction please call us at 800-951-6135 or visit us online at

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