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Anesthesia Facilitated Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxification (AFUROD)


Are drugs such as heroin, morphine, vicodin, methadone, demerol, oxycontin, percocet, or lortab affecting your life? Would you be interested in a safe, innovative, and effective procedure to help you with your opiate addiction?

Opioid abuse, particularly prescription painkiller abuse, has become more prevalent throughout the United States. The reasons for this are many, but the source of the initial introduction to opioids can almost always be traced back to street dealing or prescriptions from physicians who were initially treating true pain. The end result is an increased “need” for these drugs. This “need” for opioids results in an addiction with many physical, psychological, social, and economic implications. Traditional treatments for opioid addiction have usually involved prolonged withdrawal periods lasting weeks. During this time, symptoms such as back pain, insomnia, fatigue, and stomach cramps often become so severe that patients fail to complete the process. In fact, the majority of patients entering drug abuse treatment facilities never get pass the acute detoxification stage. With the introduction of alternative methods of detoxification, patients now have an option in which they are spared the conscious suffering of withdrawal symptoms. Dr. Garland Cowan and Dr. Timothy Beckett are proud to offer the revolutionary procedure known as Anesthesia Facilitated Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxification (AFUROD).

AFUROD, performed in several countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Israel, and Spain, is a procedure in which a patient may be “cleansed” of opioids while resting comfortably under general anesthesia. During the procedure itself, many drugs are given to induce acute withdrawal, while other drugs are given to prevent or reduce the side effects which commonly occur. The patient, therefore, undergoes detoxification while unaware, and awakens having bypassed a majority of the withdrawal syndrome. Performed properly, this procedure prepares a patient for immediate entry into the recovery stage of opioid abuse treatment. With proper counseling, psychotherapy, and group participation, these patients are afforded the opportunity to lead a drug free life.



Procedure Protocol

We at Valley Center for Cannabis Therapy recognize the need for privacy and confidentiality once a patient has decided to take control of his/her life and pursue AFUROD. With this in mind, we have streamlined the entire process from initial encounter to discharge from the procedure facility to both minimize time away from home or work, and to reduce exposure to other individuals in the community. Followed carefully, our protocol results in a time period of one week, from initial phone call to discharge from our facilities.

Initial contact will be made by telephone with our coordinator who will collect pertinent information which is later forwarded to the physicians. The coordinator will also answer any basic questions regarding the AFUROD process, risks, and costs. Next, you will be scheduled to meet with either Dr. Beckett or Dr. Cowan for determination of candidacy. Once you have decided to undergo the procedure, a deposit is taken, and you will be scheduled to meet with a Primary Care Physician and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Specialist to determine that you are physically and psychologically able to undergo the AFUROD procedure. After information from your PCP and LADC meetings have been sent to the VCCT office, you will have a final face to face meeting with Dr. Beckett or Dr. Cowan in order to review the findings, sign all consents, pay remaining fees, and make any other final preparations for your procedure. Additionally, we will discuss dates, times, and locations of the procedure, review pre-procedural fasting and drug cessation guidelines, verify that all pre- and post-procedural prescriptions are given, and verify that all post-procedural arrangements have been made.

On the day of the procedure, you will arrive two hours early to begin preparation for AFUROD. Sedation will be given to reduce anxiety. You will then be transferred to the procedure suite, at which time general anesthesia is induced. You will be asleep for approximately 4 hours while the detoxification process takes place. After awakening, you will be transferred to the recovery area where you will be closely monitored by registered nurses who are trained in critical care, and any residual withdrawal symptoms will be treated. Once stable and able to eat, you will be discharged to the care of a friend, family, or inpatient treatment facility if already arranged.

AFUROD is only the first step towards the cessation of opioid abuse. It is like jumping into a cold swimming pool. You still have to swim to stay afloat. To this end, we encourage all patients to take advantage of the follow-up visits that are arranged with the licensed alcohol and drug counselors. In addition, we continue to make ourselves available in the form of follow-up phone calls, meetings, etc. Following discharge, we offer naltrexone, either in pill form, or as a depot injection at an added cost, to assist you in recovering from opioid abuse.




We perform our procedure exclusively at Seven Hills Surgery Center, located at 876 Seven Hills Drive, Henderson, Nevada 89052. Seven Hills Surgery Center is a state of the art ambulatory center. The center is licensed by the State of Nevada, certified by Medicare and accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.



Frequently Asked Questions

What is AFUROD?
AFUROD stands for Anesthesia Facilitated Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxification. It is a procedure during which a patient is placed under general anesthesia, and the process of withdrawal, which can usually take weeks, is accelerated, thereby reducing the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms.
What is the purpose of this procedure?
The purpose of AFUROD is to allow for nearly immediate entry into the rehabilitation phase of addiction treatment by condensing the detoxification phase into a shorter time period.
What types of patients may benefit from this procedure?
This procedure may benefit two different classes of people: 1) The patient who has an addiction to opioids such as heroin, methadone, percocet, oxycontin, opium, morphine, dilaudid, codeine, demerol, fentanyl, etc., or 2) The patient who has chronic pain but has been on opiates for such a long time that the medications do not have any affect in reducing their pain anymore.
Is this procedure recognized by the FDA?
Like many alternative treatments in medicine, this procedure is not specifically recognized by the FDA. However, all drugs used in the procedure have FDA approval.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
Most complications of this procedure are the same as those for anyone undergoing general anesthesia for any reason, and include adverse drug reactions, vomiting, diarrhea, aspiration pneumonia, pulmonary edema, gastrointestinal bleeding, renal failure, cardiovascular complications, and possible death. However, the risk is very small and great care is taken to protect against any complications. Full disclosure of all medical conditions as well as current and past drug use, both prescribed and non-prescribed, greatly minimizes the possibility of serious and life threatening complications. Full emergency and resuscitation equipment is immediately available to deal with any possible adverse effects that may arise during the procedure.
What is the cost of this procedure, and is it covered by insurance?
The cost of this procedure is $12,500. Unfortunately, there is no insurance coverage at this time.
What does this fee include?
This fee covers initial consultations, a pre-procedural evaluation with a primary care physician, initial laboratory testing, four visits with a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, the procedure itself, and the overnight stay in our facility.
Are there any other costs involved?
The only other expenses directly related to the procedure that you will be responsible for are prescription medications that you will need to take following the procedure.
Is anonymity maintained throughout this process?
We follow all HIPAA guidelines strictly in order to maintain anonymity. In certain circumstances, aliases are used. Contact by phone, e-mail, or U.S. mail is made only upon obtaining your expressed consent.
Who performs the procedure?
The procedure is always performed by Dr. Cowan or Dr. Beckett. Both are physicians certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and members of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Where is the procedure performed?
The procedure is performed at Seven Hills Surgery Center. This facility is a state of the art ambulatory surgery center. The center is licensed by the State of Nevada, certified by Medicare and accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. The facility is staffed by highly trained nurses throughout your entire stay.
How long is the procedure?
The time you will be under general anesthesia is approximately four hours, after which time you will awaken and be transferred to recovery. Once there, you will remain in our facility overnight, for a total time in the surgery center of approximately 23 hours.
How will I feel after the procedure?
Immediately following the procedure, you will feel tired and may want to sleep while in recovery. You may also experience some mild symptoms related to withdrawal in the immediate post-procedural period. For the next couple of weeks, you may be easily fatigued due to the need for your body to begin making natural substances to give you energy. However, we anticipate these occurrences and have developed several modalities to help you deal with them.
How much time should I expect to be off work?
Some people have been well enough to return to work immediately. Some have gone horseback riding the day after the procedure. Others have gone shopping the day after the procedure. However, we recommend that you prepare for the possibility that it may be 7-14 days before you feel that your energy level is sufficient for you to return to normal daily activities.
What guarantees do you make concerning this procedure?
All attempts will be made to provide you with optimal detoxification results and the least possible side effects.
What follow-up do you provide?
Daily phone follow-ups with Dr. Cowan or Dr. Beckett occur during the first week following the procedure. In addition, there is an in-office follow-up. Three follow-up visits with a licensed alcohol and drug counselor are built into our fee. Each patient is also given the personal mobile phone numbers of our physicians to contact them directly should any issues arise.
What if I relapse?
AFUROD is only the first step towards the cessation of opioid abuse. It is only a detoxification procedure. Undergoing this procedure alone cannot guarantee long-term sobriety. What you choose to do after the detoxification procedure is up to you. Our counselors will recommend a specific aftercare program for you that they feel will give you the best chance at maintaining opiate abstinence. If, for any reason, you decide to resume your prior drug use, we cannot be held responsible.



Local Accomodations

For proximity to the offices and the procedure location, we recommend the following hotels to those who may be visiting from a different city/state:

Green Valley Ranch Station
2300 Paseo Verde Parkway
Henderson, NV 89052
Phone: (702) 617-7777M Resort
12300 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Henderson, NV 89044
Phone: (7020 797-1000

Hampton Inn & Suites
3245 Saint Rose Parkway
Henderson, Nevada 89052
Phone: (702) 385-2200Homewood Suites
10450 South Eastern Avenue
Henderson, Nevada 89052
Phone: (702) 450-1045