Opiate AddictionIt may sound like a miracle. An opiate addict can be anesthetized and wake up several hours later on the other side of withdrawal pain and discomfort. Is it really that easy? And is that the only way to experience a tolerable withdrawal?

Withdrawal from opiates can be daunting enough to prevent addicts from entering treatment. Those in withdrawal from opiates and opioid drugs usually experience deep muscle and bone pain, agitation, insomnia and anxiety. They may also go through painful abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. In most cases, opiate withdrawal usually lasts for three to fourteen days or even longer. http://www.hsc.mb.ca/addictions/Media/Opiate%20Withdrawal.pdf

One solution is to treat the symptoms of withdrawal with other drugs such as sedatives to reduce anxiety. Another solution is the medical service referred to as “rapid detox.” This involves placing the addict under general anesthesia and then injecting him or her with Naltrexone or other drugs which block the action of opiates on the body. At the very least, it is expected that the addicted person will be unconscious during the worst of the withdrawal process. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000949.htm

Some drug rehabilitation centers administering this treatment place the addict under a general anesthesia for four to six hours. A few advertize an ultra-rapid detox of just an hour. Others take as long as eight hours. While the person is unconscious, they receive large dosages of Naltrexone and/or other drugs.

Facilities that administer this treatment promote its safety and claim that they can compress the equivalent of eight days of withdrawal into one eight-hour period of anesthesia. But this isn’t what the National Institutes of Health (NIH) say.

The NIH states that there is no evidence that these programs actually reduce the amount of time spent in withdrawal and that there have been several deaths associated with the procedure. Additionally, any time a person is under general anesthesia, there is a risk to his or her life. The longer the anesthetized period, the greater the risk.

The NIH also states that the procedure is unproven and so the fact that it presents a risk of death significantly outweighs any potential and unproven benefit of the service. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000949.htm

On top of that, there’s the cost which can run as high as $13,000 for three days of treatment and monitoring after the anesthesia wears off. Plus, once the rapid detox is done, the person still needs to recover from the psychological addiction and change his or her lifestyle and ability to make drug-free decisions.

On top of the harm that might be done by the opiate the addict has been taking, Naltrexone has its own list of grim side effects. In this case, the side effects reported include: anxiety; appetite loss; chills; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; depression; headache; joint and muscle pain; low energy; nausea; nervousness; sleeplessness; stomach pain and cramps and vomiting. Isn’t it interesting to note that many of these are the same symptoms of withdrawal from other opiates?

But it gets worse. Adverse effects of Naltrexone can also include severe allergic reactions with hives, itching and difficulty breathing; confusion; hallucinations; severe vomiting and diarrhea; and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Liver damage can result from large dosages of the drug. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000853/. http://www.drugs.com/sfx/naltrexone-side-effects.html

Then there is this very simple question – “For a person addicted to drugs, how does it empower him or the resposible party in his life to get him through withdrawal under anaesthesia?”

The question is, “Is there any humane alternative?” Narconon spokesperson Bobby Wiggins had one to offer. “At the Narconon drug rehabilitation centers, we have developed a way to make withdrawal far more tolerable by using nutritional support and one-on-one care by our staff,” he said. “Addicts normally arrive at a drug rehab after a long period of neglect of their health. Add to that the fact that drugs rob the body of nutrients like the B vitamins and vitamin C. We have found that the administration of nutritional supplements specifically designed for those in drug recovery greatly eases the impact of withdrawal.”

Added to this is a liquid calcium-magnesium drink that calms muscle spasms and tends to reduce anxiety. And Narconon staff work continuously with each recovering addict to perform “assists,” gentle physical and mental relaxation exercises that help reorient the recovering addict and help ease him or her through the effects of withdrawal.

“The result is an experience that is tolerable and confrontable and which gives many recovering addicts new hope that this time, they can succeed because they have been participating right from the begining”, Wiggins added.

Call us to get more information about the Narconon Drug Treatment program. Our counselors are ready to assist you.


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