Recovery Method Hits Addicts Where It Hurts
Sheila never imagined her stress-related migraines would end up making her a pill-popping junkie. The Ventura County mother of three started getting headaches and having trouble sleeping due to the unending juggle of going to college for a teaching degree and raising newborn twins. For her symptoms, her doctor prescribed Lortab, a widely distributed pill that contains a powerful opiate ingredient called oxycodone.
Gaining a nasty reputation for its junkie-creating potential, oxycodone has recently been billed in national magazines as the “white-trash heroin,” but it has also found fans in upper-class neighborhoods by being more acceptable than heroin. Sheila had heard of Lortab’s more notorious cousin Vicodin (which also contains oxycodone), but was unaware that the pills she was taking to help her sleep and feel better would, months later, make her more dependent on drugs than on food.
When Sheila got up to 10 pills a day, she was crediting their soothing effects for her straight-A report cards. “I was taking them just to function,” she said. “I’d take them, feel better, and vacuum the house.” By that time, Sheila was keeping pills in her pocket and hiding her usage from her family and friends. Only when her pharmacist told her that the strength and amount she was taking was equivalent to what was prescribed for pain-riddled patients with advanced cancer did Sheila realize the enormity of her problem. At the same time, her Oxnard-based doctor was arrested and charged with over-prescribing painkillers to a variety of patients. After trying to kick her habit solo, which led to horrible flu-like withdrawal symptoms, Sheila decided it was time for help.
Like a dedicated college student, Sheila researched detox centers, but found mostly 28-day rehab clinics or 12-step programs. She didn’t have the time for such extensive treatment, and though her physical addiction was strong, she didn’t feel she was emotionally or psychologically hooked, which is what 12-step programs often address. Then she stumbled upon the Waismann Institute’s program in Beverly Hills, discovering a groundbreaking drug rehabilitation method that’s become her salvation.
The program takes but one day of medical treatment, preceded by a testing day and followed by a night of monitoring. Essentially, the addict’s opiate-dependent body is flushed in a system-cleansing process that takes mere hours. During an anesthesia-induced unconsciousness, the patient goes through the symptoms of withdrawal at an accelerated rate.
The usually weeks-long nausea and insomnia is unknowingly endured by the addict in an afternoon. The patient is then given an alternative drug to take daily that provides no “high” and acts as an antidote to opiates, blocking any inebriation if the cured addict starts using again. The treatment is quick and easy and, compared to the traditional detox remedies that average a less-than-20-percent success rate, the Waismann method is effective, with a 95-percent success rate after one month and a 65-percent success rate after one year.
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