BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Recently, national media has created widespread exposure for the increased use of replacement drug treatment methods such as Methadone and Suboxone. The “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric ” and USA Today have both touched upon some of the dangers these replacement methods present, which include new dependencies and death due to overdose. With prescription drug abuse rates now surpassing those of marijuana, it has become increasingly important to develop new methods for treatment. However, is the simple replacement of one drug for another the answer?
The increase of prescription medication dependency in America has created a greater need for the introduction of alternative methods of treatment to address the issue. Ultimately, the goal of any treatment method is long-term abstinence, and the necessary initial step to achieve this is the elimination of all opioids from the body. The absolute detoxification from opiates is prevented by the use of Suboxone and Methadone, as they work by filling receptors with opiates of a different form.
“Drugs like Methadone and Suboxone only mask the typically painful withdrawal symptoms, because they simply continue to feed the dependency,” explains Dr. Clifford Bernstein, medical director of The Waismann Method, a world-renowned opiate dependency treatment center. “Patients seeking detoxification from opiates take these drugs as advised by their physician. Unfortunately, these patients are unknowingly utilizing an opiate-based drug in an attempt to cure their existing dependency, without realizing that these replacement therapies merely block cravings. Suboxone and Methadone do not treat the root of opiate dependency; they solely maintain the opioid levels within a patient’s receptors, thus preventing physical withdrawals.”
According to a recent study conducted by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NIDC), Methadone-related deaths increased by 390 percent from 1999 to 2004; with the age group of 15 to 24 seeing the largest increase. This increase is principally due to the unsupervised prescription of Methadone and the lack of education surrounding the danger of this drug.
Unfortunately, Suboxone (a 50 percent opiate-based drug) is most often used as a drug replacement therapy, but it only serves to suppress cravings. It works by taking the place of the opioids in the receptor – preventing a patient from experiencing physical withdrawals – therefore giving a false impression that Suboxone has treated the initial dependency. However, it is important to note that the absence of withdrawal symptoms does not mean the absence of dependency. In a survey conducted by The Waismann Method in 2007, an alarming 87 percent of respondents said they experience withdrawal symptoms if they missed a dose of Suboxone.
As medicine has evolved over the years, we now have the ability to medically reverse opiate dependency. Since 1999, the Waismann Method, based in California, has performed more than 2000 anesthesia-assisted opiate detoxification procedures and has demonstrated that the method is both safe and humane, in addition to being an effective method for reversing individuals ’ opiate dependency. One year after opiate reversal, approximately 70 percent of Waismann Method patients remained opiate free, per Waismann patient self-reporting by telephone or email.
“A number of studies have proven that there is a significant dropout rate for traditional methods of detoxification because abusers are afraid of the unpleasant withdrawal experience,” said Bernstein. “In fact, it has been reported that up to 50 percent of individuals utilizing inpatient methods and as many as 70 percent of individuals utilizing outpatient methods will fail to complete their given program.”(1)
About the Waismann Method
Drs. Clifford A. Bernstein is the medical director of Anesthesia Assisted Medical Opiate Detoxification Inc. (A.A.M.O.D.). A.A.M.O.D. uses the exclusive Waismann Method of rapid detox to treat opiate dependency. Performed in a hospital intensive care unit, the Waismann Method involves cleansing opiate receptors in a patient’s brain of the narcotics while the patient is under anesthesia, reversing the chemical imbalance. During the procedure, the patient will experience minimal conscious withdrawal and will be able to return home within days. 75 percent of the prescription drug dependent patients who are treated with the Waismann Method remain drug-free after one year. The Waismann Foundation, founded by Clare Waismann, is headquartered in Beverly Hills, Calif.
1.) Cheng SK, Cheung BK. Psychometric Properties and Factor Structures of 2 Chinese Opiate Withdrawal Rating Scales. Hong Kong J Psychiatry. 2004;14(1):2-9.
Source: Business Wire