Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Finds Rapid Heroin Detoxification Procedure Under Anesthesia Does Not Work and Can Result in Death

25.08.2005


Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute Researchers


Illustrate Severe Risk in Popular Procedure, Identify Safer Procedure

An increasingly common method of heroin detoxification under general anesthesia is ineffective and unsafe, according to a study by psychiatrists at Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia.

The study, published in the August 24 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), is the first rigorously controlled trial to monitor all of the critical outcomes associated with the procedure, including comfort, treatment retention, abstinence rates and the ability to receive the full and effective dose of naltrexone, a drug that blocks activation on the receptor sites in the brain where the opioids attach.



Heroin addiction is notoriously difficult to overcome. The nervous system of heroin users adapts over time to accommodate to chronic exposure to the opioid, and its sudden absence during detoxification results in excruciating withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, insomnia and irritability. Despite improvements in recent decades, medically supervised heroin withdrawal remains plagued by patient discomfort and high dropout rates. This has led to the growth of ultra-rapid, anesthesia-assisted opioid withdrawal procedures, which have been publicized as a fast, painless way to withdraw from opioids.

Results of the JAMA study, however, found that the procedure can lead to risk of death, psychosis and increased stress. Other studies have found other risks including delirium, attempted suicide, abnormal heart rhythm and acute renal failure. The anesthesia method is also prohibitively expensive, with most centers charging between $5,000 and $15,000 for the procedure.

“Our research illustrated that rapid heroin detoxification under anesthesia does not work well enough to justify the significant risk and expense,” said Eric D. Collins, M.D., assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the project director and first author on the study.

The study compared detoxification under anesthesia to two other alternative methods. Detoxification with a single dose of the drug buprenorphine was slower than anesthesia, but more effective and significantly less expensive. The third option, using the drug clonidine, was the slowest method and the least effective.

“Quitting heroin use can be an extremely painful process and we continue to strive to identify more comfortable and rapid methods of helping patients reach that goal,” said Herbert D. Kleber, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, director of the substance abuse division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and principal investigator on the study. “Unfortunately the anesthesia method is not the answer.”

Dr. Kleber believes that regardless of the detoxification method used, the treatment received after detoxification is the most important factor in determining the ultimate success in remaining off heroin, as Patrick G. O’Connor, M.D., of the Yale University School of Medicine argued in his accompanying JAMA editorial.

Most of the approximately one million heroin-dependent Americans are not in treatment, and their main initial contact with the treatments system is often detoxification. Throughout the 20th century, many methods of opioid detoxification have been proposed – including insulin-induced seizures, artificial hibernation and electroconvulsive therapy. But these approaches often produced greater morbidity and mortality than untreated withdrawal.

Craig LeMoult | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cumc.columbia.edu
http://www.nyspi.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>