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 Antarctic Ice Sheet mass loss has increased
14.06.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

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: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A sprinkle of platinum nanoparticles onto graphene makes brain probes more sensitive

15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?

15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Perovskite-silicon solar cell research collaboration hits 25.2% efficiency

15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>