Opiate addictions continue to be a major problem in the U.S. and around the world with statistics that can blindside you when realizing the severity. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported not long ago that there are 12 to 21 million opiate users around the world now, with much of that attributed to an increased use of heroin. But that also doesn’t take into account the amount of pain medication abuse. In the U.S. alone, opiate abuse from pain medications has become an issue that doesn’t get nearly enough attention from U.S. Congress.
It’s easy to see why so many people in the U.S. end up becoming addicted to pain medications when they’re so freely given out to patients by doctors. With physical pain being a problem so many people in America deal with, even some doctors are concerned about the situation. Those doctors even tried to get the FDA to change labeling on opiates to give better direction on prescribing them to patients.
If opiate addiction is so quietly prevalent around the world, what’s really being done to help people get clean? Anyone who’s gone through addiction to pain medications know the misery of going through the detox process in rehab centers. That knowledge, and the fact that some withdrawal symptoms (particularly for Methadone) can sometimes be fatal, are perhaps why so many haven’t bothered to seek treatment.
Are there any options out there that might make it easier for those fearing going through the horrors of the withdrawal process? One new experimental method that’s been given some inside renown may be the answer to lowering the little-known opiate addiction rates.
What is Accelerated Neuro-Regulation?
Back in the 1990s, a Dr. Andre Waismann devised a new detox method for opiate addiction that helped people get through the process much faster than usual. It involved the relationship to the brain and how endorphins play a major part in withdrawal symptoms. Originally called Ultra Rapid Opiate Detoxification, Waismann continued to refine his detox method and eventually called it ANR, or Accelerated Neuro-Regulation.
As suspect as it sounds, he’s now devised a method that helps people go through detox in 24 to 48 hours. This involves placing the patient under sedation as they go through immediate withdrawal symptoms. Their brains are monitored to help stabilize opioid receptors in the brain to help the body cope with any sense of craving.
After being moved to a hospital room for a night or two, the patient then awakens and goes home to a normal life while taking the drug Naltrexone to keep opioid receptors blocked in the brain.
For those fighting addiction in the U.S., the medical center is located in Ashkelon, Israel. And the hospital is located in Interlaken, Switzerland, hence making international travel necessary and perhaps problematic for many.
But is ANR treatment going to become the new standard of opiate detox in the future? Some have already considered it to be the real deal.
The Future of ANR
New York Daily News did a health column about ANR in 2010 that noted how the American Society for Addiction Medicine has come out in support of ANR. That kind of ringing endorsement could potentially make it better known. Regardless, it’s still a bit obscure and likely not even known in America because of facilities being in Europe.
In the meantime, opiate addictions in America and abroad may continue to increase as the general population faces physical pain through immediate access to their local pharmacy.