Dr. Waismann, Hero Against Heroin
What’s On Magazine
Waismann is convinced that dependency on narcotics is a disorder of the central nervous system. It just becomes chronic due the lack of an effective, safe and humane medical treatment. The psychological aspects of it are but one of the secondary side-effects of the untreated primary condition. With the Waismann method anaesthetists and ICU doctors can reverse the illness. No wonder that for so many decades psychiatrists and psychologists met with but limited success.
Drug addiction is an international problem that knows no state boundaries, nor is any country spared its ravages, not even Indonesia where for too many years its extent was largely swept under the carpet. Yet the war against narcotics cannot be won without an effective treatment method for those addicted.
Enter Dr. Andre Waismann, an Israeli physician who has already successfully treated over 8,000 patients around the world, from the ages of six to 72 years old. If his treatment were available for free in every country of the world, heroin addiction would no longer be a major problem.
It started back in 1982 when after moving to Israel at the age of 24, Waismann was doing his military service in the Israeli army as an infantry officer. It was here he witnessed the chilling fact that even war heroes can become dependent on drugs, when those administered during treatment for wounds, give rise to narcotic addiction. He also learned in neo-natal clinics that new-born babies can suffer from severe addiction problems too, if their mothers Were heroin addicts. It was a bitter irony that while man had managed to reach the moon, there was still no cure for a baby who had an inherited addiction.
The only treatment available at the time was methadone replacement, which needs a long and painful detoxification process to wean the patient off heroin and onto methadone. Though bearable, and sometimes successful with adults, in babies it can cause brain damage. Even then, methadone itself is addictive and to wean the patient off this only subjects them to even more pain and suffering.
Waismann started looking for the common connection between war heroes, babies and the addict on the street. What he realised was that these were not psychiatric cases but people who were suffering from physical illness. What was needed was not psychiatric therapy but a medical approach. Waismann’s search for what was really happening within the body further convinced him that this was the area to explore, particularly so when he discovered that the finest clinics in America could only claim a 50 percent success rate, even after many months of treatment.
Waismann is convinced that dependency on narcotics is a disorder of the central nervous system. It just become chronic due the lack of an effective, safe and humane medical treatment. The psychological aspects of it are but one of the secondary side-effects of the untreated primary condition. With the Waismann method anaesthetists and ICU doctors can reverse the illness. No wonder that for so many decades’ psychiatrists and psychologists met with but limited success.
In order to achieve this breakthrough Dr. Waismann utilised an anti-narcotic drug that he terms a narcotic antagonist. It was a drug that had been around for thirty years or so, but Waismann used it in conjunction with anaesthetism, which spared the patient the unbearable pain that would be encountered during the initial four-hour treatment. To complete the treatment it is necessary to continue to take the tablets for a period of some ten months, by which time the actual receptors will be changed and shrunk, thus reversing permanently the effects of narcotic craving.
Initially, Dr. Waismann was more concerned with treating patients himself at his clinic in Israel – even Hollywood movie stars turned up for treatment. Today however, he spends more time on teaching and training at academic, governmental institutions and foundations, giving freely of his knowledge and experience. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then he should be pleased, for there are those doctors who claim to have a similar treatment, although they have never been trained by Dr. Waismann himself. There are also those who doubt his cure, citing different theories. To them his response is simple: “They have got all the theories… I’ve got all the good results. The rain of history will wash out those theories from our reality. My work will always shine like the sun of a new morning in the homes of those who I have treated.”
A LEAP OVER THE POLITICAL BARRIER
Technology allows physicians today to understand better what was virtually unknown thirty years ago. Different kinds of drugs however, result in more confusion than providing matters of choice. Narcotics like heroin, opium, morphine, codeine and methadone- can create a central nervous system disorder and neurological illness.
As world history has shown with , the Opium War, addiction to narcotics is never a simple problem to solve, either individually or nationally. No matter how self-destructive the consumption of opium, there are always people around the corner becoming addicted to it. The higher the addiction level, the more serious will be the social and economic implications, which in turn lead to political problems.
Unfortunately, drug trafficking systems and drug diversification technology are moving faster than medical advancement in bringing the victims of drug addiction back to their normal state. Efforts to bust the illegal business of narcotics are of course not in the hands of medical doctors, but as soon as new technology and methods of narcotic treatment are introduced, political issues can matter. For one thing, technology innovation is both copyrighted and has the potential for political misuse.
Technology allows physicians today to understand better what was virtually unknown thirty years ago. Different kinds of drugs however, result in more confusion than providing matters of choice. Narcotics like heroin, opium, morphine, codeine and methadone can create a central nervous system disorder and neurological illness. Not only physicians, but people can play with a lot of drugs. One can use heroin once, twice, three times, five times perhaps, and everything is all right. Life is normal until one day the person wakes up in the morning and finds the system has gone crazy, the early sufferings from diarrhoea and vomiting being just the beginning of becoming addicted. From then on heroin consumption is a must, otherwise painful suffering is the price. No other choices are available, and they start hiding the problem, lying and doing whatever it takes to find heroin all the time.
Dr. Andre Waismann has taken all the knowledge available to understand what is happening in the brain. He has finally found out which kind of conditions happen in the brain that generate illness. Now, he is offering treatment to reverse this condition. So far, drug addicts have been treated by psychiatrists and psychologists, but what they are suffering from is not primarily a psychological problem. Instead, it is a neurological problem that will cause secondary psychological effects.
Continuous external narcotics intake leads to damage of the very basic and delicate system of natural balance of narcotic-like substances produced by our own brain. Those substances regulates our pain, our fluid, our sleeping patterns, blood pressure and other important functions. Once, there is a new regulation based on external narcotics, abrupt interruption of the external substance will cause severe distress for the body. Relinquishing narcotic consumption causes vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, bone pain in the whole body, sweating, nose running, and sleeplessness. These terrible conditions will last for about ten days. That’s why half of heroin consumers can’t stand the process. It takes such a long time to pursue treatment to a full stop, because even if they stop using heroin, the body has storage in bone and fat tissues. So it takes a long time until there is no more available. When there is no more heroin available, the body starts the process of neuro-regulation.
Endorphine goes to the brain and is contained by opiod receptors. The heroin goes to these receptors as well. In his treatment method, Waismann blocks these receptors, and regardless of how much heroin there is in the body, the heroine can no longer reach the brain. Thus me patient becomes “clean” at once; it takes about 20 minutes to block. Because they become clean so fast, all the suffering that happens is very strong, but it does not last ten days, just four hours. No matter how short the period of pain, patients must be put in deep sedation so they can sleep throughout the process.
Heroin addiction has entailed so many problems in social, economic and cultural life. A lot of young people are not able to study and work, not because they do not have money but because of heroin problems. Drug addiction clearly worsens the prolonged crisis. A clear and present danger of narcotics is that through the use of shared needles to inject, they can add to the spread of AIDS and hepatitis throughout all societies, contaminating people every day. One patient with AIDS for instance, or with hepatitis C, can take resources from the economy for treatment. If there are 800,000 addicts in Indonesia, ten years from now millions of people could be suffering from AIDS in the future, thus destroying the economy of the country.
Billions of dollars have been spent worldwide every year in treating sick people. An effective and safe solution for the problem of heroin addiction will be saving the future of any nation. Otherwise, drug addicts will resort to crimes, prostitution, theft etc. just for their sake of getting more drugs.
Drug addicts even with different, negative behaviour cannot be treated effectively by psychologists. Those people with heroin addiction have terrible pain and they start acting differently. Because they start changing their behaviour, people send them to psychiatrists. Waismann wants to change the social pattern and succeeds, not because he is a genius but because he understand the correlation among the receptors, the addiction, the work, and all the illnesses. That way, he reverses what they do, the opiate dependency point.
Blocking the receptors is done with narcotic antagonist pills, which make the brain clean. As the brain becomes clean, the patient will have the severest of withdrawal symptoms, so that patients need to be anaesthetized. Antagonist has existed for 20 years to reverse anaesthesia. Doctors created it many years ago, but they could not reverse the dependency, so they came out with a lot of theories of addicted personalities.
A psychiatrist will speak at length to define the word addiction; Dr. Waismann needs two – addiction is neuroadaptation. Whenever a new element is introduced into man’s biological cycle the brain adapts to this newcomer and this new element becomes part of the body’s biological circle. If the element is taken away, the body will suffer. Similarly the mosquito, spider etc. will die if the environment changes. Human beings can adapt. If man goes to a cold place, his body will do a lot of things to adapt to the cold. With narcotics being introduced to the brain, the substance changes the health dynamics of blood pressure, heartbeat and pain regulation, and the suffering is great when the substance is taken away. It is the same concept, and Waismann can prove that such a thing as addicted personality does not exist.
Treating narcotic addicts is basically easy because all necessary drugs are already available. He uses a long-acting antagonist that will keep those receptors blocked. His research began in 1990, and this later enabled him to change the procedure dramatically. He stopped calling the process “detoxification” and created the concept of neuro-regulation. By this term, he means accelerated neuroregulation that reverses the physical and psychological dependency, while detoxification just cleanses the body of the narcotic.
The accelerated neuro-regulation procedure has now been practiced in America and Israel, while other countries like Germany, England, Australia, Italy, Spain etc. are beginning the practice of Waismann’s early methods of rapid detoxification.
A MAN ON HUMANE MISSION
For many years, Israeli scientists have worked very hard to create weapons, war planes, missiles etc, and they still work on those as well. But in the last ten years or so, Israeli society has come to understand that the best weapon is being good neighbours to other people, and bringing their knowledge to them. The best weapon has to be peace. Even Syria, a long-time enemy of Israel needs Israeli technology for agriculture and medicine.
The most serious antagonists for Dr. Waismann are the ‘white collar mafia’, the doctors in possession of detoxification and rehabilitation centres, which are a very profitable undertaking. They’re where families are willing to pay any price, yet one year’s treatment is no better than what Waismann can achieve in one day. The pharmaceutical industry also gains, for it sells methadone all over the world as a replacement for heroin, but this too is be very addictive. It is almost impossible to stop, and one can become a slave of methadone for thirty years.
Now this new treatment for drug addicts – one of the biggest breakthroughs in the history of medicine – has come to Indonesia. Not respecting any rules or political issues on medicine or mafia-like threats, Dr. Waismann has crossed many borders and treats all men regardless of who they are. If by so doing he creates some small problems for psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical industry, so be it. For the end justifies the means, returning heroin addicts to become useful members of a wider society.
Dr. Waismann was determined to visit Indonesia on his humane mission of sharing medical knowledge. On the question of an Israeli visiting a country that is predominantly Muslim, when his own country is wrongly perceived by some Muslims as being a mortal enemy, Waismann is understanding. As he points out, misperceptions are to be found on all sides. In America and Europe for instance, the Muslim religion is often connected wi th terrorism and radicalism, rather than as a religion of peace and understanding. He feels that Indonesia is a prime example to the world of how you can be very religious, how you can be liberal, and how you can accept all the people.
Although Indonesia has no official relationship with Israel, Dr. Waismann is proud to be able to do his part in helping the people of another country, one of the largest populations in the world. As a liberal Israeli, Waismann recognises all religions, but to him the biggest factor is the human being himself. Medicine is above religious faith or politics, in that pain and suffering are the same for all, be they Jew, Moslem, Christian or whatever.
Perhaps his understanding of wider Christianity comes from his own family’s nuher extended origins. His late father, a well-known Brazilian Congressman was of Russian descent, while his mother was a Marroquian descendent from Brazil. His Israeli wife has Czech blood on her father’s side and Polish from her mother. Coming from a family of seven, Waismann has instilled in his own five children the need to respect and understand human suffering. The practice of medicine knows not religious, cultural or political boundaries, and he considers it his duty to introduce his new medical knowledge to Indonesia or any other country wishing to accept it.
His current visit is to complete the training of Indonesia anaesthetists, so that they can treat patients here in Indonesia. In the past, Indonesians wishing to undergo treatment by Dr. Waismann had to fly to his clinic in Israel – an added expense that few could afford, although last year he treated 100 Indonesians. By providing available treatment at home he hopes to reach out and help even more people reverse their addiction.
In his Megama clinic unit in Israel he normally treats around four patients a day, but numbers can be greatly increased with the availability of anaesthetists and neurologists, nurses and of course equipment in the ICU. For optimal safety, patients are advised to come early in the morning for a blood examination, screening of the liver and kidney functions, a cardiogram and clinical assessment. After being given medication the patient is anaesthetised for four-and-a-half hours, and after waking is usually kept for a further 12 hours to ensure that everything is all right.
There is a popular saying “Life begins at 40″ and in Waismann’s case, at age 41, he is preparing a book to be published in America. Entitled “Changing of the Guards,” he is trying to further promote his clinical methods and at the same time expose the fragility of the techniques that depend on psychiatric counselling and methadone replacement. Given the lucrative income that such methods bring in for substance abuse clinics and the pharmaceutical industry, it is hardly surprising that they are not the most ardent of Dr. Waismann’s supporters.
Besides making his tour of Indonesia, Dr. Waismann also has another very important project on hand – helping the Palestinians to remove drug addicts from Bethlehem before the year 2000. In yet another gesture of the interaction of religions, the idea is to ensure that for the Millennium celebrations there are no drug addicts in the Holy City of Bethlehem. At the start there were some 200 addicts in the small city, but with the help of Dr. Waismann, Palestinian doctors have been trained to implement his treatment methods. When few Israeli’s were willing to interact with the Palestinians, he was among the first to offer his help and assistance so that they too could share in the advances of modem medicine and bring relief to their own people.
Living in a very small country with a total population less than half Jakarta’s ten million, Dr. Weismann has survived in an environment where for many years a climate of enmity and animosity has existed with neighbouring countries. In the 50 years of its existence Israel has been forced to be military strong, yet Dr. W esimann believes that it is even stronger today, not because of weapons but because of its scientific and technological advances in many fields.
This is particularly true in the practice of medicine, and Israeli field hospitals are always among the vanguard when natural disasters strike anywhere in the region. They were among the first to lend support during the recent earthquake in Turkey for example. Dr. Wesimann believes that it is by building on the new movement for peace with its neighbours, Israel will not only be able to share its technology but also remove the seeds of distrust that have existed for too long. Peace can make not only Israel stronger but all countries in the Middle East.