The Texas Tech Health Sciences Center plans to open a treatment facility this summer offering opiate and heroin addicts rapid detoxification.
The treatment will be available in the intensive care unit of University Medical Center beginning June 1.
Dr. Alan Kaye, professor and chairman of Tech’s Department of Anesthesiology, will run the facility.
Dr. Andre Waismann, an Israeli doctor, developed the ultra rapid detoxification treatment procedure. The procedure now is more effective and is referred to as accelerated neuroregulation for opiate dependency.
This treatment has successfully worked on the 8000 patients who have tried this procedure all over the world.
Most convention drug detoxification sites lock the addict in a room, and when withdrawal begins, the patient feels horrible pain. Some die as a result, Kaye said.
The technique Waismann has created is the safest and humane way to free people from opiate addiction, he said.
The treatment will begin with placing the patient under general anesthetics. This is used to precipitate the withdrawal so the patient does not feel the painful effects.
“What we do is put the patient to sleep and give him an opiate antagonist or blocker,” Kaye said. “A normal response to that is changes in heart rate and blood pressure, which we can monitor in a safe manner.”
The patient will be hospitalized for 36 hours. The actual procedure is administered for the first six hours, and this is where the term rapid detoxification comes from. Medication then will be taken for the next six to nine months to decrease craving, Kaye said.
No other universities or medical centers are performing this technique, and Kaye said he is confident they will be having people nationally and internationally coming in to get treatment.
“It is exciting that Teach is on the forefront of this procedure because this sounds like a safe way for those who need to kick their habit and addiction,” said Jendi Hill, a general studies and pre-medical major from Houston.
The medical center has a premier pain center in the United States, and the Department of Anesthesiology will be able to refer patients to the treatment facility.
“Waismann is affiliating with Tech because of the fact that we can do better understand the mechanism and the process,” Kaye said. “We chose to be safe and effective in making a difference.”
In the United States, the treatment of choice is methadone, which is a legal substitute of a legal opiate that is used to satisfy the addiction, Kaye said.
“It sounds like Dr. Waismann procedure has proved to be successful, and it is great that Tech is wanting to reach out and help those who are addicted and get them back in control,” said Jeremy Grander, a junior cell and molecular biology major from Hobbs, N.M.
Kaye, along with three to four trained anesthesiologists, will be administered the treatment to at least two to three patients a week.
Waismann will visit Lubbock to help work with the Tech program, Kaye said.
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