Anesthetized heroin withdrawal: no benefit

Aug 23, 2005

Researchers say they've determined the use of general anesthesia for heroin detoxification offers no benefit when compared with other methods.

In addition, the scientists said the use of anesthesia for detoxification is associated with several potentially life-threatening adverse events.

The researchers, led by led by Dr. Eric Collins of Columbia University, said many of the approximately 1 million heroin-dependent individuals in the United States fear the physical discomfort of withdrawal and either avoid treatment or leave it prematurely.

Such problems have given rise to ultra-rapid, or anesthesia-assisted opioid detoxification, which involves administering an opioid antagonist to neutralize the effects of heroin while the patient is unconscious from general anesthesia.

Although publicized as a fast, painless way to withdraw from heroin, the treatment is expensive -- costing as much as $15,000 -- and lacks good evidence to support efficacy, the scientists wrote.

The study appears in the Aug. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Expert offers advice on how to 'pitch' a good research idea

5 hours ago

For many students or junior academics—and even for senior investigators—initiating a new piece of research can be a daunting experience, and they often do not know where or how to begin. A recent Accounting and Finance ar ...

A better grasp of primate grip

6 hours ago

Scientists are coming to grips with the superior grasping ability of humans and other primates throughout history.

Oldest fossils controversy resolved

6 hours ago

New analysis of world-famous 3.46 billion-year-old rocks by researchers from The University of Western Australia is set to finally resolve a long-running evolutionary controversy.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.