Addiction treatment gets tested

Mar 18, 2007

Heroin addicts in Scotland are undergoing a treatment involving low-level electrical impulses to determine if NeuroElectric Therapy actually works.

The treatment is not new. Dr. Meg Patterson, a Scottish surgeon, came up with the idea in the 1970s while she was working at a hospital in Hong Kong, where an electric form of Chinese acupuncture was used to control pain during surgery.

Patterson found that the treatment, when used on opium addicts, also relieved their craving for the drug. Over the years, she refined the process and treated a number of celebrity drug addicts, including rockers Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.

But Patterson's work failed to win over the medical establishment, and she died in 2002. Now, her children, with funding from a Scottish non-profit group, are carrying on her work, The Independent reports.

Trials are also under way or recently completed in Romania, Australia, Ukraine and the United States.

Even its most fervent backers say that the treatment, while it has a high success rate, is not a miracle cure. What the electrical impulses do is to reduce the craving for heroin and other drugs enough to help addicts over the withdrawal period and keep them from returning to addiction.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: FTC clears Sun Pharma's $4B purchase of competitor Ranbaxy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers one step closer to cocaine antidote

Jan 13, 2015

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have gained new insight into the mechanism behind a protein dopamine transporter that could help in the development of future medical treatment against cocaine addiction.

Study discovers a way to control internal clocks

Dec 23, 2014

Researchers hypothesize that targeting components of the mammalian clock with small molecules like REV-ERB drugs may lead to new treatments for sleep disorders and anxiety disorders. It also is possible that ...

Recommended for you

Why aren't there any human doctors in Star Wars?

Jan 30, 2015

Though set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," it isn't hard to see in the Star Wars films a vision of our own not so distant future. But Anthony Jones, a physician with a long background in health ...

Cambodia bans 'virgin surgery' adverts

Jan 29, 2015

The Cambodian government has ordered a hospital to stop advertising so-called virginity restoration procedures, saying it harms the "morality" of society.

What's happening with your donated specimen?

Jan 28, 2015

When donating blood, plasma, human tissue or any other bodily sample for medical research, most people might not think about how it's being used. But if you were told, would you care?

Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

Jan 27, 2015

Amgen Inc. cruised to a 27 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and beat Wall Street expectations, due to higher sales of nearly all its medicines, tight cost controls and a tax benefit.

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.