Laser Therapy For Drug Addiction
Dozens of opiates and related drugs (sometimes called opioids) have been extracted from the seeds of the opium poppy or synthesized in
laboratories. The poppy seed contains morphine and codeine, among other drugs. Synthetic derivatives include hydrocodone (Vicodin),
oxycodone (Percodan, OxyContin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and heroin (diacetylmorphine). Some synthetic opiates or opioids with a different chemical structure but similar effects on the body and brain are propoxyphene (Darvon), meperidine (Demerol), and methadone.
Physicians use many of these drugs to treat pain.
Opiates suppress pain, reduce anxiety, and at sufficiently high doses produce euphoria. Most can be taken by mouth, smoked, or snorted, although addicts often prefer intravenous injection, which gives the strongest, quickest pleasure. The use of intravenous needles can lead to infectious disease, and an overdose, especially taken intravenously, often causes respiratory arrest and death.
Addicts take more than they intend, repeatedly try to cut down or stop, spend much time obtaining the drug and recovering from its effects, give up other pursuits for the sake of the drug, and continue to use it despite serious physical or psychological harm. Some cannot hold jobs and turn to crime to pay for illegal drugs. Heroin has long been the favorite of street addicts because it is several times more potent than morphine and reaches the brain especially fast, producing a euphoric rush when injected intravenously. But
prescription opiate analgesics, especially oxycodone and hydrocodone, have also become a problem.
In anyone who takes opiates regularly for a long time, nerve receptors are likely to adapt and begin to resist the drug, causing the need for higher doses.The other side of this tolerance is a physical withdrawal reaction that occurs when the drug leaves the body and receptors must readapt to its absence. This physical dependence is not equivalent to addiction. Many patients who take an opiate for
pain are physically dependent but not addicted: The drug is not harming them, and they do not crave it or go out of their way
to obtain it.
For some addicts, the beginning of treatment is detoxification — controlled and medically supervised withdrawal from the drug. (By itself, this is not a solution, because most addicts will eventually resume taking the drug unless they get further help.) The withdrawal symptoms — agitation; anxiety; tremors; muscle aches; hot and cold flashes; sometimes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea — are not life-threatening, but are extremely uncomfortable. The intensity of the reaction depends on the dose and speed of withdrawal. Short-acting opiates, like heroin, tend to produce more intense but briefer symptoms.
By naturally elevating levels of serotonin and endorphins, laser therapy allows you to eliminate cravings, stress, irritability,
appetite, anxiety, tremors mood and anger most commonly associated with withdrawals. Laser therapy is not designed to be the sole treatment, rather to assist or enhance other treatments, such as counseling.
No single approach to detoxification is guaranteed to be best for all addicts. Many heroin addicts are switched to the synthetic opiate methadone, a longer-acting drug that can be taken orally or injected. Then the dose is gradually reduced over a period of about a week. The anti-hypertensive (blood pressure lowering) drug clonidine is sometimes added to shorten the withdrawal time and relieve physical symptoms.