Loss of brain function due to cell death is a common consequence of heavy and chronic drug or alcohol usage.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to aid recovering addicts whose brains have been damaged by years of substance addiction.
The body’s own natural antibacterial is oxygen. Those who abuse drugs or alcohol can benefit from this because it aids in the body’s natural recovery from its many injuries.
Increasing oxygen intake can lessen the time poisons spend in the brain. The accumulation of aldehydes and acids in the brain, for instance, has been linked to alcohol and drug dependence.
Incorporating hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) into the process of drug and alcohol detoxification is helpful.
Cells in the brain, particularly in the frontal lobe where higher-order thinking and decision-making occur, can be damaged by chronic substance misuse and long-term prescription medication usage.
Since HBOT is a therapy that may supply oxygen to the brain in places not attainable when breathing at sea level, it has shown encouraging results in healing patients with traumatic brain injuries.
The first study reports the results of a small-scale experiment involving 31 people; its findings have just been published in the Journal of Addictions Nursing.
Methadone, an opioid, aids those recovering from opioid addiction to establish a stable routine and resume their daily activities.
Based on the results, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps opioid addiction when used as a non-pharmacological method to help patients taper off methadone. The results also suggest that hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be useful in assisting patients in tapering off methadone.
Roughly half of those in treatment wish to wean themselves off methadone, but many who have tried have failed and relapsed.
Finding the proper dose to stabilize symptoms can be challenging, and although for some, the goal is to wean off methadone, for others, it is to stay in treatment.
During this transitional phase, some persons have withdrawal symptoms that are severe enough that they relapse into drug usage or stop attending treatment altogether.
Patients in the first study who had undergone hyperbaric oxygen therapy as part of their planned methadone taper had much greater success in maintaining their dose reduction three months after the study ended (from 4.3 mg to 0.25 mg).
This was discovered by contrasting those who had gotten the therapy with those who had not.
After only one day of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, they reported experiencing roughly half as many withdrawal symptoms as the control group.
The second study, a randomized controlled trial with eight patients published in the journal Pain Management Nursing, took a more scientific approach by focusing on alleviating withdrawal symptoms.
Patients who underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy reported less pain and fewer drug cravings compared to those in the control group, who were given a mixture of oxygen and air at normal atmospheric pressure.
Researchers also reported an increase in positive outcomes, including sleep quality and overall happiness.
Both tests showed promising findings, leading researchers to seek funding for a larger clinical trial.
This new trial would allow for more in-depth follow-up with participants over a longer period of time.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps opioid addiction by providing the brain and body with the oxygen and nutrients they need to recover.