Historical Overview Of Treatments

When heroin was first commercially marketed by the Bayer Company as a morphine-like cough suppressant, it was thought to have fewer side effects than morphine. It was also used in the "treatment" of morphine addiction since it enters the brain more rapidly than does morphine. Instead, heroin introduced a new, more potent addiction. An over-the-counter industry in the legal sale of morphine and codeine elixirs also existed until opiates were outlawed by the Harrison Narcotics act of 1914 and subsequent laws were passed during World War I (1914-1918).

Treatment of heroin abuse in the United States was initially targeted at removing the drug user from the environment of use. The federal prison in Lexington, Kentucky, became the site where incarcerated heroin addicts in federal custody were sent. Much of the current knowledge about opiate abuse was gained from the careful observations and carefully controlled studies of the researchers there. After incarceration, the addicts often returned to their towns of origin, and most of them turned back to drug abuse. The resulting clinical observation has been that imprisonment alone (with no drugs available) is an ineffective treatment of heroin abuse.

Historically, many of the medications used to treat heroin withdrawal in the general public have been largely ineffective; in some cases, the cure has been worse than the disease. Among the numerous ineffective treatments have been Thorazine, Barbiturates, and electroshock therapy. In one method, belladonna and laxatives were used, because of the incorrect supposition that narcotics needed to be "rinsed" from the bodily tissues in which they were stored. At one institution that used this treatment, six of 130 addicts died during such opiate detoxification. Commenting on these methods, two of the researchers at Lexington noted: "The knockout feature of these treatments . . . doubtless had the effect of holding until cured many patients who would have discontinued a withdrawal treatment before being cured, and the psychological effect of doing something for patients practically all the time has a tendency, by allaying apprehension, to hold them even though what is done is harmful'' (Kolb & Himmelsbach, 1938). Since the research conductetd at Lexington from the 1930s to the 1950s, which showed that opiate withdrawal was not fatal (unless complicated by other disorders or treatments), more standardized methods of detoxification have been developed.

A true advance was the development of metha-done as a long-acting, orally effective opioid. Meth-adone was developed in Nazi Germany and was given the trade name Dolophine by the Eli Lilly company (from dolor, pain). The advantages of methadone over heroin include methadone's effectiveness when taken by month; its long action, which allows single daily doses; and its gradual onset and offset, which prevents the rapid highs and withdrawal seen with heroin. Methadone-maintenance treatment was developed in the 1960s in New York City and has become an accepted treatment for opioid dependence. With the discovery that HIV infection can be transmitted by intravenous drug users, the benefits of methadone in decreasing intravenous heroin use have become even more evident.

Constipation Prescription

Constipation Prescription

Did you ever think feeling angry and irritable could be a symptom of constipation? A horrible fullness and pressing sharp pains against the bladders can’t help but affect your mood. Sometimes you just want everyone to leave you alone and sleep to escape the pain. It is virtually impossible to be constipated and keep a sunny disposition. Follow the steps in this guide to alleviate constipation and lead a happier healthy life.

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