Friday, February 23, 2007

NET for heroin gets boost in Scotland

Jack McConnell, Scotland's First Minister, has called for a radical shake-up in Scotland's drug rehabilitation policy after witnessing a controversial new heroin addiction treatment in action.

He said that Scotland must seek to abandon the methadone programme and look instead for new, drug-free methods of kicking heroin.

His comments came after he visited a trial of neuro-electric therapy (Net, promo photo from website), a drug-free addiction treatment, invented by a Scottish neurosurgeon, Dr Meg Patterson.

At the trial, Mr McConnell met six female heroin users who are undergoing a seven-day course of Net. The treatment involves a weak electric current being applied to the brain.

Laura, 28, a mother of two, has been a heroin user for seven years, but has failed to quit using methadone. She told the First Minister she had been "amazed" by how quickly her cravings for heroin had disappeared while undergoing Net.

Afterwards the First Minister spoke of his desire to see Net given a full clinical trial, with a view to making it available on the NHS.

He said, "I'm very keen that we find a way of progressing to a proper research proposal so that Net can be tested in the conditions that will meet the standards of the National Health Service.

"If this is successful, then this treatment could operate on a scale that can make a huge difference to people's lives." Source.

14 comments:

Noor Azman Othman GBE said...

I still endorsed the used of Methadone (even though I don't used Methadone) if used correctly.

I think addicts have the right not to suffer - my two cents.

Greeting from Malaysia.

p/s Love to your posts. Maybe I can learn something if I looked hard enough over your shoulder.

Anonymous said...

I note with increasing concern the recent batch of articles describing the 'new' treatment to help heroin users . This treatment is in fact not new at all. It has been around in one form or another since the early 1970s. Neuro-Electric Therapy (NET) has been evaluated by studies in the USA, Canada and here in the UK. Importantly, all of these studies have been reported in peer reviewed journals. A simple 'google scholar' search demonstrates that every independent evalaution of NET which has found no significant benefit. This body of evidence, small though it is, covers over 20 years. It is difficult to see what a pilot of 8 people run by proponents of the 'treatment' now will demonstrate that has not already been shown in these independent studies.

Unfortunately, it would appear that those calling for trials have failed to do their background research into what has been previously studied and could have saved the time and resources of many involved had they consulted drug treatment experts or conducted a proper literature review. Certainly, given the debates of the 1980's it is certain that Dr Meg Patterson and her son were well aware of these findings.

Drug dependence is a complex and frustrating problem to deal with and there are NO magic bullets. Clinicians are keen to look at any new intervention which might help, as seen in the recent enthusiasm around other complimentary therapies such as auricular acupuncture and Indian head massage. However, we must be careful to follow the evidence of properly conducted independent trials which provide evidence about what is effective treatment and what is re-inventing a broken wheel.

Current campaigns against methadone and other substitute prescribing practices are based on this desperation and a poor understanding of the nature of drug use and dependence. Methadone is only a treatment for the symptoms and not a cure, but it is by far the most effective treatment for reducing death, crime and suffering associated with heroin use in the community. Any effective treatment system for drug-related problems should provide a spectrum of therapies which ranges from harm reduction and substitution therapies (which keep drug users alive) through to controlled use or abstinence-based interventions which will help people when they are ready to move on. Scottish health officials are entirely correct in choosing evidence-based interventions to inform their choices, rather than basing them on uninformed, media fuelled hysteria. Hopefully, this will not create a situation where interventions that have long been demonstrated ineffective are dressed up as the latest magic bullet.

Anonymous said...

Annoymous sounds like they have a vested interested in playing down any therapy’s that offer help to drug or alcohol users.

Questions were asked in the Scottish Parliament about NET in March 2005.
Q. Miss Annabel Goldie (West of Scotland) (Con): To ask the Scottish Executive whether there have been any attempts to use NET in the treatment of drug addiction.

A. Hugh Henry: NET has been used since the 1970s in the treatment of drug and other addictions. Whilst the Executive has received some correspondence on this issue, we are not aware of any widespread interest in the therapy from current practitioners in the drugs field.

What is very clear is that current practitioners have no interest in any form of therapy that offers hope to addicts as they wish to retain their clients, not loose them through successful treatment. Any treatment that offers hope should be fully explored before it is dismissed.

People with vested interests immediately hide behind the smokescreen of ‘clinical trials’. Treatments like NET are developed by small businesses or sole practitioners who do not have the half a million pounds or so required to conduct a trial at their disposal, obviously these people who immediately raise the question of clinical trials have no idea of the costs involved and should educate themselves before spouting such drivel.

NET had been previously clinically trialed however all placebo patients received 0.2 mA of current, which may have provided a degree of active current. So why was the placebo group given any form of active current? To undermine the results, one could suggest.

I agree clinical trials are required for ‘drugs’ to establish their properties and side-effects however NET and other treatment like it are ‘drug-free’ and so should not be in the same category.

Herceptim had limited success during clinical trials and so resorted to a PR campaign to bring it to the marketplace and bypass many of the tight controls. Clinical trials are a smoke screen to hide behind to stop other treatments from developing and the people who immediately suggest clinical trials as a form of validation for ‘alternative treatments’ should be viewed with skepticism.

Nicotine patches had a 6% success rate during clinical trails however this did not stop them sold as a stop smoking aid. Clinical trials merely establish a success rate, how good that rate is, is immaterial to big business.

There are other ways to establish if a non-invasive, non-drug related treatment has any merit, and one very good way is the patient themselves. If NET did not work the patient would be the first to let you know. Heroin addicts do not want to waste their time with treatments that offer them no help or benefit.

The truth is NET and other treatments like it, Bio-Reduction Therapy, are ignored by current practitioners in the drugs field, as they do not want to loose their patients and see these treatments as a threat rather than an opportunity to help long suffering addicts.

There is no logical explanation as to why these treatments should be ignored and suppressed other than to maintain the status quo, safeguard vested interests and protect the jobs of current practitioners in the drugs field.

Please do not mention clinical trials, its an argument with no merit and used too often to hide behind, as stated previously clinical trials are required for ‘drugs’, treatments which do not involve any form of pharmaceutical medication but offer other patient benefits such as Reiki or Hypnosis or are not required to undergo such trials, so why raise it as an argument for other treatment classed in the same category? The truth is any ‘alternative’ treatments which have merit are simply ignored, isn’t it time drug and alcohol suffers did something about it?

Anonymous said...

my friend has had the interview for the n.e.t program and is looking forward to ending his 25 yr relationship with heroin, i myself used "detox 5" which is NOT a very pleasant way to kick the habit, anyhow, more power to anyone that can contribute to finding and getting ways to battle this curse, certainly methadone does not work, period, the easy part is the coming off, anyone reading this knows who has been there, the hard part is the emotional rollercoaster and deep depression you have to endure whilst recovering in early stage rehabilitation
good luck pad, joe

Anonymous said...

well, as I am taking the NET treatment in a few weeks I will certainly let you all know how it goes. I am very confident this is the best chance I have of ending my methadone & heroin death sentence. Methadone is a maintainence drug, no more no less. It may help short term but as most addicts know from experience that you are only swopping to a frankly HORRIBLY addictive alternative, which is many times more difficult to withdraw from than heroin, and has no viable research on the long term damage this potent drug is having on the body.
The attitude of people like anonymous, who posted at 11.58am, is why this treatment is struggling to break through. People who say how well NET has rid them of a their addiction and more importantly eased their post - treatment depression/anxiety is good enough evidence for me. Addicts would not waste their time with something that doesn't work (as anonymous at 3.23am said, hear, hear!!!). With a 3% success rate for addicts returning to heroin, methadone is not working. The drug problem in this country is way out of control, for godsake use some money to look at treatments such as NET. Ignorance is deadly, note - this is muchmore of an increasing concern don't you?

Anonymous said...

where oh where can a Californian
get the NET. i knew Dr. Meg in 1976 and used her machine then to detox from 800 mg of methadone. that machine is the only thing that has ever worked for me. in recent years i undergone few surgeries and now i am on methadone, climbing it steadily and still in pain. i feel desperate and want a better life for me but especially for my wife. she deserves better me.
thank you anyone that helps me in my quest. life is good and be well.

Anonymous said...

I live in Romania and I want to find out how it is possible to achieve a NET(neuro electric treatament)machine.Is it possible to buy it from somewhere?please contract me for any help you can give me: andi.damiri@yahoo.com
Thankyou

Anonymous said...

I live in South Africa. Am looking for a NET box for a friend whose son is addicted to Heroin. His father stays in England. If anybody has info on where we can purchase the NET box, pse e-mail the details to francis.vanzyl@vodamail.co.za

Thank you

Francis

Anonymous said...

If anybody knows where we can purchase the NET box, pse e-mail details to francis.vanzyl@vodamail.co.za

Tks

Francis

Anonymous said...

http://www.sotainstruments.com is a NET device which is better than Meg's box... and cheaper. I've been using it for stress and studying for the last 3 years with EXCELLENT results (no stress). My friend Patrick also stopped drinking when he started using it (he originally got it so he could sleep). I've tested performance tasks as well and find that your performance on video games increases by around 100% when wearing the device. Dr Robert Becker who invented the SOTA device was a physicist and expert on brain function: both making and selling EEG's. He also advised Meg on her NET device... but seems to have gone a lot further than she has.

I've never seen a back-to-back comparison of the two devices... but the Beck device has been around for ages... whereas Meg's device is only now finally hitting the market.

I'm glad Meg has finally got her device onto the market... as the more of these devices there are and the more testing... the more likely you are to see the availability of this treatment improve.

:-)

Stephen said...

From the title of this blog, it's clear it is an 'astroturf' site working as an apologist for the 'New Recovery' organisation. Do some research. Bio-reduction therapy is just one more example of half-baked mumbo jumbo designed to get money out of the pockets of vulnerable addicts. It's pure hokum.

Anonymous said...

Anyone considering Bio-Reduction Therapy should first have a careful read of this thread - http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=105606 - so they are fully aware what they are getting themselves into.

Anonymous said...

I have just completed a deyox for 50mg methadone and this device definately works i think the fact u don't get cravings is the key here as that is what makes you want to pick up again. I would reccomend this treatment to any one.
M.K.

Owen Fielding said...

my name is Owen Fielding and I work with NET Device Corp, delivering NET treatment in the UK and Ireland via the ScotNET treatment model. ScotNET has achieved significant and sustainable success since it was launched in summer, 2010.
I would be delighted to provide an update on the progress of NET and the development of ScotNET.
Owen Fielding. ofielding@netdevice.net