• Detox-Redox

    Electron Donation Therapy Mitigates Withdrawal Symptoms During Rapid Detox Treatment for Opioid Addiction

  • Overview

    In spite of all that has been learned about opioids, an epidemic of addiction is taking hold and claiming the lives of many people worldwide. One of the hardest parts about opioid addiction is that in addition to the pleasurable effects of the drug, withdrawal provides the inverse in the form of pain. Having large doses of drugs in your system leads to down-regulation of the drug’s receptors and this means that the system is imbalanced so that normal perception is skewed. The events of a normal day that would typically lead to a regular level of happiness could have a pall cast over them that causes the normal pleasures of life to become sub-par. This is a simple view of addiction, and as we learn more about the many varied effects of these drugs and the receptors they target, we find much more complex situations unfolding.

  • Impact of Use and Withdrawal of Opiates on Receptors

    IL-1β, or Interleukin 1, beta

    In a study by Chan et. al. 1, methadone users had significantly more IL-1β levels the longer they were maintained on methadone. IL-1β is best known for its role in promoting fever, and fever is a common symptom of opiate withdrawal.

    C-reactive protein (CRP)

    C-reactive protein (CRP) is known to increase during opiate use and opiate withdrawal. CRP levels do tend to generally increase with age, but in drug users these levels are much, much greater. As an example, in a study by Reese 2, it was found that when CRP levels of a 40 year old drug user is modeled against a normal non-user’s CRP levels, the non-users would have to reach an age of 157.09 years according to the model to have an inflammation level comparable to the 40 year old user.

    TNF-α and IL-6

    A study by Chan et. al., 1 found increased levels of IL-6 and TNF-α were correlated with the dosage of methadone. TNF-α is involved in generalized inflammation, can stimulate the immune response and is linked to fever. IL-6's role as an anti-inflammatory cytokine is mediated through its inhibitory effects on TNF-α. When levels of both increase simultaneously, the end result can be highly unstable and may cause severe changes when the drugs that support all of these interacting systems are withdrawn.

  • Inflammatory Responses to Withdrawal

    Inflammatory

    Hao et. al. 3, showed that after conditioning rats to morphine, precipitated withdrawal using naloxone produced a spike of TNF-α in the periaqueductal grey (PAG), a region in the brain stem. This region plays a pivotal role in the perception and response to pain. PAG has many roles, one of which being that it serves as an anatomic and functional interface between the forebrain and the lower brainstem and has a major role in integrated behavioral responses to internal (e.g., pain) or external (e.g., threat) stressors.

     

    Inflammation tends to create more inflammation, known as a positive feedback effect. Cells die, release their contents (lysosomes), and then the feedback is more inflammation to clean up the messiness of lysosomes spilled out.

    Anti-Inflammatory

    Many studies have shown that opiate administration outside of the brain offers an anti-inflammatory effect that can be quite potent. Phillipe et. al. 4, showed that administration of opiates in the gut could ameliorate some of the inflammatory issues caused by experimental induction of gut inflammation to model Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The mixed bag of pro- and anti-inflammatory functions of opiates mean that the sudden withdrawal of these drugs will have significant consequences that will be difficult to predict.

  • Rapid Detox

    A therapy option in which withdrawal happens over the course of hours, instead of days, while the person is sedated

    Benefits to using Rapid Detox

    • The vastly unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal are condensed. 
    • More convenient for scheduling purposes. 
    • Wake up without the physical addiction to opiates or memory of withdrawal

    Issues with using Rapid Detox

    The inflammation caused by blocking receptors, such as those in the gut, may be particularly damaging.

    • Inflammation tends to create more inflammation, known as a positive feedback effect.
    • In the PAG various immune stimulating compounds get released at high levels during precipitated withdrawal 4. It can be presumed that the same processes occur during cold turkey withdrawal.

    Possible relief during withdrawal

    Unfortunately, swallowing pills is easier than keeping them down for a withdrawing addict, who will often experience waves of nausea. What is needed is a supportive technology that selectively blocks the effects of inflammation and the free radicals that can cause rampant damage to the body. Ideally, this technology does not require swallowing pills or injection of drugs and does not have unpleasant administration issues or side effects, hence the superiority of a transdermal option for this purpose.

  • Electron Donation Therapy

    What is it?

    The newest technology for blocking inflammation is electron donation therapy. Its effects are broad and non-specific, and works best when applied to the area where the inflammation is occurring. The technology utilizes a specially engineered electron donor connected to a conductor providing a source of free electrons. These free electrons neutralize the free radicals that are the end result of inflammation, but do not perturb upstream signaling molecules that may need to go through the cycle of adjustment and redistribution of these various signals. We believe electron donation blocks the end results of these free radicals without interfering with the important changes needed to readjust the recovering addict’s body to sobriety.

    Usage during Rapid Detox

    Electron donation therapy can be applied to the patient during the procedure, especially on their head and stomach. We expect that markers of inflammation, such as CRP, will be less elevated when electron donation is applied during precipitated withdrawal. We believe that the person being treated will experience less intense symptoms after their rapid detox, and that their level of impairment after will be greatly reduced. These assumptions can be confirmed by conducting relatively non-invasive tests and many can be done using only saliva. The remainder of the behavioral inventory can be done using questionnaires and tests that measure ability at tasks, such as using video games.

    Benefits of using Electron Donation Therapy during Rapid Detox

    Much like the way that addicts are directed not to go back to old friends or old haunts, we think that providing them with a non-drug solution for their pain and inflammation with a unique mode of use will prevent them from being reminded of their past drug abuse behaviors. Often addicts will decide that the drugs from the doctor versus the drugs from the street are equivalent, since the doctor's drugs give them so many side effects.

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