For the first time in medical history, a long-acting (30 days) opioid blocker, approved by the FDA, has been injected safely in a series of one hundred active opioid addicts without complications or significant physical withdrawal. Two goals were achieved simultaneously: the expeditious termination of the physical component of opioid addiction with diminished withdrawal and the long-term prevention of relapse.
Opioid addiction is a psychological disease and a national healthcare crisis. More than 60,000 Americans die annually from various forms of opioid overdose. Opioid addiction has two components: the physical and the psychological. The former has to be overcome before the latter can be addressed.
Now there is an 8-hour procedure to stop the physical component of opioid addiction without the usual 7 to 14 days of withdrawal. Using the patent-pending procedure, “Intravenous Infusion of Naloxone and Intramuscular Injection of Extended-Release Opioid Blocker Naltrexone (Vivitrol) Under General Anesthesia”, Dr. Thomas Yee, MD has been able to simultaneously reduce the physical withdrawal and to safely administer Vivitrol, approved by the FDA for prevention of the relapse of opioid addiction. Previously it was thought that patients could not tolerate Vivitrol unless they had first quit opioids for at least 7 to 14 days. In reality, many could not stay quit through these 14 days of withdrawal prior to becoming ready for psychological rehab or Vivitrol.
After this treatment lasting about eight hours, the patients awakened from general anesthesia to diminished withdrawal and insensitivity to opioids for the next 30 days. This was an ideal time for psychological rehab to begin.
At the end of the initial 30 days, Vivitrol can be injected again monthly for up to 18 months. Continued intensive outpatient counseling and life style change can take place during this window of opportunity to achieve lasting abstinence. With the opioid receptors blocked, the patient is effectively prevented from craving, relapse, or over-dose, as long as the patient’s support network, such as family, friends, employer, or legal institution is able to assure the continued and timely administration of Vivitrol.
The Rapid Opioid Detox Medical Clinic has provided treatment to help patients quit opioid addiction since 2007. The medical director of the clinic, Dr. Thomas Yee is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology, the American Board of Pain Medicine, and the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Over 640 patients have undergone the procedure without complication at hospitals and surgery centers in Southern California and Las Vegas. One hundred of these patients received simultaneous Vivitrol injections.