Parents, specialists excited over alternative drug addiction treatment
Relief may have come the way of some parents as a team of specialists recently unveiled an alternative method of treating drug addiction and depression through the use of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMs).
The specialists, who included psychiatrists, physiotherapists, neurosurgeons and psychologists, said the treatment, though expensive, was a welcome development in view of the alarming rate of relapse suffered by patients in the course of treatment.
Unveiling the latest technology to parents and some specialists in Abuja, at Synapse Centre, Dr Vincent Udenze, managing director of Synapse Services (Mental Health and Drug Rehabilitation Centre) said that physio-therapy and medication used to treat addiction had helped but had its own downsides.
He said most specialists had to change their treatment programme on several occasions to cope with the complexity of the cases just to make significant difference.
He shared the feelings with parents who often asked “why can’t they just stop?”
For some parents, they have been to different rehab centres worldwide and just when they think their son/daughter is okay, another major relapse occurs. Some parents have adopted the “sidon dey look strategy” implying a sense of helplessness and possible hopelessness.
Udenze said it was not just families in Nigeria or clinicians in the country that were battling with a way forward. It’s a global problem.
Earlier, Dr Claus Mathiesen, application specialist from Denmark who gave a presentation on how the machine worked noted that it stimulated the nerves already damaged by addiction to respond to reasoning and help the patient make informed decisions.
He added that the machine, which was new in West Africa, had been licensed to treat depression, mental disorder, cocaine addiction, rehabilitation of people who have suffered stroke, migraine, sleep problems and anxiety.
The head of psychiatrist of the University of Jos, Professor Obindo James Taiwo, said the alternative had been revealed to be effective and faster in treating mental disorder.
He lamented that treating addiction was quite challenging as most of the time the medications were unavailable and the rate of relapse was alarming.
A neuro-psychologist from Kaduna, Dr Ebiti Williams, noted that though they were excited over the treatment, what would determine its success was how their patients would react to the treatment.
He added that the technology would go a long way in reducing the long queues of addicts who poured into hospitals seeking care.