Treating Drug Addiction with Prometa

Can a combination of existing prescription drugs treat methamphetamine addiction?
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by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted

Prometa for Drug Addictions –
Does it work for meth addiction?

Suggested Reading:
The Link Between Addiction and Self Esteem

Did you catch the interview Scott Peleg did with Terren Peizer, about the new prescription drug treatment called Prometa that his publically traded company, Hythiam Corp, is promoting as a treatment for meth addiction? I perk up my ears whenever I hear that anything at all might help meth addicts because I know, from people in my community who have gotten addicted, just how very hard it is to stop meth once you start.

Meth is instantly addictive for most people who try it and very powerfully addictive. I watched someone I love lose about 10 pounds in 5 days and have seen good people go from vibrant and happy to totally devastated in a matter of months, from methamphetamine addiction.

Part of the reason meth is so dangerous is that it tends to get lumped in with other recreational drugs like pot, which many can take or leave. The vast majority of users cannot just “take or leave” meth. One time and most people are hooked, and hooked hard. It isn’t at all like experimenting with alcohol or cigarettes or pot. It hooks almost instantly.

Prometa isn’t one drug but actually a combination of three drugs that are already FDA approved for other things, but not used for drug addiction. The drugs are flumazenil, babapentin and hydroxyxine hydrochloride. Peizer believes that the three combined, and used as an addiction treatment in the form of injected infusions and pills, can stop the relentless craving an addict has for meth.

I always wonder about this because drugs decimate the body and the immune system and cause an over-acid ph that can also hurt the body. Since a lot of prescription drugs may be hard on liver or kidneys, and a drug addict may already have weak livers or kidneys, I wonder how safe it is to inject all three of these drugs together?

Safety simply wasn’t covered and since Peizer is not seeking FDA approval for Prometa, it may never be covered unless there’s a problem down the road.

Update, 2011: I did find a website questioning the safety of prometa for drug addiction treatment. The California Society of Addiction Medicine, or CSAM, reporting on a study which found Prometa to be ineffective as a drug treatment for methamphetamine addiction. In the study, Prometa was found to be no more effective than a placebo against meth withdrawal and detox symptoms. The 2011 article wasn’t the first time CSAM has cast doubt on the off-label use of flumazenil, gabapentin and hydroxyxine. They voiced concern in 2006 because it appeared there was not sufficient efficacy or safety information to warrant the approval of marketing these drugs as Prometa, for drug addiction therapy.

Piezer is making a LOT of money with Prometa so what are his motives, truly? And it offends me to my core that these treatments can cost as much as $15,000.00 a month. What drug addict has money like that? I wanted to hear what Scott had to say on Prometa, which is a Greek work that means “positive change” and I had some definite concerns after watching the broadcast.

47 thoughts on “Treating Drug Addiction with Prometa

  1. <p><p>Some people have found assistance by reaching out to members of their community to find others who have overcome addiction. There is a huge recovery community across the country, and members of this community can share their wisdom about what methods were helpful to them.</p></p>
    <p>drug-abuse-solution dot com</p>

  2. Nicole:

    Yes, I agree that community can be a huge factor in recovery as long as it is the recovering community one connects with. Those who have recovered can offer a level of genuine assistance to those just beginning the struggle in a way that even the kindest and most skillful counselor or doctor may not be able to provide.

    It took a little searching to find the videos you have on your site….they were way down past the adsense ads and a lot of text. Might want to consider linking to them up top, for those who are specifically searching for videos from others who are recovering from addictions.

  3. A variety of scientifically based approaches to drug addiction treatment exist. Drug addiction treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as counseling, cognitive therapy, or psychotherapy), medications, or their combination.

  4. In addition to scientifically based approaches to drug addiction, there are also spiritual and nutritional programs that work for many, either as stand alone programs or in conjunction with the more drug-based approaches.

    I would welcome an original article on this subject and would be happy to list your site as a resource if your article is chosen to be shared here.

  5. Hi..there.. drug addiction can be devastating to family members and individuals.

    Drug addiction treatment can include medications, behavioral therapy (such as cognitive therapy, psychotherapy, counseling, etc. ). A Research Based Guide released from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) said that treatment must be specific to each individual and assessed and modified continually to match the person’s changing needs.

  6. Here’s a link to the NIDA site, that talks about prescription drug addiction treatments:

    I think you were probably referring to this page, which starts out talking about the fact that no one treatment program is going to work for every person:

    This site also features frequently asked questions about drug addiction, including what a drug addiction treatment actually is and why people who are addicted to drugs can’t just quit on their own.

    I wish they had a section on how certain vitamins can help but I guess that’s left to the nutritional experts and the two worlds have not yet met. It is absolutely true that alcoholism, for example, depletes certain B-Vitamins and that supplementing with those as part of any treatment can help. I would suspect that any addict will be nutritionally deficient and could benefit from nutritional supplementation as well as whatever other help they get for releasing addiction.

  7. Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to each individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society.

    admin note: promotional link removed

  8. Yes, I agree that each individual must be treated as an individual and that part of the challenge with creating any type of treatment program is that it gets to become a sort of cookie-cutter approach and the need for individual tweaking is ignored. It takes far more time to completely evaluate each person on every level and design a specific program for them.

    By the way, I love to receive articles on related subjects as long as they are original content and offer something to my readers beyond just a comment. If you would like to submit an article, please insure that it is not already posted elsewhere online and then post it here. I’ll approve it and also include a link to your site in that case.

    I don’t link to sites that only promote product sales or affiliate programs but love to share resources that provide additional information to my readers.

    For example, I don’t have a good article on the use of hypnotherapy for drug addiction and I’d be very interested in that approach.


  9. So, in what seems to be a response to one of your original questions, part of the reason that there hasn’t been a lot of discussion about the safety profile of the drugs in Prometa (flumazenil, hydroxyzine, gabapentin) is that all three of these drugs have been around for at least 20 years and with well-established safety profiles. The main drug in Prometa, is by the bedside in every operating room around the world

    We are a Prometa provider in our area and our docs have been amazed at how effective it’s been with our long-term hardcore meth-dependent patients. We’re in the process of starting an 18-month assessment with our local blue cross insurance company.

    You may not be aware of it yet, but this is a major medical breakthrough, one that will remain politically controversial for some time to come.

    By the way, the cravings reduction/elimination that Prometa provides turns out to be the easy part of therapy. Patients still need to develop life skills and relapse-prevention skills, as well as make new choices to build a new life without drugs, but at least with Prometa they can begin that effort with a fairly clean slate from a physiological standpoint.

    best, jim

  10. Jill:

    I don’t think the controversy is over the safety of the individual drugs in Prometa which, as you point out, have been around for years. I think the concern is using flumazenil, hydroxyzine and gabapentin together.

    I’d really, truly like to see some safety studies done on that combination.
    Using a drug regarded as safe is not the same as saying putting three different drugs together.

  11. Thanks for the comment..

    Doctors prescribe and patients take a combination of safe drugs every day…

    If you had to do a study every time you prescribed more than one med, we’d never get anywhere.

    Listen, there are plenty of naysayers about Prometa based on political self-interests and other resistance to change.. They half-heartedly play the safety card, but they know that it isn’t real..

    Who do you think is prescribing these medications anyway? some of the best physicians in the country..

    It’s great to “keep it real”, but let’s really keep it real.. Prometa is going to change the face of medicine..

    good luck..

  12. Jim:

    We may just need to “agree to disagree” on this one. some of “the best physicians in the country” may be prescribing Prometa. You’d know that better than I do.

    And yes, I am very well aware of how often doctors prescribe drugs off-label or prescribe drugs not approved for a particular condition.

    I’m equally aware that there is quite a controversy brewing over this practice, particularly when patients are not informed that they are being prescribed drugs not approved for the purpose for which their doctor is prescribing them or not approved for use in combination with other drugs and, even more particularly, when the combination suggested might increase risks of other side effects or conditions.

    I have known people personally who have had seizures because of precisely this type of off-label prescribing. After going to another doctor for a second opinion, they were told that drug A and drug B should never have been prescribed together because, together, they increase risks of having a seizure.

    You obviously believe in Prometa and good on ya. If it’s helping the people you treat, great.

    I wouldn’t be doing this if I felt Prometa were completely safe. That’s my feeling. Time will tell.

    I appreciate your comments and, as long as we keep it constructive and civil, you may post whatever else you’d like to say but I will not post emails that are insulting or hateful. For me, that’s keeping it real.

    In particular, I’d really appreciate knowing more about this “political self-interests” you speak of? What are you talking about when you say that?


    Related articles on off-label prescribing:

  13. <p>Your point on politeness is well-taken and appreciated. We’ve got lot’s more common ground than not, in any event…</p>
    <p>Well, as far as the political self-interests, this is a delicate line to tread, but will try to elucidate, although it’s not exactly pretty…</p>
    <p>If you came up with a medical intervention that’s effective in reducing/ eliminating the cravings for meth, cocaine, and/or alcohol, you’d perhaps naively expect certain people to be on your side, i.e. the existing treatment community.</p>
    <p>When you find instead that they’re resistant, you spend some time trying to understand why. </p>
    <p>After a while, you finally come to realize that if there’s a truly effective intervention, then that threatens to upset the applecart of existing treatment. You’ll notice this with the Betty Ford Center and other similar entities continuing to resist new medical approaches even in the face of mounting positive evidence. The new treatments will be delivered on an outpatient basis. The market experts have just resized the entire addiction treatment market for that reason. i.e. many more will seek outpatient treatment than inpatient treatment</p><p>
    </p><p>As far as NIDA goes, there’s a huge potential “Not Invented Here” issue. NIDA, as part of its NIH mandate to lead the way on new medical treatments for addiction, spends billions on addiction research and has found arguably very little, AND WHEN SOMEONE ELSE DOES, that’s not going to make that group and all of its many minions very happy at all. </p>
    <p>CYNICAL COMMENT: When you make millions of dollars to LOOK FOR the next best addiction treatment, how are you going to respond when someone else FINDS IT and it’s not you? Understandably not well..</p>
    <p>So when reporters write articles on “the new addiction treatment breakthrough”, and go to the “experts” in the treatment community or the research community, they hear fourteen versions of derogatory comments.. not safe, not proven, not effective..</p>
    <p>When all evidence to date, (Urschel I, Urschel II, Anton I, Wilkins I, Arizona Study Prometa vs. Matrix) shows consistently that it is safe and effective, and there’s still resistance, then something else is cooking, and it’s not the public interest..</p>
    <p>Fortunately, the people with the buying dollars for treatment are the doctors who run the managed care entities, and they are moving ahead with Prometa, starting with CIGNA in Texas and Blue Cross elsewhere.</p>
    <p>Near 3,000 people have been treated with without a single adverse event. </p>
    <p>And the politics of resistance can hold back the inevitable only so long.</p>
    <p>So hang in there and stay tuned. Things are just about to get very interesting in this area..</p>
    <p>Thanks for the listen.. </p>

  14. Oh, believe me Jim, I’m with you on the point you made about new and effective treatments upsetting the apple cart of established medical protocol.

    I appreciate your input on this issue and will leave it to my readers to follow up and discern what they feel about this Prometa treatment option.

    I do still feel that $15,000 is a huge outlay of cash for those who are least likely to have that kind of money to pay……drug addicts.

    What do you say about the high cost of treatment? Is it that much at your center?

    I noticed your treatment plan includes “nutritional supplements”. Is that standard with Prometa treatments for drug addiction or is that something special with your center? I’d be very interested to know which supplements are included? I would expect some B-Vitamins, at least……

    Any info on that would be appreciated.

  15. <p>Thanks again..</p>
    <p>A couple of things that probably weren’t made too clear in the original 60 Minutes piece and have been referred to inaccurately in many of the news reports. </p>
    <p>Flumazenil is the only IV medication in Prometa. Hydroxyzine is taken orally at the beginning for a few days as needed to normalize sleep. Gabapentin is taken orally for 30 days with a 9-day taper down. </p>
    <p>So while Prometa is a “combination” of prescribed medications, it’s not a “cocktail” which is administered simultaneously. A cocktail would create a new drug that would have to go through FDA approval. </p>
    <p>The vitamin and other nutrient list has about 5 components. I’ll get back to you on that. It’s a very rigorously developed list.</p>
    <p>Cost is an issue with Prometa, especially given the “upside-down” economics of addiction. The way we dealt with it was to negotiate a lower price with Hythiam and to let people pay for it over time without interest and also gave them a money-back guarantee. </p>
    <p>People are pretty honest in our part of the world, so it eventually sort of worked out. Nobody asked for their money back because they all agreed that it worked.</p>
    <p>Cost will become less of an issue over time with the wider adoption that’s coming because it will be covered by insurance first and then medicaid later. The courts and prisons will also get involved to provide treatment.</p>
    <p>It’ll be frustratingly slow, but it will happen…</p>

  16. Jim:

    I want to thank you for taking the time to fill in the blanks on these questions I’ve had on Prometa. I certainly was left with the impression that all three drugs were given at the same time, a medical cocktail as you said. However, if you are up to it I have a few questions about safety even so.

    One of my big concerns as a wellness counselor was the potential increased risk for kidney or liver damage, among those who might already be more prone to it. Alcoholics, for example, may already have weakened function in liver and/or kidneys and the same might be true in other drug addictions, particularly meth as I understand it.

    Are you aware of any known increased risk for kidney damage or failure or liver damage when taking the Prometa treatments and does your center monitor liver and kidney function throughout the treatment process? If there is an increased risk associated ….. in other words, if more than one of these drugs is tough on the kidneys or liver, I’d think using them together would increase risk …. are your patients fully informed of any increased risk?

    I am glad to hear you offer options for payment that might help those who don’t have the cash for paying all at once, which might be just about everyone who is chronically addicted. The fact that no one has requested a refund speaks volumes.

    I so appreciate this dialogue. Thanks for all your input.

  17. There are things that we watch out for, but liver/kidney function aren’t among them. It makes sense that substance abusers would tend to have some systems compromised, and certainly alcoholics have compromised livers among other things, but it seems that Prometa has very little impact on those. (The docs simply say, “If we don’t treat them, they’re going to die.”)

    Flumazenil really is the key to Prometa and when you consider that its used regularly to reverse anesthesia in pediatric patients that may give you some sense of its low risk. It’s actually the sensitivity of their systems and their small size which seem to give young children trouble with anesthesia in the first place.

    What we do concern ourselves with is the risk of seizure in patients heavily dependent, i.e. physically dependent, on alcohol. Prometa reverses the effect of the alcohol on the brain so quickly that it puts the patient at risk. We deal with that by putting them through a medically-supervised detox first, if necessary, at one of our local hospitals.

    The other similar risk we watch out for is patients with benzodiazepines (sleeping medications) in their systems. If dependent on benzos, we detox them from those for a period of time until they no longer show up in bloodwork or urine screens. During Prometa’s IV-infusion phase, we screen each day for the presence of benzos. If they’re onboard, we delay treatment.

    In reality, Prometa is almost all good news on the medical treatment side. One of the most profound, and counterintuitive elements, is how Prometa works on both alcohol (a sedative) and meth or cocaine (stimulants). It seems to be operating on a common dysregulated underlying mechanism for both. That’s important because so many people use and abuse both.

    If we were able to treat one and not the other, patients would tend to relapse through the one that you weren’t able to treat. By the way, patients also report losing the cravings for nicotine as well.

    So what is the bad news? (there’s always some bad news). It’s this:

    Patients go from one extreme to the other. They start out hoping that Prometa will work for them but fearing that it won’t. When it does, they go to the other extreme and say that they don’t need the counseling (which they do).

    The reality is that they need to build relapse-prevention skills, new coping and reward mechanisms, and life skills to reclaim families, careers, and productive lives.

    The hardest ones to treat in the aftercare that we’ve seen are the homeless, the young adults (18-20), and the trust fund kids. Each seems to lack the structure and support of a family, life, or career either lost or never built. The ones that succeed are the ones with families, careers and lives to reclaim.

    It’s still not easy, but after Prometa, they seem to have a fighting chance. Prometa is the easy part. In 3-5 days, the cravings reduce or disappear. If they return a bit after 6 months or a year, we give them a “booster”.

    One patient, a 20-year crack/alcohol abuser described it this way, “I’ve lost the euphoric memory of the drugs. I know that I did them, but I don’t remember why. It used to be all I thought about. Now, if it enters my mind, it just goes away again.”

    That’s pretty stunning…

    Thanks for the interest and the listen.. we’d like to keep you advised of developments as the story unfolds (which won’t be long now in coming)..

    It’s been a long road, but we seem to be well on the way to somewhere really exciting..

  18. I must say I’m impressed, Jim. I am relieved to know that these drugs do not significantly increase risk of decreased liver or kidney function and also relieved to know that you are aware of the increased risk for seizure and totally agree that a detox would be indicated.

    You mentioned an increased risk with benzos too… it the same risk? Increased risk of seizures?

    You seem to take great care in watching for potential increased risks and, as long as patients are informed of these risks, I’d feel comfortable referring people to you for more information at this point.

    I feel you’ve been above-board and that you also have obviously done your homework personally, on this issue.

    I really think that you hit the nail on the proverbial head when you said that those who refuse counseling or just don’t think they need it are the ones most likely to relapse. As a wellness counselor and spiritual healing facilitator, I’ve seen the most success with those willing to address the underlying emotional wounds and mental mindsets that support their addictive behaviors. Without that additional attention to the ways life is being experienced, reacted to and literally lived day to day, recovery may be almost impossible to maintain.

    I also fully agree that family support and structure is vital. If a person didn’t have that growing up which, as we both know, is true in a lot of drug addiction stories, then it’s important to find it elsewhere. Support groups, spiritual groups, etc.

    I would like it very much if you’d keep me updated here. Also, still do want to know more about the nutritional supplements aspect of your program….when you find the time, of course.

    Thanks, Neva

  19. Neva:

    Thanks again for your kindness and generosity to us..

    The nutritional supplements which accompany the Prometa Treatment Program include:

    a multivitamin/multimineral no more than 2.5X the RDA

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1500-2000 mg/day

    Alpha Lipoic Acid 50-100 mg/day

    Tyrosine (for stims only) 500-800 mg/day w/ breakfast

    These are recommended in the context of broad nutritional program guidelines which emphasize 5 goals:

    1) maintain moderate blood glucose levels
    2) recognize the importance of healthy fats
    3) enhance concentration with high-quality proteins
    4) achieve the Tryptophan effect
    5) adhere to daily supplement regimen

    We’re not as well-informed on this side of the equation as we should be. It’s one of the areas that we’ll emphasize more as time goes on.

    best, jim

  20. Jim:

    I can certainly see the value of addressing blood glucose levels. Great to see that on the list, as well as healthy fats and high-quality proteins. I can’t personally tolerate tryptophan but imagine most people can.

    What roles do the tyrosine and alpha lipoic acid play in this particular situation of drug addiction recovery?

    I’d really like to see Thiamine on that list of nutrients. And Vitamin C. I’m sure both are in the multi-vitamin supplement but I’m talking larger doses than would typically be the case in a multi-vitamin supplement.

    I’m absolutely thrilled to see the attention to nutritional supplementation and hope, sincerely, that you do become more and more well-informed on this aspect and integrate it more and more fully into the Prometa treatment program in the future. Keep us posted.

  21. I have to say – I’m extremely sceptical about using drugs, to treat an addiction to drugs.

    Yes there may be drugs on the market place that help with short-term cravings and even if you’re lucky enough to not experience any side effects (as some posts mention above), then what?

    Drug Addiction is extremely complex – you’re effected emotionally, physically, spiritually, psychologically – and so even if a drug could take away the urge to use, it will certainly help on one level (physically maybe), but what about the others?

    The only way long-term to treat and overcome drug addiction is to use methods that holistically address all the above areas. There are no short-cuts to overcoming addiction.

    It involves commitment and dedication to building a new life for yourself – and developing habits that support that, e.g. following a 12-step program or some sort of program that helps you heal on all levels, which is something no drug (however good) can do.

    admin edit: alcoholism-and-drug-addiction-help dot com

  22. <p>CP: I think we are all on the same page about the point you made on addressing other issues besides just the physical craving for drugs. I know Jim has spoken about the need for counseling and I certainly see the need for support and also addressing emotional patterns that support addiction.</p>

    I’m also with you, probably a lot more than Jim might be given his positive experiences utilizing Prometa for drug addiction, on not wanting to use a drug to help an addiction to another drug. I would prefer a natural, nutritional and spiritual healing regimen and, at the same time, realize that drug addiction does affect the body chemically and that drugs that can balance those chemical imbalances long enough to allow a person to stop craving the drug might be life-saving in some instances.

    Despite all the wonderful input about Prometa, I remain reserved about it myself. However, I will say I don’t have quite the reservations I had before learning more from someone actively involved in using it.

    I’d welcome more than a general statement about your type of treatment….to holistically address a situation can mean a lot of different things.

    If you’d like to share more personally stated information about your approach, it would be welcome.

    However, I’m not at all interested in cut and pasted info that can be readily found on your site already. My readers expect original, fresh perspective and if you can provide that, I’m thrilled to hear what you have to say.

  23. This is for Jim….earlier, I had asked a couple of questions that got lost in the shuffle.

    1. Are your concerns about benzos the same as those about alcoholism, in that the risk of seizures is increased with that as well? Or is there some other reason you monitor folks who take benzos?

    2. What particular benefits do the tyrozine and alpha lipoic acid offer the person releasing addiction?

  24. Neva:

    I’ll contact the nutritional expert that Hythiam utilized to design the program to get a better understanding of the intended effect of the alpha lipoic acid…

    As far as the benzos go, the concern is similar to the situation with alcohol. Flumazenil, as a benzo antagonist, binds to the receptor more tightly than the benzo, in effect “kicking” it off of the receptor and reversing its effect. Hence its use as an anesthesia reversal.

    For people chronically dependent on benzos, this can create a quick trip to the opposite end of the scale from sedation, i.e. seizure. This is not a risk that you want to expose your patients to, so we’ll wean them off the benzos before treating and then do daily urine screens on treatment days to verify..

    One more thing. The discussion of treating a drug with a drug or counterbalancing a drug is not what Prometa is doing. It’s also not overwhelming the drug, which in the case of meth is usually out of the system in 72 hours anyway.

    Prometa is treating the brain for the after-effects of withdrawal from the drug, known as PAWS, post-acute withdrawal symptoms. It’s theorized to work directly on the brain’s “braking system” (GABA system) and “resetting” the receptor to the pre-addicted state. The result seems to be that the brain simply stops asking for the drug(s), i.e. cravings reduced or eliminated, along with the confusion that accompanies them.

    That it works for alcohol, stimulants, and in many reported cases, nicotine, is not a small thing. It’s revolutionary…

    Prometa is going to save thousands of lives from substance dependence..

    If it gives someone conceptual heartburn, then would suggest the need to look closer at both the problem, the damage, and the straightforward simplicity of this approach. It’s just a matter of time before this becomes the Standard of Care in addiction treatment.

    Frankly, doctors doing this are in the life-saving business. Stacking lives against theoretical or conceptual objections isn’t going to get very far with them. Their view: I have a patient who’s killing themselves. I can stop the physiological urge to do that in a matter of days. I’m going to do that.

    What happens next depends on the patient’s willingness to address all of the other dimensions of substance dependence. It’s still difficult, but patients have a fighting chance.. if they want it.. many do..

    good luck..


  25. This is such a splendid dialogue. I am so glad I made this post!

    There was so much I didn’t understand about drug addiction, treatment options such as Prometa and also the atmosphere in the drug treatment neighborhood.

    Conceptual Heartburn. What a wonderful phrase! I think I’ve had that a lot myself. Speaking as a spiritual healing facilitator now, I’ve had such a challenge to work with those who are in the medical model that I’ve almost given up.

    Now, it feels as if that tide is finally turning and the medical community is, at last and at large, beginning to take the nutritional aspect of healing seriously. I feel people like you, Jim, are on the forefront of this new wave of medicine and I’m glad you are out there.

    I simply can’t stress enough that, like you have said and also CB, stopping the cravings for the drug is just a very important first step. If the person who is addicted does not go on to seriously evaluate the way they have been living their lives, the choices they have made and the underlying emotional reasons why they made destructive choices, then just releasing the physical need for the drug will not heal addiction.

    Counseling, support, rigorous self-evaluation and self-monitoring, a path of faith in whatever way a person can embrace something working within that is bigger than the ego and self-responsibility for the future are vital to recovery in my view.

  26. ******This post removed by admin because of negative tone*****

    However, I will address the poster’s concern.

    Joe had mentioned the fact that one of the people providing a lot of info on this thread, Jim, is also involved with the Hythiam company that provides prometa and promotes prometa for drug addiction. It felt to me as if Joe felt that my saying Jim was “in the medical community” might have been misleading. If so, I apologize. I meant only that he was working with doctors who were actively using prometa.

    That information is already present in the posts, I will also confirm it for those who may have missed the post where Jim said he was a prometa provider and that he was sharing things he had heard from doctors who were using prometa.

    When I first heard about Prometa, it was the same way a lot of you heard about it. On tv, on 60 minutes. I was left with a bad taste in my mind about it, because it was pointed out that Hythiam investors and particularly Pizer, stood to make a LOT of money on Prometa. I also have my bs sensors up whenever anyone involved in a company like Hythiam makes a post.

    That caution doesn’t mean I don’t want to know more about it. And who better to discuss Prometa than the people who are actually in communication with the doctors who are actively using prometa for drug addiction. The best option would be to have a doctor weigh in here, and I hope that happens. Til then, in my opinion, Jim has shared some very helpful information.

    Yes, he also shares his own feelings about the results he’s seen with prometa and each person will have to take that information with whatever appropriate grain of salt.

    The fact that someone will make money on something does not necessarily mean that “something” is bad. However, I always caution people to investigate any claims or information themselves, in addition to whatever I post here.

    When I said that I was happy to have someone from the “medical community” posting about prometa, I did not mean to indicate that Jim, the person who has been providing information on prometa, was a medical doctor. In fact, in one of his posts, he clearly says he is a prometa provider. However, in case someone might have missed that detail, it should be noted. If you feel that a person who is a prometa provider cannot be unbiased in what they say about it then I would seek other sources of information. There certainly is a lot of it out there.

    I’ve had several additional personal email communications with Jim and am convinced that he believes in what he is doing, money issues aside. Each person reading this must come to their own conclusions.

    I want to stress that this blog thread is about promoting understanding. I am certainly not supporting the use of prometa to treat drug addictions; nor am I condemning it. Anyone who knows me knows that I would opt for natural treatment whenever possible. I’m not a big fan of the prescription drug, period.

    I posted a thread on prometa safety concerns early on and continue to look for new information on this treatment and any cautions that people considering prometa might need to consider:

    However, I am trying to understand more about how prometa works and hope to hear from people who have been through the program too. I have opened a thread for those responses here:

    I also hope to receive feedback from doctors using prometa in their drug treatment programs.

    Thanks for the comment Joe and I welcome future comments as long as we keep the tone positive.

  27. If we talk about symptom of alcohol then there are many symptom, but the main thing is that if the addicts are mentally affected much. Then they should try to take help from any persons who are experience in treating these types of diseases.

    admin note: obvious advertising links removed

    I’m open to hearing from people with drug addiction websites but only when they have something to contribute to the discussion besides just keywords that are linked in a sentence made for keyword linking.

  28. Drugs are generally a chemical substance which can alter the function of normal body. This change may be positive or negative and it can help or harm us according to use. Drug rehab centers provide treatments for people who are interested in withdrawal.

    admin edit: promotional link removed

    Would welcome an original article with true content and would link resources in that case.

  29. Discovered PROMETA, a new medical protocol that is bringing hope and breakthrough to many who had given up on a clean and sober life. This addiction recovery program has received a lot of press, learn the facts about how combining PROMETA with an addiction recovery program can be the key to successful addiction recovery. PROMETA is a unique blend of three pharmaceuticals, administered by an addiction treatment specialist MD, which restores mental clarity and greatly reduces or eliminates cravings in many alcoholics and Meth/Cocaine addicts.

    admin note: promotional link removed

  30. Doctors prescribe and patients take a combination of safe drugs every day…
    A patient receives treatment with the Prometa protocol from a doctor during the suspended pilot program in Pierce County, Wash.
    A trial of a controversial drug cocktail designed to treat meth and cocaine addiction has been halted after an audit found that the treatment’s success rate had been “greatly exaggerated.”

    admin note: promotional link removed

  31. Thanks for your comment Julee but I found it a bit vague. If you’d like to submit more information that might help my readers evaluate prometa, or to submit specific information about your drug recovery program that is original and would be enlightening, I would welcome such a post and would be happy in that case, to link to your drug recovery resource.

  32. Abuses can change their dependency towards illegal substances with help of rehabilitation center. They offer various excellent drug addiction treatments which help them to recover from disorder. The atmosphere in center is fresh and healthy.

    admin note: promotional link removed. note, they will ALWAYS be removed unless you add significant and original content about recovery from drug addiction, for my readers.

  33. Process of intervention can be organized by any caring supporter or family member of the addict. Drug intervention is the step that comes before a person enters the recovering process. Bringing addicts to treatment remained the main goal of drug interventions for a long time.

    admin note: promotional link deleted. Want me to add your site as a resource? Then add meaningful, original content for my readers. Thanks.

  34. Drug addiction is a composite brain sickness. It is characterized by habitual, at times out of control, drug hunger, and use that persevere still in the face of extremely negative consequences. The addiction is most common in the newest generation and its cure is extremely important for the future of the world.

    admin note: promotional link removed.

  35. I agree that the factors creating drug addiction are a composite yet I do not feel it’s a sickness as much as a series of choices based on imbalance that lead to physical need for continuing the drug of choice.

    Emotional factors, in my own thinking, are just as important as addressing the physical components of addiction.

    Unless a person balances whatever emotional struggle led them to try drugs in the first place, just getting through withdrawal symptoms and getting weaned off the drug will be a temporary measure.

  36. admin note: promotional links removed. I have no knowledge of this drug rehab center and cannot vouch for their drug addiction program at all. I wish they could have shared more information rather than just posting an obvious ad. However, I do not wish to leave out resources that might be of use to someone who is addicted so I’m leaving the info with a caution that you should thoroughly check out any drug treatment plan and make sure it feels good to you on all levels because you are handing your life over in a lot of ways, and it should be with a group of people that you feel truly have the awareness, compassion, commitment and skill to help you release your addictions.

    <p>There are many drug rehabs centers available in country. This center provides best serves and treatment to drug and alcohol abuse</a> people. They have outstanding staff to treat their addicted patients. This site helps the clients to find best drug treatment centers for their addiction. </p>
    drugrehabscenters dot com/</p>

  37. admin note: I am not familiar with this website, have no association with it and cannot recommend it at all. I am allowing the post because I was unaware that there are programs which target soma addiction but please be discerning with any drug treatment program you pursue.

    I couldn’t find a lot about soma addiction online, except for a lot of pharmacy sites which, I assume, sell soma. I did see some sites that mentioned symptoms including nausea and headache, trouble sleeping and an inability to deal with stress. Other symptoms of soma withdrawal that I noted included mental confusion and trouble with memory. Also, a person coming off soma, just as any addicted person coming off any addictive drug, may experience strong craving for the drug itself.

    I’d suggest talking to your doctor and also to your pharmacist about soma addiction because I just don’t find a lot of good information on that online. If you find a good article that is not an advertisement for soma, please let me know.

    Here’s the post from the treatment center and, again, I know nothing about this organization and cannot vouch for their treatment:

    Drug rehab centers and residential schools treat the people who are severely affected to the abuse of soma consumption. The overdose of soma is very dangerous and it can cause death of it users. These centers have various programs for treatment solution for soma addiction. Various therapeutic treatments with some recreational events are available there for effective and expected result.

    addiction-treatments dot com/

  38. ps. Also noted elsewhere that Soma withdrawal and soma overdose seem to have one symptom in common, which is problems with physical coordination. This is referred to by some as the Soma Coma. Anything prevelant enough to have a nickname is usually pretty common so if you are having trouble walking, check your soma dosage, talk to your doctor and rule out Soma Coma.

    If you take too much soma, you can have trouble even walking and, when coming off soma, the same symptom seems to be possible. Again, I’m not a doctor and even a general practitioner may have limited knowledge of specific types of drug addiction. Your best course of action, should you suspect soma addiction is to find a doctor who specializes in addiction, as well as discussing your prescription with both your current doctor and your pharmacist.

  39. The extended drug treatment care program offers a supportive, sober, transitional living environment for individuals who have abstained from alcohol and drugs for thirty days or more. The program is designed for patients in early recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Drug abusers must get benefit from additional, sober structure and support after successfully completing an addition treatment program.

    admin note: promotional link removed. I normally do not link to ad sites or sites that do not provide substantial information that I feel will be beneficial to my readers.

    The main reason I link to sites is because they provide substantial, original content here on the blog. This way, I feel my readers can read enough about them before going to the website to not waste their time if it isn’t something they need in the drug addiction recovery.

  40. I agree that an extended drug treatment program is the best way to go for any deeply engrained drug addiction. Removing oneself from the drug community, and even the well-meaning pressure of family and friends, can give one breathing space to get underneath the craving for the drug to what’s missing in the way life is being lived.

    Also, drug withdrawal can be physically challenging and sometimes dangerous so it’s good to be in an environment where everyone is equipped to handle that.

    However, extended drug programs are also very expensive so not everyone can afford one. I’d love to see that change so that the extended drug treatment option could be available to more people.

  41. An individual suffering from compulsive overeating disorder engages in frequent episodes of uncontrolled eating, or bingeing, during which they may feel frenzied or out of control, often consuming food past the point of being comfortably full. Bingeing in this way is generally followed by feelings of guilt and depression. Unlike individuals with bulimia, compulsive overeaters do not attempt to compensate for their bingeing with purging behaviors such as fasting, laxative use or vomiting. Compulsive overeaters will typically eat when they are not hungry. Thier obsession is demonstrated in that they spend excessive amounts of time and thought devoted to food, and secretly plan or fantasize about eating alone. Compulsive overeating usually leads to weight gain and obesity, but not everyone who is obese is also a compulsive overeater.

    admin note: promotional link removed.

  42. sanjeppu:

    This is a thread on treating drug addiction with prometa. Not sure why you commented on compulsive overeating except that it is also an addictive behavior.

    Oprah had some overweight teens on her show recently and one of the best questions they asked these teens is “What are you really hungry for” because, in cases of obesity where there is not an underlying medical cause, food isn’t it. Food fills some sort of other need and if that need can be identified and filled in a healthier way, then the overeating can stop.

  43. I just found this thread today 7/7/09 and was interested if Jim D could provide an update from his last post in Aug 08. I would be curious to know if the insurance companies he named, BLUECROSS, and CIGNA have followed through and funded the treatment for their programs, and whether the public prison systems have gotten behind the treatment program as well. It seems the treatment has a lot of potential to do great good, and when I first heard about it on 60 minutes I had high hopes, but it seems that the momentum may have been lost as it is now rarely mentioned in the news.

  44. Robert:

    I was just thinking about this post a day ago. Wondering why I never heard anything about prometa anymore. I have not gotten an update from Jim but I think I may still have his email addy in my address book so when I get time (I’m traveling right now and have limited time for posting) I’ll see if I can get him to update the information on the insurance companies stand on prometa.

    Thanks for your post.

  45. ps on insurance question for prometa drug treatments….

    I can’t find anything current on this topic. The most recent that talked specifically about Blue Cross and Blue Shield considering covering the prometa drug program through insurance was an article way back in 2007, which has since been removed and that article was just referring to New York and New Jersey that were considering covering prometa drug treatments at the time.

    Thanks for bringing this up. I’ll do some more digging and see if I can find more info and will also follow up with Jim.

    Here’s a link saying that typically Blue Cross Blue Shield Covers Drug Rehab but it doesn’t specifically mention Prometa.

  46. <p>Neva: Will send you an update email in the next few days. </p>
    <p>Hythiam is reportedly approaching contractual arrangements with a number of Managed Care Organizations to provide their high-utilizer substance-dependent (SD) members with an integrated approach to managing SD illness (Catasys). </p>
    <p>Catasys includes a medical intervention (e.g. Prometa, if appropriate), a program of psycho-social counseling, and follow-up care coaching to keep the member engaged in treatment and building a healthier lifestyle. </p>
    <p>Through Catasys, Hythiam is essentially playing “truth or dare” with MCO’s on the supposition that they can take their most difficult SD members, improve their mental and physical health, and reduce the cost burden on the system, in terms of both behavioral as well as medical expenditures. </p>
    <p>It seems a bit sad that in the end it all boils down to economics, but it does. On the bright side, the arrival of the Wellstone Domenici Substance Dependence and Mental Health Parity Law greatly incentivizes MCO’s to deal with these patients and costs in innovative ways as the new law appears to put them on the hook for almost unlimited costs in this area. </p>
    <p>All of this has taken much longer than it intuitively seems that it should, but Hythiam continues to plug away at confronting and treating SD in new, more effective ways. If public reports are true, Hythiam at last appears to be on the cusp of making a major impact in this area. Who would have thought that we’d be using the words Managed Care and innovation in the same sentence.. </p>
    <p>With Catasys, Hythiam has approached addiction treatment in a broader and more integrated way that will hopefully provide more effective treatment options to patients and families struggling with SD. And while it seems a long journey to here, at least it’s a battle worth fighting, don’t you think? </p>
    <p>Thanks for your continuing interest.. good luck, jim</p>

    ryanmiller dot com

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