How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps Treat Addiction
Lake Hughes Recovery has an unwavering commitment to aiding in our patients’ recovery. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a state-of-the-art tool used to reduce the amount of time it takes for a body to heal from addiction, and one of the most exciting therapies available in drug and alcohol treatments.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may sound like science fiction, but the predecessors to chambers used today were invented in France in the late 1800s. The rudimentary chambers back then were used to treat heart conditions; however, as technology strove forward and pure oxygen was introduced into the pressurized rooms, treatment applications broadened. Oxygen therapy was later applied to pneumonia, arthritis, diabetes, and decompression sickness.
Today, hyperbaric medicine treats a wide range of conditions, including radiation poisoning, cancer, burns, and a host of other illnesses. This field has been widely recognized around the world for its efficacy. In recent years, the addiction treatment industry has taken note as well, adopting this method to aid in the recovery process for drug and alcohol abuse.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how this unique treatment works and what it means for our patients’ recovery.
How Does HBOT Work?
Hyperbaric is a term describing a gas at a higher pressure than is normal. Hyperbaric chambers increase the pressure, in this case oxygen, to a much higher level. HBOT also involves bringing the composition of the atmosphere in the chamber up to 100% oxygen. The increased pressure and oxygen allows the lungs to absorb up to three times as much oxygen according to the FDA, potentially improving delivery to healing or infected tissues.
Depending on the size of the chamber, patients either take a seat or lie down, breathing through a mask or simply inhaling. Sessions last up to 2 hours in most cases, and the number of sessions varies depending on the patient’s needs. The entire, non-invasive process is completely painless, and there are no significant risks associated with HBOT.
Higher pressure environments do present some minor risks, however, including pain resulting from increased pressure in the ears and sinuses, and also fire risks due to the increased amount of flammable oxygen present. The hyperbaric chamber Lake Hughes Recovery uses in treatments is perfectly safe, with no incidents or complications whatsoever.
So now that we know how it works,
Why Is HBOT Effective in Treating Addiction?
Addiction at its core is a mental illness. As this illness develops, the chemistry of the brain is altered, and damage occurs to vital organs as well. In medically assisted detox programs like those Lake Hughes Recovery provide, the aim is to safely reduce the body’s dependence on a given addictive substance. Once removed, the body immediately gets started repairing the damage and reestablishing healthy organ function.
HBOT is by no means a cure-all, but this treatment expedites our patients’ treatment by increasing the speed with which the body repairs itself. The extra oxygen transported to damaged and infected tissues does wonders for the recovery process, allowing more significant healing in a fraction of the time.
For instance, over the course of an alcoholic’s drinking, a myriad of health issues begin taking their toll. The body’s largest organ, the liver, takes the brunt of the damage, becoming fatty, inefficient, inflamed and generally less effective. Unlike any other organ, the liver is capable of regeneration after extensive damage. HBOT is already a proven effective treatment for liver diseases and other toxicity issues, the increased amount of oxygen delivered to the organ playing a crucial role in its recovery. While significant liver damage may not yet play a role in our patients’ cases, hyperbaric oxygen therapy prevents further damage and improves detoxification and recovery speeds. These benefits apply to many other organs as well, including the heart, skin, and of course, lungs.
If you’re interested in learning more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy or our other amenities at Lake Hughes Recovery, give us a call any time at (888) 677-0502 or send us a message in the form below. We have dedicated treatment experts available to discuss the best option for you or your loved one.