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Withdrawal With Electricity

Many recipients of NeuroElectric Therapy swear by its ability to reduce withdrawal symptoms and enable long-term sobriety.

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A simplified NET kit Photo via

By Reina Berger

04/06/12

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NeuroElectric Therapy may sound like something out of science fiction, but it's actually been around for several decades. It sends small pulses of electric current across the head—and this seems to have the effect of reducing withdrawal symptoms. By applying the currents regularly for about a week, practitioners say that NET “reestablishes the body’s natural levels of neurotransmitters disrupted by chronic substance abuse.” It's claimed that NET, coupled with a rehab program, helps patients achieve a higher abstinence rate than traditional treatment alone. NeuroElectric Therapy is a form of Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation that was developed specifically for substance withdrawal in the early '70s, and stars like Eric Clapton and Keith Richards were among the early recipients.

One British patient named Sue, a 48-year-old former heroin user, tells The Fix that she underwent NET in May 2009, following previous attempts to kick and methadone and Subutex maintenance treatment. She kept a diary during the week-long procedure, and on Day Three wrote, “I feel fuckin’ wonderful, can’t believe how good I feel. I would normally feel like this physically if I had gone cold turkey off the meth after 5 weeks & this has taken 3 days.” She tells us now, "Compared to other withdrawals, it was one of the easiest in the last 20 years. It took away at least 60% of withdrawal symptoms." She no longer feels any cravings and hopes that the treatment—which is prevalent in the US and regulated by the FDA—will become more common in the UK, where it's still rare. She feels that NET has set her mind back to how it was before her decades of drug abuse.

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