Dr. Vorobiev is Ready With Your Xenon Treatment

By Dirk Hanson 05/25/11

Xenon therapy may not work,  but if you’re lucky you’ll catch a good nap.

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Breathe deeply, and be free.
Photo via thinkstockphotos

Looking for something a bit out of the ordinary when it comes to addiction treatment?  You’re not the close-minded type, are you? Because okay, maybe this is just a little bit of a stretch, and it may sound like bad science fiction, but Dr. Vsily Vorobiev of Moscow, Belgrade, Baja, etc., may be just the Russian addiction magician you’ve been hoping for. Eastern European and former Soviet countries have long specialized in dubious offerings at health spas designed to cure everything that’s wrong with you, using massage, clay baths, cold water hoses, and hyperbaric oxygen chambers. But for a combination of the esoteric and the baroque, we lean toward Dr. Vorobiev’s addiction treatment with xenon. As you may or may not remember from chemistry class, xenon, in addition to being a good play in Scrabble, is one of the so-called noble gases (helium and neon are others). About the only direct medical use we are aware of involves putting xenon in the air supply of newborn babies at risk of oxygen deprivation. Xenon also serves as a very expensive general anesthetic. It dissolves in blood, and a high enough dose causes mild to full surgical anesthesia in combination with oxygen. So one way or another, you always get your money’s worth at these clinics—usually in the form of inappropriate psychoactive drugs.

But we should let Dr. Vorobiev explain it:

Naturally, the primary cause of the appearance of any dependences, including of chemical dependences, it is sincere trouble, emotional, mental disorders. Men, turning to the narcologist expects empathy, attention, unpunished possibility to confess, to let someone into his secret passion. Sincerely he accepts from the doctor to help him search for the deep primary reasons for his chemical dependence.

Easy for him to say. The xenon treatment itself, in use for 16 years at his six international Dr. Vorobiev Rehab Clinics, “produces following medical effects: disappearance of pain, rapid normalization of sleep, abrupt decrease of the crawing (sic) for narcotics and other psychoactive substances (alcohol, nicotine). After a cycle of xenon therapy patients develop a critical attitude to their illness and increased motivation for treatment.”

We’re all for critical attitudes and increased motivation when it comes to addiction treatment. Still, call us dull and unimaginative thinkers, but we are just not yet completely convinced that huffing xenon is the way to get there.

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Dirk Hanson, MA, is a freelance science writer and the author of The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction. He is also the author of The New Alchemists: Silicon Valley and the Microelectronics Revolution. He has worked as a business and science reporter for numerous magazines and trade publications including Wired, Scientific American, The Dana Foundation and more. He currently edits the Addiction Inbox blog. Email: [email protected]

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