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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Treat Substance Abuse

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can heal the brain to help people overcome addiction.

Long-term substance abuse damages the brain. Even short-term use exposes the body and brain to toxic compounds that can cause damage.

We help patients detoxify and heal their bodies with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Oxygen significantly boosts immune health by killing bacteria and fuels the cells that protect our body from viruses and fungus.

what is hyperbaric oxygen therapyHyperbaric oxygen therapy consists of breathing in pure oxygen through a tube or in a pressurized room. It’s used extensively to treat people suffering from decompression sickness, a condition most commonly seen in scuba divers.

It can also be used to help people who have:

  • A serious infection
  • Anemia
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Radiation injury
  • Air bubbles in their blood vessels
  • Wounds that won’t heal because of a diabetes

It can even help someone dealing with addiction and substance abuse.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Works

The air pressure in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber is approximately three times higher than normal. Raising the air pressure allows our patient’s lungs to gather more oxygen than they would get by simply breathing pure oxygen at normal pressure levels.

Once inhaled, the blood carries the oxygen through the body, which can fight bacteria and toxins. It can also release growth factors and stem cells, two naturally occurring substances that promote healing.

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Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Improve the Addiction Recovery Process?

Once a person ingests, injects, or inhales drugs or alcohol, toxic compounds travel through the body and to the brain. Over time, the toxins damage cells, leading to a build-up of acids and aldehydes in the brain, both of which can damage DNA and irritate tissues. They can also contribute to certain cancers.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to Treat Substance AbuseWith prolonged use, the cells of the brain are damaged, particularly in the frontal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for decision-making and strategic thinking.

In damaged areas, blood flow is impaired, leading to a lack of oxygen, which compounds the damage by slowing the healing process.

However, after hyperbaric oxygen therapy, our patients have experienced increased blood flow and tissue healing. The results:

  • Better memory
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Healing of the liver, brain, pancreas
  • Detoxification
  • Improved sleep
  • Enzyme normalization
  • Tissue regeneration
  • Increased energy levels
  • A sense of wellbeing
  • Improved quality of life

More studies are needed but researchers theorize that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also improve:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Depression
  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Migraine
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Brain injury

It’s been noted that, when used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help the brain and body heal significantly from years of drug or alcohol abuse.

What Happens During an HBOT Appointment?

Before an appointment, our patients will need to avoid using any hair or skincare products that contain petroleum products and are potentially flammable. They’ll also be asked to avoid bringing in lighters or anything that’s battery operated.

During the session, the air pressure in the room will gradually increase. During this, our patients have noticed a full feeling in their ears, similar to how they feel in an airplane. Yawning and swallowing can help alleviate these symptoms.

The session will last approximately two hours. Our team continually monitors our patients during the session.

Once the session is over, our patients feel slightly tired and hungry.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – An Important Part of an Addiction Recovery Plan

We find that those struggling with substance abuse want to break their addiction. Unfortunately, the detoxification process and withdrawal symptoms are so intense that many people avoid traditional detox programs.

Addiction recovery doesn’t have to be a painful experience, though. By adding hyperbaric oxygen therapy to their recovery plan, our patients are able to overcome their addiction successfully – all while healing their body and brain.

The reason for this lies in the power of oxygen. By healing the body and detoxifying it naturally, our patients can avoid the distressing symptoms of withdrawal, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Heart rate changes
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Cravings
  • Nausea and vomiting

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy reduces the severity and duration of these symptoms, helping our patients stay comfortable and avoid a relapse.

Curious if hyperbaric oxygen therapy is right for you? Contact our team to learn more.

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