Chinese Surgeons Treat Opiate Addiction by Removing Brain’s Pleasure Center

Doctors in China are experimenting with an extreme treatment for addiction. The experimental procedure consists of destroying portions of the brain’s pleasure center in an attempt to stop cravings for opiate drugs like heroin. Possible side effects including permanently disabling an addict’s ability to experience the entire range of human emotions, including the capacity to feel joy.

Attempts to Ban Controversial Procedure

The controversial procedure was banned by the Chinese Ministry of Health in 2004, due in part to pressure from Western media related to ethical concerns. There are also suspicions that researchers have not been truthful about results of the procedure and have exaggerated the benefits in order to be published in leading medical journals. The Ministry of Health’s decision was also reported to be based on the lack of long term data about effects of the procedure.…

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Promising Canadian Legislation to Limit OxyContin Prescriptions

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the Canadian Province of Manitoba is implementing legislation that restricts the prescribing of OxyContin to cancer patients or those who are not eligible for a substitute drug.

Of course, the new restrictions come as a result of the rampant phenomenon of opiate addiction that has plagued North America in recent years.  The Manitoba health care system cannot handle the surge in addicted patients requiring methadone treatment and the instances of heroin overdose are rising.

The reality of addiction to narcotic medications is that people who have become physically and mentally dependent on a drug like OxyContin will more  likely seek out an alternative drug (like illicit heroin) than treatment.  Still, the legislation that reduces OxyContin prescriptions will undoubtedly cause a reduction in opiate addiction and overdose in the long run.…

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