Young drug abusers find herbal relief
Hong Kong Baptist University claims is has found a traditional cure for the side-effects of ketamine, including amnesia, insomnia, faster heart beat and frequent urination.
In a pilot study which began in November last year, nearly all of the 10 patients treated with Chinese herbal remedies have shown improvement.
But the university's school of medicine assistant professor Xu Min said yesterday that clinical studies have to be carried out to further test the effectiveness of the herbs used.
In the study, 10 ketamine abusers aged 18 to 24, with a drug history of more than six years, were treated with herbal and acupuncture therapies for one to two weeks.
Nine showed significant improvement, with reductions in their symptoms of up to 90 percent.
Xu said some of the traditional medications used date back more than 2,000 years and remain an important part of health-care even in modern China.
He said Chinese medicines used in the treatment of drug abusers are designed to remove toxic materials from the body, relieve symptoms and regulate and invigorate bodily functions.
One of those who took part in the pilot study - who gave his name as Ah-wah, 24 - said he had been taking ketamine since he was 14.
He said he underwent the treatment during the Chinese New Year, and within two weeks, the severe stomach pain that had plagued him vanished.
Ah-wah described the treatment as "a life renewal," and said he now holds down a regular job as a salesman and is leading a normal life.
Xu said the Chinese herbal treatment costs about HK$1,000 a week. (~$129USD or €105)
Thursday, May 27, 2010
audio of interview with of the involved professors uploaded to archives here