In an effort to reduce someone’s methadone dose and withdrawal symptoms, while also helping with pain management, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is now being explored as an opioid addiction treatment.

Led by Washington State University scientists, their study is showing the effectiveness of HBOT of opioid addictions.

Published in the Journal of Addictions Nursing, a pilot study of 31 participants that showed that those who had received hyperbaric oxygen therapy as part of a planned methadone taper were able to maintain a significantly larger dose reduction of 4.3 mg three months after the study, as compared to 0.25 mg in participants who did not receive the therapy. They also reported half the level of withdrawal symptoms experienced by control participants after only one day of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The inital findings suggest that HBOT could be used as a potential therapy in lieu of pharmaceuticas to help people reduce their methadone treatment.

The second study, which was published in Pain Management Nursing, was a small randomized controlled trial of eight participants that looked more closely at withdrawal symptom relief. It found that participants in the hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment group reported lower pain intensity and drug cravings than control participants who had been given an oxygen mixture equivalent to room air delivered at normal atmospheric pressure. The researchers also saw improvements in other outcomes, such as sleep quality and mood.

Read more at  WSU INSIDER