Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) - The Case For An Integrative and Naturopathic Approach
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
" Parts of the current system are incredibly helpful and even essential... However... there was, and still is a huge gap in the treatment pathway provided to most patients. "
In the first years of my practice, I focused on primary care medicine and those with chronic illnesses. Eczema, digestive disorders, failure to thrive in children, hypothyroidism, chronic migraines - that sort of thing. In 2017 I began performing accelerated detox procedures with my now dear friend and colleague, Barbara Mendrey, MD, in Bothell, WA. Addiction medicine was not anything I had experience with prior to this time.
Together, Dr. M and I provided over 200 accelerated detoxes from opiates (oxycodone, heroin, fentanyl, street combos, methadone, suboxone, etc.), benzodiazepines (valium, clonazepam, etc.), and alcohol. In the clinic we also provided suboxone therapy, Vivitrol (long-acting naltrexone), and other addiction services. I provided an integration of conventional and naturopathic medicine services.
" I saw the needs left unmet and knew immediately that naturopathic medicine and integrative thinking held the answer. "
I gained a deeper understanding of the pharmacology of different addictive substances, more about the nature of addiction itself, and what kinds of pathways existed in the current medical system for addiction and recovery. Parts of the current system are incredibly helpful and vital to many people's success. Medication assisted therapy is one of these often invaluable pieces. However, I quickly realized, there was and still is a huge gap in the treatment pathway provided to most patients. I saw the needs left unmet and knew immediately that naturopathic medicine and integrative thinking held the answer.
Read more on what #PAWS is and why it happens.
"This model is the most effective one we have currently, yet it is incomplete. "
This model is the most effective one we have currently, yet it is incomplete. This model negates the effects that years of substance abuse has on the body. The hormonal, adrenal, and nervous systems take a huge hit, just to name a few. These effects and what the person experiences due them are one of the largest risks for relapse - outside of the most common and deep causes, such as trauma and epigenetics, of course. Despite this, I still don't see these physiologic damages due to long standing substance abuse and dependence commonly addressed.