New clinic promises unique holistic detox approach.
doctor, who has just opened a unique holistic detox clinic in Victoria Park,
claims undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the
major direct contributor to drug addiction.
"ADHD is, in my experience,
the commonest cause of narcotic addiction," said Dr Neil Beck of the newly
opened Naltrexone Buprenorphine Group Therapy Clinic.
include attention and concentration disturbances, over activity or under
activity, lethargy and lack of motivation, impulsiveness and difficulties with
time. Sufferers then experience secondary problems such as education
deficiencies, interpersonal frictions, job and career difficulties, insomnia,
poor self-esteem, feelings of anxiety, depression and anti-social behavior.
"Cannabis, amphetamines and heroin may give ADHD sufferers significant
relief from their symptoms," Dr Beck said. "The frequency with which ADHD
sufferers resort to these drugs is the reason why ADHD is sometimes described
as the "Addictive Brain" disease."
Dr Beck said whereas a person with
"usual" brain chemistry experiences a rush from taking amphetamines, an ADHD
sufferer will experience a sense of calm, an increased ability to focus,
concentrate and act constructively.
They often say amphetamines "make
me feel normal and help me to sleep." Many adults with ADHD have not been
diagnosed because it is often believed the disorder is restricted to children.
Dr Beck said between half and two thirds of child sufferers grow out of their
ADHD, but a substantial number don't.
Between 80 to 90% of Dr Beck's
diagnoses of ADHD are confirmed by referral to specialist psychiatrists. But
there are occasions when the patient cannot afford to see a psychiatrist and
then the best treatment is not allowed to be prescribed.
"There are no
free Government Clinics to diagnose or treat this condition for adults, which
is a tragedy," Dr Beck said. Dr Beck first became aware of the ADHD connection
with drug addiction during his two years of work with the Perth Naltrexone
Clinic. Four years ago, this clinic, run by the well known Dr George O'Neil,
developed Australia's first Ultra Rapid Detox Program combined with Naltrexone
Maintenance Therapy. This was a great advance, Dr Beck said. However, Dr Beck
said he regularly saw addicts repeat their rapid and sometimes agonising detox
and saw one patient who had Rapid Detox nine times before his ADHD was
recognised. The pattern for ADHD addicts no longer taking heroin was to take
up speed, stop taking their Naltrexone and then go back on heroin, he said.
"Some of these addicts have shown great talent in sport, music, art
and literature," Dr Beck said. "Unless we find out what the primary cause of a
particular addiction is, we are building castles on sinking sand."
result of seeing 50 to 60 drug and alcohol patients a week. Dr Beck believes
the pre-existing, and underlying problems for drug users are, in order of
frequency - ADHD, depression, unresolved psycho-social trauma such as rape or
incest, intolerable life circumstance, anxiety or panic disorder, exposure to
drugs, lack of purpose in life and boredom, chronic painful diseases or injury
and serious sexual problems including sexual identity conflict.
with the Perth Naltrexone Clinic, Dr Beck's nine-room Naltrexone Buprenorphine
Group Therapy Clinic joins the ranks of the State Government's Next Step
However, Dr Beck claims his clinic distinguishes itself by
being the first in Perth to focus strongly on the "preexisting, underlying
causes" of the individual's drug addiction, rather than just on the addiction.
Dr Beck's clinic holistically combines a gentle, inexpensive and flexibly
delivered pharmaceutical detox and maintenance program, with a systematic and
comprehensive social and psychological data collection, that reveals the
underlying factors in each addiction.
In recognition of the difficulty
for addicts to keep appointments, addicts visiting the Naltrexone
Buprenorphine Group Therapy Clinic can receive treatment without an
appointment and the benefits of group therapy sessions run by Dr Beck and, or
the psychologist, as numbers build up.
All consultations are bulk
billed and all prescriptions are subsidised bythe Federal Government's
Pharmaceutical Benefits System, except the latest "miracle detox drug"
Buprenorphine. However, Buprenorphine has recently dropped 90 per cent in
price and is three months away from being subsidised.
Dr Beck claims
the "miracle" Buprenorphine now makes the agony of rapid detox unnecessary. He
has made a special effort to achieve efficiency and gentleness in detox with
Through a special three to four day program of
Buprenorphine, Dr Beck is able to slowly and smoothly eliminate heroin from
the patient's system allowing them to begin maintenance therapy on the
internationally recognised narcotic blocker, Naltrexone. Buprenorphine
facilitates an easy detox because it displaces heroin from the patient's nerve
endings or receptors while simultaneously relieving the withdrawal symptoms.
Although Buprenorphine has been widely used in Australia for pain relief, it
is only in the last year that restricted permission has been given for its use
in the treatment of drug addicts.
Dr Beck said Buprenorphine is the
least addictive powerful narcotic there is and has been used as the main
chemical treatment for narcotic addiction in France for the past six years,
with great success.
If Buprenorphine is used as an economical,
user-friendly detox bridge from narcotics to the Naltrexone therapy, it will
cost the drug addict an estimated $20 to detox. If they then use Buprenorphine
as their maintenance therapy instead of the Naltrexone or methadone, it will
cost an estimated $6-$10 a day, until the PBS subsidizes it. Methadone costs
$4 a day and Naltrexone is free in WA. "If someone is spending $100 per day on
heroin, Buprenorphine costs as little as 5 to 10 percent of the cost of
heroin," he said.
Dr Beck's book, "Beating Heroin", is the third best
seller out of 240 books on heroin being sold through the internet's largest
"I've been a doctor for the past forty years and
in that time you regularly see people whose lives and families have been
ruined by drugs and alcohol...and I didn't know what to do about it. My
experience in my practice and in George O Neil's practice made me aware of the
large number of people with drug problems who had undiagnosed chemical, mental
and social health problems which needed to be discovered and dealt with if the
results of drug treatment were going to be lasting."
information on the Naltrexone Buprenorphine Group Therapy Clinic and its
opening hours Ph- 9472 4909 or Ph - 9386 8873 or go to