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Omar S. Manejwala, MD Speaks Out Nationally on Diprivan/Propofol Abuse

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., July 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In response to the recent media attention on Diprivan (Propofol) abuse, the Farley Center at Williamsburg Place, one of the nation's leading addiction treatment centers, has offered to provide expert consultation about this rare disorder. Omar S. Manejwala, M.D., Associate Medical Director for the Farley Center is one of a handful of physicians highly experienced in this area and has appeared nationally recently on programs such as the Early Show on CBS.

Diprivan, is a widely used intravenous sedative medication that is used both for procedures (such as in surgeries or colonoscopies) and for non-procedural sedation. It has been around since the 1980's and is very widely used. It is often described as "milk of amnesia" or "milk of the ICU."

"I've worked with many practitioners who prefer to use it because of its rapid onset and the ability to carefully titrate doses and the rapid recovery afterwards. It has more than a couple of decades of safe, effective use when used appropriately," states Dr. Manejwala.

But only a few cc's more than what's required can trigger fatal respiratory arrest and because Diprivan is such a short-acting medication, heavy abusers must inject it frequently to stay high. As many as 50 to 100 times during a using session is not unheard of. 40% of residents who reportedly abused the anesthetic died from their use of the peril of Diprivan's exquisitely narrow therapeutic window.

Many individuals who are addicted to Diprivan also suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Most commonly, these individuals are initially attempting to self-medicate refractory, persistent insomnia. This insomnia can be due to any number of causes including depression, PTSD, alcoholism or addiction to other agents. With repeated self-administration, these individuals develop the brain disease of addiction and their use becomes compulsive, rather than self-medicating.

Abuse in the Healthcare Industry

Dr. Manejwala indicates that, in his clinical experience, a high percentage of Diprivan abusers are health care practitioners -- usually anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists or operating room technicians. Research indicates that one in five academic anesthesiology training programs reported at least one case of abuse by physicians or other healthcare workers over the past decade. The reported incidence of Propofol abuse has risen fivefold over the last 10 years. While no specific study of outcomes in Diprivan addiction has been conducted, our clinical experience supports strong outcomes in this cohort when appropriate treatment modalities are employed. Dr. Manejwala recommends state-of-the-art addiction treatment for Diprivan addiction by a facility with specific experience treating professionals with Diprivan addiction, and has seen strong outcomes from this approach.

"It's very difficult for individuals who abuse Diprivan to identify with other addicts, and this identification is critical to good outcomes. Since Diprivan addiction is so infrequent, it is really important that Diprivan dependent patients seek treatment at centers that have experience treating this disorder."

The Farley Center at Williamsburg Place is a leading addiction treatment program in the nation known for its work in treating individuals who have Substance Use Disorders, and offers intensive, in-depth psychotherapeutic treatment, safe detoxification, as well as educational and experiential approaches to assist people transition into recovery. Many patients have been diagnosed with complicating medical conditions, co-occurring psychiatric illnesses and/or personality disorders. Considered the leader in treating professionals and working with Physicians Health and Lawyers Assistance Programs, The Farley Center at Williamsburg Place takes pride in being able to prepare the professional to return to their chosen field safely and in recovery.

Dr. Omar S. Manejwala is a board-certified addiction psychiatrist and is also board-certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. A graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, he completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, where he also served as the Executive Chief Resident.

Active in ASAM, having held several leadership positions at the North Carolina Psychiatric Association and the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine, Dr. Manejwala is also certified Medical Review Officer. He is a frequent guest speaker on state of the art approaches to modifying traditional "rehab" treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction.

For more information, please visit to learn more about the diagnosis of Diprivan abuse and addiction treatment.

    Gina de Peralta Thorne, MS
    Director of Business Development
    The Farley Center at Williamsburg Place

SOURCE Farley Center at Williamsburg Place
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