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The Waismann Method Reflects on 2009: The Year of the Prescription Painkiller

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- This entire year was marked by an abundance of media coverage and attention surrounding prescription painkillers, largely the result of widespread misuse throughout Hollywood. Over the past 12 months, several high-profile celebrities have been linked to prescription medications including Steven Tyler, Lindsay Lohan and, Courtney Love, while autopsies for Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, DJ AM, and Heath Ledger all found that drugs played a major role in untimely and unfortunate deaths. Furthermore, new study findings released in 2009 demonstrate a growing number of people--including teens, military personnel and women in their 20s--are abusing prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin, Hydrocodone and Percocet.

The Waismann Method, a pioneering medical opiate detoxification procedure, has continued to dedicate itself to educate people on the dangerous and potential fatal effects of painkillers, and plans to maintain its effort to spread awareness about alternative treatments available for those who may be facing issues with dependency.

"Regardless of what many think, prescription painkiller abuse is not a new trend," said Clare Kavin, administrative director of the Waismann Method. "For the past several years, we've seen a significant increase in opiate use. As these drugs become more widely accepted by the public, we have a responsibility to ensure education is accessible and available."

As A-list stars continue to make headlines with their prescription drug use scandals and speculations, it has become clear that these pills, which can be easily found in everyday medicine cabinets, are being taken with very little consideration of consequence. According to a study from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 50 million Americans aged 12 and older admitted to non-medical use of prescription drugs. (1) Additionally, in December the Office of National Drug Control Policy, along with the University of Michigan for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, revealed that seven of the 10 drugs most abused by high school seniors are prescription or over-the-counter drugs acquired primarily from teens' friends or relatives. (2)

Along with all-too-common celebrity news, several studies released in 2009 revealed shocking statistics related to prescription drug use. Among these, in September the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the drug-related death rate roughly doubled from the late 1990s to 2006. While cocaine and heroin continue to be significant killers, most of the increase is attributed to prescription opiates such as the painkillers methadone, Oxycontin and Vicodin. (3)

Dr. Michael Lowenstein, co-director of the Waismann Method, explains that attitudes toward prescription drug use have become a major cause for concern. "I have treated several patients who became dependent on painkillers after believing that--unlike alcohol, cocaine or heroin addiction-- prescriptions were the 'safer' drug of choice," said Dr. Lowenstein. "Just because a doctor prescribes it, does not mean that it is a safe drug. There is no such thing, which has become incredibly apparent in the news this year. Our hope is that the public becomes more aware of the effects painkillers can have and the devastating outcome that can result when these pills are taken without any regard."

To learn more about the Waismann Method, call 1-800-423-2482 or visit

About The Waismann Method

Performed in a hospital intensive care unit, the Waismann Method involves the administration of medications to reverse the physiological dependence on opiates while the symptoms of withdrawal are addressed. During the procedure, the patient experiences minimal conscious withdrawal, and will be able to return home within days. Seventy-five percent of the prescription drug dependent patients who are treated with the Waismann Method remain drug free after one year.

(1) National Survey of Drug Use and Health -

(2) Office of National Drug Control Policy -

(3) Center for Disease Control and Prevention -

SOURCE Waismann Method

SOURCE Waismann Method
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