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A London Addict Volunteer

Case History Mr. S L

In May 2004 Professor Wu came to London to present his methods to a small conference of interested parties. He also spent two weeks in Norfolk during which time he treated a 47 year old man (Mr. S L) who attended the conference and was coincidentally trying to come off drugs for the 28th time. At that time he was taking physeptone tablets bought on the streets, up to ten daily, 2 to 3 bags of heroin used IV and occasional cocaine, also taken IV with the Heroin. He also smoked heavily. With the help of the physeptone tablets which he took orally he was able to work as a carpenter and had a flourishing trade mending sash windows.

Mr. S L was brought up in North London. His parents were both alcoholic and while they started out in a comparatively wealthy part of London, his family gradually became poorer ending up in a council flat. Like many in the sixties he started inhaling solvents at the age of 13. At sixteen he moved on to opium then a year or so later cocaine and by his mid to late 20’s was taking drugs IV. He has spent a total of 16 months in prison for drug possession or related offenses. He has never attended a hospital detoxification program or clinic of any kind but a year previously had undergone a herbal cure in Thailand which he described as quite good fun. He remained drug free for about ten months which, for him, is longer than usual.

Mr. S L had always managed to support his habit by work and had never had to resort to GP or hospital treatment. He supplements his income by subletting two rooms of his council flat which had previously been his family home. He was nevertheless in considerable debt and due to appear in court on the matter of unpaid council tax and rent.

For some years he has been suffering from hepatitis C which is progressive and which has resulted in considerable hepatic damage with portal hypertension. He is currently being assessed for Interferon therapy.

Mr. S L was assessed by Professor Wu before treatment was commenced. Firstly, Mr. S L had been contemplating coming off for some time. He needed to work in order to pay off debts. He also wanted to try a herbal regime but couldn’t afford to travel to Thailand. Over the preceding five days he had reduced his methadone consumption to zero but the night before the assessment had taken a substantial amount of heroin, his view being it would be easier to withdraw from heroin. To be realistic most people have a small binge before going into treatment. He was underweight for his height weighing 70 kg and being 185 cm tall. His behavior was friendly and talkative but he was clearly restless and had loss of appetite. There was a small abscess on his right flank at the site of a heroin injection. This had already been incised but was still discharging pus.

The only other medications Mr. S L would take in large amounts were vitamins. Also at the time of commencement of the regime he was on a course of flucloxacillin.

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