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I have been careful to observe rather than participate in Mr. S L’s treatment. I have in the past taken dozens of people through the long and arduous task of detoxification using methadone or other prescribed psycho-active medications.

Objectively Mr. S L has already had a relapse and could therefore be regarded as not doing too well. He has also been drinking increasing amounts of alcohol and smoking heavily.

Subjectively this man now doesn’t come over as a drug addict at all. He has compartmentalized the two day relapse and moved on.

Relapses are common in detoxification and should not be heralded as the end of things, it is not unlike trying to jump into a very cold swimming pool.

Realistically it is impossible to say how well this treatment scores against other treatments available. Every single case is different. A very significant factor could be the encouragement and enthusiasm of Professor Wu and his translator and business colleague. It is most unusual to sail through a detoxification with so few problems but the Polish experiences do rather suggest that the majority would experience withdrawals for at least a few days.

The majority of addicts in China are addicted to heroin which is easier to withdraw from but in the UK there is a huge methadone culture and adjustments would need to be made to the treatment to account for this.

A methadone reduction regime would run the risk of the patient becoming more addicted. It is fortunate Mr. S L has never had regular prescriptions from a doctor. Instead he decides enough is enough and mostly comes off drugs on his own. He does need help and this herbal regime seems to have provided it. The conseling he received was not in any way formal or focused on his problems but he was treated like a person and he responded to this.

The strength of this treatment is that it is safe by comparison.

It would be wholly wrong if this regime were to be ignored. I would recommend extensive testing over a much longer period of time with large numbers of patients. I would also like to suggest the regime is started during the period of opiate reduction.

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