The application of ACT in the center of Dr. Vasylenko

In Medical Center of Dr. Vasylenko 236 patients with addictions were treated by methods of ACT in 2007 and 2008. We used cryosystem "Cryosauna SPACE-CABIN", (CRYOMED Ltd., Kherson) with possible temperature exposure to -130°C to -170°C and charged with liquid nitrogen.

The main indication for this procedure was the presence of substance dependence with or without withdrawal symptoms apart from the type of psychoactive substance. Contraindications for general ACT were: cardiovascular system disorders, hypertensive disease of the 2nd degree, cardiac insufficiency of the 2nd degree, heart rhythm abnormality, and specific cold intolerance. Doctors carefully explain the principle of extreme action of ACT to the patient before the procedure, so it would not be perceived as traditional tempering. It is important to clarify that the velocity of heat aversion from the surface of the body is so stressful, that it forces the body to react not only by thermoregulation system, but also by all adaptive
mechanisms; short-termed uncomfortable sensation of coldness the patients overcome rapidly.

Sessions of ACT lasted 60-120 seconds; the course usually consisted of 10-20 sessions. Gradual increase of the procedures’ length (10-20 seconds daily) showed its effectiveness. With concomitant chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis in stages of compensation the number of ACT procedures was increased up to 25 procedures, and the mode increased to 180 seconds. In some cases, the ACT sessions began with the maximum - 120 seconds and subsequently were reduced to 50 seconds for the sake of tonic effect.

Procedures were appointed from the first day of admission to the center, and the greatest efficiency was seen in cases when the treatment coincided with the first days of withdrawal. Also the duration of usage of a psychoactive substance, its kind, age and sex of the patient, treatment willingness were important.

If the period of using opiates was not long it is allowed to start ACT sessions from the second or even third day of admission. It is the period of the withdrawal beginning. It is initially manifested in muscles pain of arms, legs, back, waist, and abdomen. This pain is rather distressing for patients and determines their overall condition. During this period all thoughts are focused on the drug, patients complain on pain in bowels, frequent intestine discharge and loss of sleep. Appointment of ACT in this period gives evident
analgesic and relaxing effects, allowing patients to alleviate their condition. Considering that the center is mainly focused on non-medicine and non-traditional methods of treatment, such therapy makes it possible to reduce the prescription of painkillers and sedatives. Such effects require anchoring, especially knowing about the sequence of reduction of withdrawal symptoms: firstly dyspepsia stops, then the pain goes away and then the sleep comes to normal.

In cases with originally sedative effect, the procedure began with prolonged exposure modes: up to 120 seconds, and required the maximum cooling temperature. Patients themselves were pleased to note that after this procedure they slept for 3-4 hours, although before their sleep was short (1-3 hours). Apparently, in these cases the cold stimuli effects sum with the effect of limiting inhibition (by Pavlov. I.). It is curious that this effect was absent during first and short-termed procedures. In case of the use of homemade opium drugs the abstinence has some peculiarities. Its manifestations are growing like an avalanche, and their intensity is on top on the second day after the rejection of the drug. Pain syndrome appears simultaneously with sweating, chills, runny nose. Pain in muscles and joints is longer with an undulating rhythm of intensity: weaker in the afternoon and stronger in the evening. In this case ACT is necessary from the first day with the obligatory daily regime and maximum sustained temperature of minus 170°C.