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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Electric therapy trial for heroin

26th June 2006

A drug addict who was on heroin for five years has claimed he has been cured by a revolutionary treatment.

Barry Philips, 24, from Kilmarnock, said Neuro-Electric Therapy, which sends electric pulses through the brain, had made him drug-free.

He said the treatment enabled him to come off heroin in only five days.

The Scottish Executive is now backing further research into NET.

One of the benefits of NET is that it allows addicts to cope with feelings of cravings.

During Neuro-Electric Therapy ( NET ), self-adhesive electrodes are applied behind the ear. A pocket-sized stimulator is used continuously for six to 10 days and pulses an electric current through the brain to help stabilise its natural balance.

NET is said to reduce cravings of drug users within one or two weeks.

Mr Philips said he had tried four times without success to come off heroin, using both methadone and cold turkey. He said his withdrawal symptoms lasted for a much shorter period when he used NET and he had remained clean since the treatment in February.

Independent drugs expert Professor Neil McKeganey, of the drugs misuse research centre at Glasgow University, said NET was worth a proper study, but he warned that it was not a long-term cure and addicts needed continuous support to ensure they remained clean.

He also said fundamental questions needed to be asked before making NET more widely available.

Drug charity The Third Step carried out the trial with Mr Philips.

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