SCIENCE MAY ONE DAY DO SO… –
Jan. 31, 2024 – Some experts tout deep brain stimulation as a lifeline for people struggling with opioid use. Others question the hype. Elena Daly was packing for a family vacation when she walked into her 16-year-old son’s room and found him unconscious. Her son, Max, had overdosed on opioids, aspirated vomit and fallen into a coma.
By that point, Max had struggled with addiction for about three years. He had tried medication, therapy and residential treatment programs in France, where the family lives, as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom. In fact, his July relapse occurred just days after returning home from a six-month stint in an inpatient rehab program. The coma lasted three days and worsened a pre-existing movement disorder to a degree where Max was unable to attend high school. “I couldn’t hold a pen without throwing it across the room or hold a cup of coffee without spilling it on myself,” he recently recalled.
Max’s struggles with opioid use are not unusual: An estimated 40 to 60 percent of people who have an addiction experience relapse after treatment.
Some researchers have suggested that a substantial portion of those who relapse suffer from what might be considered a “treatment-resistant” form of the disorder, though that condition is not formally recognized as a medical diagnosis.