Hyperbaric oxygen therapy reduces opioid withdrawal symptoms

Even in the era of COVID-19, the opioid crisis stands out as one of this century’s most devastating public health disasters, according to a Stanford-Lancet report published Feb. 2, 2022. According to a recent white house report on March 1, 2022, “Drug overdose deaths have reached a historic high, devastating families and communities”.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been widely used in addiction and recovery centers for the vast array of physiological benefits that this procedure can provide  patients undergoing  recovery programs. One of the reported benefits has been in helping to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

This study followed 17 adults being treated with medically supervised methadone dose reduction.  They were also prescribed a short course of 5 daily hyperbaric sessions (90 minute sessions at 2.0 ATA). Withdrawal symptoms were assessed at baseline and daily during the 5-day intervention period.

“Opioid withdrawal symptoms were reduced after Day 1 of HBOT by twice as much, on average, compared with the control condition”<view study>