«OPIOSTOP is more than
just a withdrawal procedure»
Dr Patricia Manndorff
OPIOSTOP is a safe withdrawal procedure for opiate dependents. The procedure is suitable regardless of whether the patient's dependency is the result of substance abuse (drug patients) or prescription drugs for chronic pain (pain patients).
Accelerated withdrawal procedure
The OPIOSTOP procedure is based on the ANR procedure (Accelerated Neuroregulation), which was further refined by Dr P. Manndorff. Based on the individual patient's needs, the procedure consists of the administration of drugs to block the brain's opioid receptors. This accelerated blocking triggers an acute, very severe withdrawal. In contrast to conventional withdrawal procedures, the accelerated blockade massively reduces the duration of the withdrawal from around 1-2 weeks to 5-6 hours.
Anaesthesia enables shortened withdrawal period
The body suffers all the withdrawal symptoms – pain, cramps, restlessness, stress – during this shortened withdrawal period. To keep the degree of physical discomfort to a minimum and to ensure a high level of safety, the treatment is carried out under general anaesthesia in an intensive care setting. As a result, the majority of the withdrawal symptoms are not consciously experienced.
More than a withdrawal procedure
The OPIOSTOP procedure aims to achieve an individualised partial blockade of the highly regulated receptors and reactivate the natural opioid system with endorphins. This allows the patient to again feel the positive effects of their own endorphins again so that the craving, the insatiable desire for the drug, disappears. OPIOSTOP is therefore more than just a withdrawal procedure. In addition to the actual withdrawal, the method involves the resetting of the nervous system, which has been altered by the opiate dependency.
The treatment is performed in the intensive care setting of the Interlaken Hospital, which forms part of Hospitals fmi AG. Each withdrawal using the OPIOSTOP procedure is personally carried out and supervised by Dr Patricia Manndorff an her team. During their entire time in the intensive care unit, patients receive one-to-one care by Dr P. Manndorff and the intensive care or anaesthesia specialists. After being transferred back to the general ward, patients are monitored by a staff member sitting at their bedside during the night. Read more about the treatment process.
The shortened withdrawal procedure at Interlaken Hospital forms the first part of the treatment. Follow-up treatment with naltrexone is equally crucial to its success.
Follow-up treatment with naltrexone
After their withdrawal, patients must take Naltrexone in tablet form as a follow-up treatment to maintain the receptor blockade. The dosage and duration of the naltrexone treatment depends on the individual, but usually ranges from 25 to 50 mg/day for a period of 12 to 18 months. It is not possible to discontinue naltrexone for a short period of time, take opioids and then resume taking naltrexone. Patients' full cooperation is essential to the treatment's success.
In the period following withdrawal, it is important to stimulate the production of endorphins, which have been suppressed by years of opioid use. Patients are therefore encouraged to take regular physical exercise. A rich and balanced diet is also helpful, as long-term opioid use generally has a severe impact on the gastrointestinal tract.
In cases where psychosocial problems led to opioid use or where opioid use has resulted in serious psychosocial problems, specialised psychological, psychiatric and social support is essential.
OPIOSTOP is a purely medical procedure that treats only the physical dependency on opiates and ends the craving for opiates. The treatment cannot resolve other problems, such as psychological problems, behavioural patterns caused by the addiction or a patient’s longing for a «kick» or «flash» to solve or suppress their problems. Patients must take responsibility for these themselves. We can refer patients to a doctor from Interlaken Hospital's psychiatric services team for a consultation to obtain help and advice.
OPIOSTOP is based on the ANR procedure (Accelerated Neuroregulation) and comprises four treatment steps.
The treatment aims is to flush out the opiate reserviors in the body's bone and fatty tissue by acidifying the metabolism.
Under anaesthesia, a naltrexone blockade is used to regulate the opiate receptors,
providing stimulation for the endorphin system, which has been suppreddes by the intake of ecternal opiates.
The follow-up treatment consists of taking naltrexone in tablet form for a peroid of 12 to 18 months. Only then is the treatment concluded.
OPIOSTOP is a medical procedure conducted under general anaesthesia. The treatment complies with all current medical standards. Meticulous preparation, an intensive care infrastructure with continuous monitoring and exacting follow-up care ensure the maximum degree of safety.
As is the case with any surgical intervention and anaesthesia, there is a low residual risk of problems and complications. Serious side effects are, however, extremely rare. A full medical history is important so that any relevant diseases (especially liver, heart and lung diseases, metabolic disorders, etc.), allergies or previous complications as a result of anaesthesia can be identified.
The risks associated with anaesthesia are those of any routine surgical intervention, such as unexpected reactions to medications, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular reactions in the case of previous heart disease or complications caused by the insertion of the venous line.
Psychological complications, such as depressive reactions, anxiety disorders, nightmares, etc., also very occasionally occur.
Dr Patricia Manndorff has been performing opiate withdrawal under anaesthesia at Interlaken Hospital since 2012. Until 2018, the treatment was offered under the name ANR (Accelerated Neuroregulation). ANR was founded by Dr A. Waismann and further refined by Dr P. Manndorff.
Under the name OPIOSTOP since 2019
Dr P. Manndorff has continuously refined the ANR procedure, drawing on her extensive experience as a result of the many treatments she has performed. Since 2019 she has been performing opiate withdrawal under anaesthesia under her own protected name, OPIOSTOP. Dr P. Manndorff attaches particular importance to individualised treatment, i.e. treatment that is tailored to the patient, personal one-to-one care of each patient during their time in the intensive care unit and advice before and after the withdrawal treatment.
Experience from over 185 treatments
The following important findings can be summarised from the more than 185 withdrawal procedures under anaesthesia conducted using the OPIOSTOP procedure at Interlaken Hospital:
OPIOSTOP is an effective, expedient and economical procedure for treating opiate dependency, regardless of the particular opiate the patient takes or the reason for the dependence.
OPIOSTOP is suitable for all forms of opiate dependency, irrespective of the psychosocial background.
OPIOSTOP is superior to traditional withdrawal procedures.
OPIOSTOP is safe. Any complications can usually be avoided, mitigated and resolved by a suitable intensive care setting.