Waismann Method

Waismann Method®

Waismann Method® specializes in the treatment of opioid dependence and offers advanced medical detox procedures including Anesthesia-Assisted Rapid Detox.

Waismann Method® specializes in the treatment of opioid dependence and offers advanced medical detox procedures including Anesthesia-Assisted Rapid Detox.

Waismann Method® specializes in the treatment of opioid dependence by using medically assisted detox. The majority of patients undergo anesthesia-assisted rapid detox in which they are placed under sedation, allowing them to sleep through the most painful period of withdrawal.

Patients are admitted to a private room in an accredited hospital at least one day before their treatment begins. They undergo a comprehensive medical examination, which may include blood work, EKG, and any other tests recommended by the doctor. Patients also receive IV fluids, vitamins, and electrolytes to flush the system of impurities. They may also receive non-addictive medications to blunt the withdrawal response and relieve any discomfort. The following day, patients receive the rapid detox treatment which takes place in a private room in the hospital’s intensive care unit. Patients remain in the hospital overnight or until the doctor says they are ready to be discharged and transferred to Domus Retreat, a private recovery center where guests receive around-the-clock aftercare including medications like naltrexone or Vivitrol to help control cravings.

Since Waismann Method® is primarily a medical procedure, it differs from the typical rehabs that are reviewed in this section of The Fix. Because of this, the following alumni-provided details mainly describe the aftercare component of treatment, which takes place at Domus Retreat. For more information about Waismann Method’s medically assisted detox, please see their website.

Waismann Method® specifically treats patients who are dependent on opioids. The alumni who took our survey report a variety of opioid drugs of choice and patterns of abuse as well as variation in length of treatment. Some clients arrived dependent on heroin or methadone while others reported an addiction to Oxycontin, for example. One patient who was “addicted to prescription pills for 7 years,” stayed about two weeks in treatment, while another who had been addicted to methadone was home in less than a week. This is not a long-term facility.

When asked why they chose Waismann Method®, the vast majority of respondents placed quality of treatment and privacy above all else. While undergoing the detox process in the hospital, patients do not interact with one another. Once they have completed detox and move on to the Domus Retreat, there is some interaction with other residents. For the most part, other patients were “respectful and helpful. There was a feeling we were all getting our lives back and so we could appreciate each other’s experience.”

Accommodations at the retreat were very highly rated by former clients. Rooms were described as “big, private and clean,” all with televisions, internet access, and private bathrooms. There is a private chef and maid service. Clients do not do any chores.

Treatment at the retreat is “centered around physical recovery along with emotional recovery.” To that end, clients avail themselves of any of a number of services including individualized psychotherapy, massage, acupuncture, and yoga. There are no group therapy sessions and no 12-step meetings. Those looking to stay fit can choose from an array of activities such as “basketball, swimming, Jacuzzi, exercise equipment…things to keep you occupied.” There is also art therapy and Tai Chi. Unlike typical treatment centers, there is not a lot of structure and scheduling. Clients are free to choose how they spend their days. There are no restrictions on phone, internet, or TV but “You are encouraged to not do too much work so this can be a respite.”

All meals are prepared to order for each client by a private chef. The menu consists of “very healthy meals (fresh salads and smoothies, for example) along with immense flexibility in our choices.” If clients have any specific requests, dietary restrictions, or food allergies, accommodations are made. Clients described the food as “healthy,” “gourmet,” and “delicious.” Favorites were steak and vegetables for dinner as well as fish, chicken and pesto pasta. “It was like dining out all the time,” said one client who “Couldn’t have been happier.” When a client didn’t like a particular item, they would request something different for the following day.

Patients spoke highly of the staff, describing them as “always friendly and respectful.” When asked how infractions are handled, one person described staff as “very accessible,” and that they “explain the rules in a way that helps you feel safe and helps with relaxation.” Additionally, “The staff was open to the patients’ input and they helped us understand the thinking behind each decision.” Most clients felt infractions were rare or non-existent. “Everybody seemed civil and well taken care of.” For example, one alum who was smoking near the house “was asked politely to move further away.”

For the most part, clients gave high marks to medical personnel, both in hospital during the detox and at the retreat which has full-time nurses in residence as well as a visiting physician who is also on call. Doctors and nurses were described by one client as “compassionate, respectful, and humane.” While one alum felt the doctor should have been more attentive in the period post-detox, another described him as “extremely helpful and knowledgeable and he never treated me like an addict but instead like a patient with respect and kindness.” This sentiment was echoed by others who appreciated the medical approach to their addiction. One client described it as “different than a rehab. I was treated like a medical patient and received therapy.” 

When asked what was most memorable about treatment at Waismann Method®, there was a variety of responses. Many clients appreciated being in a place that offered an alternative to 12-step programs. Several people gained insight from the one-on-one psychotherapy, which was “Very helpful – I gained a real understanding of some of my concerns.“ Another alum recalled “Being treated with such respect and empathy while going through such a rough time in my life.” Another was grateful for the speed with which they were able to detox from opioids, appreciating “How good I felt, and how fast I recovered.” One person did not have a good experience and said that withdrawal symptoms remained after the procedure.

The alumni who took our survey have been doing well since treatment, with some reporting multiple years clean. Their parting sentiments were overwhelmingly positive, with comments such as: “Very satisfied and happy. Getting off methadone maintenance can be difficult but it is possible.” And “Excellent experience. Top level care which minimized my discomfort and helped me get better quickly.”

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