We offer Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) in a 12 seater hyperbaric chamber, located onsite. Clients of Castle Craig rehab clinic have used the chamber for a number of years to aid recovery from a variety of conditions.

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

HBOT involves breathing 100% oxygen in a spacious, pressurised oxygen chamber. The oxygen you breathe in this process is delivered in greater concentration and higher pressure than the normal air we breathe. A session usually lasts for 60 minutes. 

The benefits of increased oxygen

Breathing oxygen under pressure has many benefits, especially for people going through detox from drugs and alcohol, and during the rest of the addiction recovery programme. HBOT can:

  • Halve the symptoms of opiate withdrawal;
  • Help repair damaged bodies – the treatment increases tissue regeneration and decreases swelling and inflammation by increasing oxygenated blood-flow to damaged tissue and generating new blood vessels;
  • Help to clear toxins, which is important during drug and alcohol detoxification;
  • Help improve decision-making and controlling emotions by improving quality and quantity of sleep;
  • Increase stem cell production by 800%, these cells regenerate damaged tissues in the pancreas, liver and brain and other areas affected by alcohol and drug abuse.

Staff are fully trained to supervise conditions in the chamber; and the type of chamber used is so safe that it was deregulated by an Act of Parliament in 2008.

How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?

The normal air we breathe is made up of 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen, and 1% carbon dioxide.

A hyperbaric chamber is needed to allow the pressure around the body to be increased. The technology is very well established, in fact all commercial aircraft are hyperbaric chambers equipped with oxygen breathing systems.

HBOT is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment which most people find comfortable and even relaxing. At Castle Craig you will be treated in a secure and comfortable purpose built chamber with a trained operator present to operate the barochamber. Sometimes an attendant will join you in the chamber.

Inside the chamber is lined with cushioned seats and individual masks as well as a television. A safety briefing is given in advance of the session and we recommend you wear comfortable clothing.

Once the door closes you begin to feel the pressure increase. The temperature increases slightly and you may experience ‘popping’ in your ears, similar to when you descend in an aeroplane.

When the chamber is at the right pressure which is usually usually 1.5 to 2.0 atmospheres, you can relax and breathe the oxygen through your mask for the rest of the session. You can rest, watch television, or read.

Once your session is finished the pressure will be lowered slowly.

A smiling woman

Castle Craig is the first and only alcohol and drug addiction clinic in the UK to offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an extra complementary treatment for patients.

HBOT for opiate withdrawal

2016 HBO2T research study, funded by the US Government National Institute of Health, and published in the journal Brain Research, found that HBOT can halve the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. The lead researcher hailed the discovery as of “profound importance” at a time when heroin use has doubled among young Americans in the last decade.

Hyperbaric oxygen for liver damage

We hope that HBOT will be of interest to liver damaged patients and their doctors where standard treatment options are restricted.

Hyperbaric oxygen for brain damage/Korsakoff’s

Addiction affects all organs in the body including the brain, and it is a sad fact that some people who have abused alcohol or drugs for many years can begin suffering from a brain disorder called Korsakoff’s Disease. 

What is Korsakoff’s?

Wernicke’s encephalopathy occurs in cases of chronic alcohol abuse associated with poor absorption of thiamine (vitamin B1). The symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy include confusion, a confusion of eye movements, poor balance (staggering) on intoxication, and there may be memory disturbance. People with Korsakoff’s syndrome cannot form new memories and there can be a severe loss of memory. In many cases Korsakoff’s is caused by alcohol misuse. HBOT may be able to relieve some symptoms from Korsakoff’s.

Alzeheimer’s

Hyperbaric oxygen may help those with alzeheimer’s. A 2021 study from Israel showed that people with pre-dementia (mild cognitive impairment) have improved memory and brain function following sessions in hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

Cost

We charge for HBOT as an extra on top of our addiction treatment programme and clients may begin receiving oxygen therapy after detox and providing they have sign-off from the clinical team.

More information

Hyperbaric O2 Therapy Ltd provide HBOT at Castle Craig. They are a a non-profit organisation, providing hyperbaric oxygen therapy on-site at Castle Craig.

Alternatively, contact us for more information.

Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | September 10, 2021