Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Spokesperson Promotes Controversial Treatment
Extended Online Version
by Andrew Davis
2007-10-24

This article shared 5092 times since Wed Oct 24, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


From left to right: Dr. Ron Stall, Jim Pickett and Gregorio Millett. Pickett attended the PROMETA presentation. Photo by Andrew Davis

_________________

Dr. Andrea Barthwell—an addictions specialist and a board member of Hythiam, the company behind the controversial PROMETA treatment regimen—gave a presentation promoting the program (used to combat alcohol, cocaine and meth dependence) Oct. 16 at DePaul University, 1150 W. Fullerton.

However, before Barthwell talked, attendees saw a short film that featured testimonials from people who went through the PROMETA program as well as from company-affiliated doctors who have treated patients. Clients said that they now have 'wonderful lives' and one husband even said about his wife that he now has 'his best friend back.' However, the phrases 'results are not typical' and 'paid Hythiam consultant' (the latter in reference to at least one physician in the video) repeatedly faded in and out. It was also stated that 'clinical studies are underway to evaluate' PROMETA.

Barthwell, who stressed on more than one occasion that PROMETA (which is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration) is 'not a magic bullet,' discussed several topics, including the neurological basis of addiction, the program itself and clinical studies. For example, from a neurophysiological standpoint, she said that normalizing part of a structure called the GABA receptor (which is involved in seizures and cravings) is becoming a promising approach.

Barthwell said that PROMETA is an integrated outpatient treatment approach that incorporates physiological, nutritional and psychosocial aspects. The medical component involves, among other things, the 'physician-supervised administration of three oral and IV medications in a unique dosing method,' according to a PROMETA brochure. Among the nutrition-related facets are having clients take daily supplements and high-quality proteins, while psychosocial aspects involve the development of life skills and the prevention of relapse. She also presented a list of inclusion and exclusion criteria; aspects such as being medically stable fit in the former category while severe alcohol withdrawal and pregnancy were in the latter. Regarding clinical studies, Barthwell cited one study of 36 individuals that showed, among other things, that none of the subjects reported increased cravings; however, a more important experiment is taking place at UCLA, and will reportedly provide data in 2008.

After Barthwell's talk, patient advocate Steve Farrell provided a personal testimonial about his PROMETA experience. Farrell, 46—who was treated Oct. 5, 2006—painted himself as a go-getter regarding everything from work to fitness for two decades. However, 'the brakes failed in 2003,' he said. 'I was introduced to meth a party. After the first time I did it, I instantly knew it was going to be trouble.' He eventually enrolled in PROMETA—paying $15,000 in the process (a rate Farrell said is 'much lower than conventional rehab'). 'It felt right. It was convenient and minimally invasive in my schedule.' When they first put the protocol in him, he said that a 'fog had lifted.'

A question-and-answer session generated quite a bit of discussion. Dr. Kevin Osten, who is with Lakeshore Hospital's VALEO recovery program and is a member of the Chicago Crystal Meth Task Force (CCMTF), wondered that, if the clients in the video have not experienced typical results, then what is typical. One person who replied was a representative who said that 'until there are specific studies showing specific patterns, [showing that results are not typical] is a requirement and a responsibility.'

Another attendee said that the whole presentation seemed like 'a major sales job.' He also told Barthwell that he felt that her 'explanation of addiction was very naive. ... Most of the really important things in addiction are going on inside the neuron [nerve cell], not outside in the GABA receptor.' Barthwell replied that the talk was for a mixed audience (of medical and lay people) however, the attendee responded that she gave a talk, but it 'wasn't an accurate one.'

The day after the talk, Windy City Times asked CCMTF's Jim Pickett what he thought of the presentation—and he was not impressed. 'I want science—and most of us in the community want science before we start advocating for a treatment,' he said. 'I think it's irresponsible that they're pushing forward with such little science, with just open-label studies.'

A PROMETA ad recently appeared in some gay publications that moved the CCMTF to issue a letter to warn readers that '[d]espite how wonderful something may appear, there is no 'magic formula,'' as Pickett told Windy City Times in an article that appeared in its Sept. 1 issue.


This article shared 5092 times since Wed Oct 24, 2007
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

HIV criminal laws disproportionately impact Black men in Mississippi 2024-02-21
--From a press release - A new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that at least 43 people in Mississippi were arrested for HIV-related crimes between 2004 and 2021. Half of all arrests in the state ...


Gay News

'West Side Story' gets a sex-positive spin with new burlesque show 2024-02-19
- In partial observance of National Condom Day, which was Feb. 14, Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) presented A West Side Story Burlesque at the Harris Theater for two hour-long performances on Feb. 17. The show, ...


Gay News

$200,000+ raised at AIDS Foundation Chicago's World of Chocolate Fundraiser to fight HIV/AIDS 2024-02-13
--From a press release - (Chicago, IL) More than 950 guests gathered at Chicago's famed Union Station (500 W. Jackson) for Chicago's Sweetest Fundraiser, AIDS Foundation Chicago's (AFC), World of Chocolate on Friday, February 9. ...


Gay News

Munar prepares to step away from Howard Brown leadership 2024-02-11
- After 10 years of leadership at Howard Brown Health, President and CEO David Ernesto Munar has decided to step down from his post on Feb. 29. Munar, who'd previously been president and CEO of AIDS Foundation ...


Gay News

National Black Justice Coalition commemorates National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2024-02-07
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, Feb. 7, marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). In commemoration, Dr. David J. Johns, CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a leading Black LGBTQ+/same-gender ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Wis. report, gender dysphoria, HIV research, Stonewall exhibit, gay CEOs 2024-01-19
- A new annual report from Wisconsin's Office of Children's Mental Health shows that the state's minors—especially girls, children of color and LGBTQ+ youth—continue to struggle with anxiety, depression and thoughts ...


Gay News

WORLD Activist honored, marriages in Estonia, Madrid law, trans sports item 2024-01-05
Video below - The National AIDS Commission (NAC) recently honored Caleb Orozco—a leading figure in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Belize—for his instrumental contributions to the national HIV response, BNN reported. According ...


Gay News

SAVOR World of Chocolate, Jaleo and 'Superhot' 2023-12-31
- World of wonder: I am excited to announce that I will be a judge at AIDS Foundation Chicago's World of Chocolate fundraiser! Join me in sampling delicious chocolate from local chefs and help support a great ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Frankie Franklin-Foxx 2023-12-18
- Frankie Franklin-Foxx (born Waverlynn Franklin), a resident of Chicago's North Side, passed away peacefully Dec. 13 at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. She was 68. Born at Cook County Hospital, Frankie graduated from South Shore High ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Dr. Rachel Levine, World AIDS Day, trans deaths, Philly bar art 2023-12-08
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Liles C. Burke ruled that emails and other records from U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine are relevant to a lawsuit challenging Alabama's ban ...


Gay News

STRUT marks World AIDS Day with 14th Annual Fashion Show 2023-12-05
- On Dec. 3, John Fleming and Madman Productions presented the 14th annual STRUT fashion show at Joe's on Weed Street, 940 W. Weed St. As in previous years, the standing room only show was a fundraiser, ...


Gay News

World AIDS Day commemorated at AIDS Garden Chicago 2023-12-03
- On the rainy morning of Dec. 1, Chicago Parks Foundation and the AIDS Garden Chicago Board of Directors hosted a World AIDS Day commemoration at AIDS Garden Chicago, just south of Belmont Harbor on the Lakefront. ...


Gay News

GLAAD marks World AIDS Day with launch of global resource hub, new HIV report 2023-12-01
--From a press release - New York, New York — Friday, Dec. 1 — GLAAD marked World AIDS Day this year by sharing the results of its fourth annual State of HIV Stigma Report, a national survey among U.S. adults measuring ...


Gay News

Wrightwood 659 to present 'Daniel Goldstein: The Marks We Leave Behind' on World AIDS Day 2023-11-29
- (CHICAGO, Nov. 29, 2023) —Alphawood Exhibitions will present Daniel Goldstein: The Marks We Leave Behind, an exhibition of works from the San Francisco-based artist & HIV/AIDS activist's iconic "Icarian Series," ...


Gay News

WTTW doc chronicles the activism of Danny Sotomayor 2023-11-03
- Practically everything the late Chicago AIDS activist Danny Sotomayor did was "a fight." So says fellow activist Victor Salvo in the new WTTW documentary The Outrage of Danny Sotomayor, which is part of the station's Chicago ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.