Vice Squad
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
 
"Methods of painful impact to treat addictive behavior." [Updated!]


That's the English translation of the title of a Russian paper presented at a conference on new treatment methods for narcotics. From Pravda:
Siberian scientists believe that addiction to alcohol and narcotics, as well as depression, suicidal thoughts and psychosomatic diseases occur when an individual loses his or her interest in life. The absence of the will to live is caused with decreasing production of endorphins - the substance, which is known as the hormone of happiness. If a depressed individual receives a physical punishment, whipping that is, it will stir up endorphin receptors, activate the "production of happiness" and eventually remove depressive feelings.
That 'eventually' takes some 30 of the therapy sessions. One of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Sergei Speransky, claims to have cured his own depression via punishment, and more amazing still, "he also recovered from two heart attacks with the help of physical tortures too." Dr. Speransky recognizes that people might think that he's a bit odd, but he offers a denial:
"People might probably think of me as a masochist," Dr. Speransky said. "But I can assure you that I am not a classic masochist at all," he added.
Come to think of it, that is not exactly a denial, is it?

Thanks to friend of Vice Squad and satisfied Pravda reader Dima Masterov for the link; "pravda," of course, is the Russian word for "surely we couldn't make this stuff up."

Update: If the Siberian addiction cure is too wimpy for you, consider that of the Thamkrabok monastery in Thailand: "Addicts are put through a series of bamboo floggings, prayers and manual labour which is designed to cleanse them physically and mentally." (Scroll down to the bottom of the linked article.)

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