Psychological Issues

Intervention with HBOT dramatically reduces the negative psychological state changes associated with AIDS.  Because HBOT improves the physical condition of the patient, positive psychosocial changes also occur.  There is relief from debilitating fatigue, concentration problems, anorexia and depression. Cessation of HBOT treatment for two weeks results in a return of symptoms.  These are reversed when treatment is started again.

It is important to take a detailed and accurate history of substance abuse because active users of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, crystal meth, poppers, crack, alcohol and marijuana are at risk of seizures in a hyperbaric chamber.  This is especially important because of drug interactions with prescription medications.

HBOT has been used to treat liver dysfunction with success.  The past substance user may benefit fro HBOT at 1.8-2.0 ATA three times a week for a month. Liver function can return to normal levels.  It is recommended by Reillo that HBOT be used in the management of patients with AIDS who have a history of substance abuse, and that counseling and drug screening be provided to help prevent relapse.