Implant may deliver new hope to addicts

New device helps heroin users (VIDEO)

Cincinnati, OH (AP, FOX19) - A new device, just cleared by the FDA six months ago, is likely to become a popular option for heroin users that are trying to get clean.

The Versailles, Indiana company, Innovative Health Solutions, claims to bring hope to addicts suffering withdrawals with its new product, "the bridge."

In a promotional video provided by the company, "the bridge" is placed behind the ear by a medical professional and sends electrical impulses directly into the brain blocking pain signals.

The company says the device essentially rids people of withdrawal symptoms, often associated with heroin and opioid abuse.

"The bridge offers acute pain relief by providing neuro-modulating signals over five days, up to 120 hours," the company stated in a news release. "The device can reduce the pain by 84 percent within 60 minutes from implantation."

For those suffering addiction who don't think they can afford help, the new device offers a less-expensive version of therapy.

Detox centers can range in price anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000 a week - the bridge is $495.

Katrina Lock, a nurse practitioner in Rising Sun Indiana, has used the device with ten of her patients.

"You see an active difference when you first apply it and the patient is in that restless stage," said Lock. "The difference is greater within ten or 20 minutes, sometimes."

Lock said within that time period, withdrawal symptoms are gone. A person withdrawing from heroin can take seven to ten days and, with Suboxone and Methadone, about ten to 14 days.

The company says this can be done with "the bridge" in five.

Out of Lock's ten patients, she told FOX19 NOW, only one patient didn't succeed with the device.

Dr. Mike Kalfas, an addiction specialist in Fort Wright, said none of his patients have used the bridge, but he said it has the potential to be an important tool in the recovery process.

"This isn't a magic bullet," said Kalfas. "But this could be a strong bullet that could help a lot of people."

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