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It is well-known that opiate withdrawal is one of the worst withdrawals you can experience. The level of physical, mental, and emotional discomfort is so extreme that even the thought of it prevents a lot of people from attempting to get clean. It is also one of the major reasons why people relapse and continue using, even in the face of serious consequences. Until now, medication (and recommended inpatient treatment with medical supervision) have been the mainstays of early opiate recovery.

A New Alternative May Soon Be Available


The Bridge Device (manufactured by Innovative Health Solutions in Indiana) is a small piece of technology that is worn behind the ear. Aptly named, it is intended to “bridge” the time gap between the end of opiate use and beginning of vivitrol injections, or another form of regular medical maintenance. The way it allegedly works is by sending electrical stimulation to the brain, blocking the nerve pathways that modulate withdrawal symptoms. The device is intended for use by people that are already in moderate to severe withdrawal, and proponents say it can significantly reduce withdrawal severity and cravings until a patient becomes eligible for vivitrol.

The device isn’t cheap- it costs about $550, yet that price point is much cheaper than a hospital stay. It has been cleared by the FDA, but is currently regarded as in the same category as acupuncture and other holistic therapies. There are efforts underway to have it classified as a “neural modulator”, which would also expand its availability through insurance and government-issued healthcare such as Medicaid and Medicare. It is intended for physician-guided use, and should be placed and monitored in a licensed clinical setting.

Not a “Miracle Cure”

As with most other avenues of easing withdrawal-related discomfort, this device is absolutely not a long-term solution or a “cure-all” for addiction. It is only intended for use in alleviating the extreme symptoms of early withdrawal. While this is undoubtedly beneficial, particularly since it is a non-narcotic treatment option, it should be used in conjunction with a dedicated program of addiction treatment. As we know, the physical pain of withdrawal is not the only effect- the emotional, mental, and spiritual components of addiction remain, and need to be treated in order to promote long-term true recovery. Therapy, inpatient treatment, holistic therapies, and recovery groups are all still vital or effective components in helping someone truly recover from opiate addiction. However, it is encouraging that more companies and agencies are seeking out non-narcotic avenues for treating opiate addiction. It likely will require additional study and approvals, but this device seems like it could provide significant help to those in early opiate addiction recovery.

More information on the device can be found here.

Help is Available


If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, the professional staff at Serenity Acres is ready to help. Call today for your free confidential assessment, to see if inpatient treatment may be the answer you are looking for: 1-800-203-2024