Assisted Recovery is known as a pioneer in the development of innovative protocols for the treatment of alcohol and drug dependence. This agency helped develop which has become known as Medication Assisted Treatment, for example the utilization of the anti-alcohol and anti-opiate medications naltrexone and ondansetron. Assisted Recovery is pleased to announce that it now offers the latest scientific advance for the treatment of opioid/heroin dependence, the NSS-2Bridge device. This new advance reduces the withdrawal process to 5 days or less. It is specifically designed to quickly reduce the pain intensity of the most common symptoms related to acute opiate withdrawal.
The withdrawal from opiates/heroin is very intense and painful. The physical detox can take days or weeks to complete. Due to the pain and intense discomfort associated with opiate withdrawal, it is very difficult to get patients to the next step in the recovery process which is the utilization of the opioid antagonist naltrexone. The NSS-Bridge is a revolutionary game changer in that it completely changes the dynamics of the withdrawal process from opioids such as heroin and prescription pain medication.
The BRIDGE device is a new piece of medical equipment that brings innovation to the field of Addiction Medicine. Opioid withdrawal causes acute and intense physical withdrawal symptoms including sweating, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, shaking, vomiting, agitation, high anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, hot and cold flashes, joint and muscle pain. It is very understandable why opiate dependent individuals fear the detox process more than anything else.
The BRIDGE is part of a unique protocol designed to comfortably transition previously opiate dependent patients to non-narcotic solutions for opiate addiction- specifically transition to Vivitrol. Vivitrol, which is an injectable form of the opiate antagonist naltrexone, blocks the ability to use any form of opiates for 30 days.
The Bridge device is an auricular peripheral nerve field stimulator. This safe procedure which provides neuro-modulating signals over 96 hours for a 4-5 day time period is a non-narcotic alternative to address the acute pain of withdrawal. Here are points identifying the benefits of the Bridge.
- More humane treatment of patients
- More patients willing to complete the transition to rehabilitation
- An option, previously unavailable
The NSS-2Bridge is only available by prescription. It attached to the ear and is designed to greatly reduce or eliminate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Assisted Recovery offers the Bridge as a component of an innovative treatment approach that addresses the biological, psychological and social components of the recovery process. Assisted Recovery provides the counseling, for example cognitive behavioral therapy, rational emotive therapy and motivational interviewing to address the psychological and social components.
How the NSS-2 Bridge Works
The Bridge works by hitting the body where addiction starts. It uses neuro-modulation, or electrical stimulation of specific areas of the brain, interfering with pain signals and reduces neuro firing in an area of the brain linked to fear and anxiety, the armygdala.
The Bridge takes advantage of 4 cranial nerves that are well represented in the auricle (the ear). These are Cranial Nerves 5, 7, 9 and 10. These nerves go back to the brainstem and into the spinal cord and disrupt efferent and afferent (sending and receiving) pain signals.
Such stimulation can provide relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms. Patients use the NSS-2Bridge device for up to 5 days during the acute withdrawal phase.
The NSS-2 Bridge is contraindicated for patients with hemophilia, patients with cardiac pacemakers or those diagnosed with psoriasis vulgaris.
Given the scope of the epidemic of opioid addiction, we need to find innovative new ways to help those currently addicted live lives of sobriety with the assistance of medically assisted treatment. The FDA is committed to supporting the development of novel treatments, both drugs and devices, that can be used to address opioid dependence or addiction, as well as new, non-addictive treatments for pain that can serve as alternatives to opioids.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Neuromodulation with percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulation is associated with reduction in signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal: a multisite, retrospective assessment
by Adrian Miranda, MD and Arturo Taca Jr., MD
Finding an effective, non-pharmacological approach to treat opioid withdrawal could remove some of the barriers associated with pharmacotherapy. The BRIDGE® is a noninvasive, percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulator developed to target pain.
This pilot study aimed to determine (1) the effects of the BRIDGE on withdrawal scores during the induction phase of opioid withdrawal therapy, (2) the percentage of subjects who successfully transitioned to medication assisted therapy (MAT).
Links to Informative Articles
- FDA grants marketing authorization of the first device for use in helping to reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal
- Heroin Withdrawal Gets Pioneering Treatment from St. Louis Doctor
- Taking the Pain Out of Addiction — NOVA Next | PBS
- Could This New Device Offer Pain-Free Heroin and Opioid Withdrawal?
- New Device to Treat Heroin Addiction Might Be Available Soon
- The Bridge article on The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- The Bridge Device featured on Web Center 11