Springfield Treatment Centers Excited About New Heroin Addiction Treatment
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
Local drug treatment centers say a new kind of drug could be a game changer in the fight against heroin and other opioid addiction.
The drug isn't anything new, but the FDA is now letting it be surgically implanted into the biceps of someone trying to get off heroin.
Clinicians and addicts say it could eliminate obstacles some people currently face in getting off heroin.
Carrie Wyman says she's been addicted to heroin for 8 years, and receiving opioid derivatives like Suboxone is one of the best clinical methods she's used to ween herself off drugs.
"It almost completely takes away the withdrawal symptoms. For me it, completely takes care of the withdrawal symptoms," said Wyman.
Gateway Treatment Center Nurse Manager Jim Blasko said it's all about tricking the brain.
"When a client takes heroin or any opiate, this drug helps the body think it's taking opiates. Because Buprenorphine is a derivative of an opiate."
But there are some issues with giving it out in pill form.
"As addicts, we have impulses to make some pretty bad decisions. So if you have a weak moment you can sell your Suboxone on the street and buy heroin, or you can choose to not take it and get high," Wyman said.
But an implant would solve that issue, and staff at the Gateway Foundation say it would save clients the weekly struggle of getting a prescription.
"They have to find the money to purchase this, and this is a weekly basis," Blasko said. "What we would be able to do is implant it, and then they wouldn't have to find money for their medication."
Gateway says they're optimistic about the implants potential and have been tracking its progress for some time. Wyman says she is very excited.
"The right person that needs it would get the right amount that they're supposed to have, over the time period they're supposed to have it. And not the people that don't need it and just want it to get high."
Gateway says the implant isn't ready for mainstream use yet. It is now FDA approved, but would need to be covered by insurance companies before it could see wide-spread use.