Close this search box.

New device eases Acute Heroin-withdrawal pain

Withdrawal symptoms are often painful. The Bridge, a non-narcotic pain-relieving device, is proving to be a critical first step in helping opioid and heroin addicts manage these painful withdrawal symptoms as they transition to a treatment protocol for recovery.
Arturo C. Taca Jr., M.D., an addiction medicine expert, uses this device at his INsynergy Alcohol and Drug Rehab Treatment Center in St. Louis. The results are promising. Dr. Taca is the first in the nation to use The Bridge as part of a comprehensive addiction-therapy protocol to help those suffering with heroin or opioid dependence.

“Heroin and opioid abuse is a devastating, growing problem in our community and across our country,” said Dr. Taca. “What makes this type of addiction so insidious is the pain associated with detoxification. When users want to get clean, they often cannot because the pain of withdrawal is almost unbearable. The Bridge device offers quick reduction of pain associated with most opiate withdrawal symptoms during an office visit – this allows the patient to take the first step toward recovery.”

The Bridge is a half-dollar-sized device which is attached behind the ear and worn for up to five days. It stimulates the nerve pathways that signal and register pain in the brain. The stimulation disrupts the pain signals, providing relief without the need for medication. Once withdrawal pain has subsided and the patient is clean of opiates, they can be transitioned to non-habit forming products like naltrexone (Vivitrol), as part of their long-term recovery.

Great potential

Dr. Taca, also president of the Midwest Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), recognizes that the device has great potential, but also  acknowledges that The Bridge treatment protocol is not recommended for everyone.

“The use of The Bridge helps break the cycle of dependence on any type of opioid drug or replacement medication, such as methadone or buprenorphine, which is extremely promising,” said Dr. Taca. “But it is not intended for everyone who desires to detox from opiates. Patients need to have a thorough discussion with their physician or addiction specialist before discontinuing or changing any medications, treatments or therapies.”
The company Innovative Health Solutions of Versailles, Indiana developed The Bridge as a drug-free option for pain management. Ultimately, Dr. Taca hopes to gather additional data on the device’s usefulness in opioid-withdrawal treatment so The Bridge may be considered for coverage by Medicaid and insurance.

“Opioid abuse and heroin addiction continue to have costly, devastating consequences for our families, communities, economy and health system” said Dr. Taca. “We must continue to identify and support solutions that can help reverse this terrible epidemic.”


ICT&health World Conference 2024

Experience the future of healthcare at the ICT&health World Conference from May 14th to 16th, 2024!
Secure your ticket now and immerse yourself in groundbreaking technologies and innovative solutions.
Engage with fellow experts and explore the power of global collaborations.

Share this article!

Read also
Navigating Digital Maturity in Healthcare IT
Digital maturity vs. Reality. How to rethink the IT staff role in a hospital
Online health care icon application on smart phone
End-users of mobile health apps expect far more than a good design
Mayo Clinic started with its innovations for its ten million patients and demonstrated that its model worked, and that data could be ethically and responsibly used to drive innovations.
John Halamka: 'Create the Fear of Missing Out'
Balancing regulatory compliance with seamless adoption, healthcare navigates the integration of AI solutions.
A guide to implementing AI in healthcare amid the EU AI Act
Futurist Amy Webb claims that wearables will evolve into "connectables"
Digital health solutions empower patients to better manage their health and integrate care into their daily lives.
How to improve Digital Patient Engagement to streamline workflows
For people with diabetes, inaccurate blood glucose measurements can lead to errors in diabetes management, including taking the wrong dose of insulin, sulfonylureas, or other medications that can rapidly lower blood glucose.
Smartwatches measuring glucose level: Harmful but easy to buy fake innovations
How to introduce innovation and AI in healthcare organizations if there is no business model for prevention and quality – Our interview with Professor Ran Balicer, the Chief Innovation Officer at Clalit Health Services and founding Director of Clalit Research Institute.
I see no legitimate rationale for delaying the digital transformation in healthcare
Pioneering Cardiac Arrest Detection for Enhanced Survival.
CardioWatch Revolutionizes Cardiac Arrest Detection
Dr. Oscar Díaz-Cambronero, Head of Perioperative Medicine Department at La Fe Hospital, spearheads innovative telemonitoring initiatives revolutionizing patient care
Smartwatches Saving Lives Inside and Outside the Hospital
Follow us