Nerve Stimulator Device for Opioid Withdrawal: The Newest Iteration of a Cure

opioid addiction

The search for a new way to handle drug addiction is undertaken on an almost daily basis. Since the beginning of the drug crisis, scientists, doctors, drug manufacturers, etc. have attempted to cash in on the biggest scourge of our society and make a boat-load of money. Since the drug problem started, fake cure after fake cure, replacement drug after replacement drug, and therapy after therapy have been created, tried, and delivered to those desperately looking for a solution to their addiction. Necessity being the mother of invention sets the stage for some weird stuff to come out as a “quick fix” or “cure-all” to drug use.

Suboxone and methadone are two of the most commonly used methods to treat opioid addiction. While not curative by any means, both drugs gave users the promise of being able to handle their withdrawal symptoms and allow them to “come down” off the heroin, oxy, or Dilaudid. Instead of being used for specifically what the drugs were originally designed for, Suboxone and methadone have been used off-label more and more as a long-term treatment for opioid addiction.

Addicts are now finding themselves hopelessly addicted to Suboxone and methadone. The withdrawals are so much more severe than those from pills and heroin, so they have no choice but to stay on the meds and hope for the best. The confusing part is that many treatment centers out there tout replacement therapy as a “necessary” part of addiction recovery, believing that more drugs will solve the overall drug problem.

The newest technological advance to hit the market is a new device that’s promising relief from opioid withdrawal with minimal side effects. Sounds creepily familiar, doesn’t it?

The Addiction Healing Center at Saint Francis hospital recently talked about this new wearable device, known as the NSS-2 BRIDGE. The device is worn behind the ear and stimulates the nervous system and supposedly helps to alleviate opioid withdrawal.

The FDA approved the unit last year and it’s first being piloted by Saint Francis hospital in West Virginia. I don’t think that a wearable nerve stimulator is the way to go in handling opioid withdrawal. There’s so much more that goes into coming off drugs and getting clean than just handling the detox symptoms. You’ve got to repair the body, handle nutritional deficiencies, and any medical situations that come up. Strapping a nerve stimulator on your head is definitely not an option, especially with the past history of what happens when we use “miracle cures” or anything else that seems way too good to be true. We usually wind up paying some sort of price, whether it be new addictions, dependence, or in this case, possible malfunctions of a nerve stimulator unit installed behind someone’s ear.

I feel like while some scientists thought this was a good idea, there’s going to be some sort of fallout from using this type of technology. If you’re strung out on opioids and need or want to get clean, find a treatment program that will detox you without drugs or nerve stimulators. Find one that’ll get to the root of the problem and not sentence you to life with a permanent “disease” that’ll never go away.

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.