EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A new device is giving opioid addicts another option to get clean.
It's called the Neuro-Stim System Bridge, and it's available in Evansville. It is a flat, plastic device about the size of a quarter and fits behind the ear to block pain receptors in the brain.
Jess Powers with the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office told us opioid withdrawal feel like, "a thousand times the worst case of the flu that you've ever had."
It is a type of pain that pushes addicts to relapse even when trying to get clean. The first few days are the most critical.
The Neuro-Stim System Bridge is the newest option that could lead to recovery, and it is offered at Evansville's Boyett Treatment Center.
"This device is not going to cure the addiction, but it's going to get them through those first few days," said Powers.
A person wears it for five days and then throws it away. The prosecutor's office is advocating for the bridge, hoping to bring down the rising overdose rate.
"The more options that people have to get off of these potentially deadly substances that they're on, certainly we will vouch for that," said Powers.
The bridge sends electrical signals to the brain, blocking pain receptors, eliminating the flu-like symptoms, and allowing the person to continue with normal life.
"We've heard stories of people that have no other options, and they don't know where to turn. And sometimes we even get people who come to us and say, 'I don't know what to do, so I did nothing.' It's those family members that feel helpless," said Powers.
Because it's been approved by the FDA, some insurance plans now cover the bridge. Without insurance, it costs about $1,000.
"It's going to give people a chance to beat this, beat this disease that we are seeing just take people by the thousands across the country," said Powers.
Boyett says no one is currently using a bridge, but it is available. If you or someone you know could benefit from this treatment option, you can contact Boyett Treatment Center.