Implant could help fight painkiller addictions

Implant could help fight painkiller addictions
Posted at 4:04 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 19:49:44-04

A two-inch tube that is implanted in the skin is being called a breakthrough in the fight against  opioid addiction.

“It's not the drug that's new but it’s the delivery form that's new,” said UC Professor School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The two-inch implants are owned by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals. The implants were recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

“They get inserted in a tiny little cut and put four of these little tubes implants into your arm," said Valuck.

The tubes contain the drug Buprenorphine which responds to opioid cravings in the addict’s body.

“You don't have those cravings anymore because this drug goes and sits on those receptors and occupies them so the person doesn't have the withdrawal symptoms.” said Valuck.

Only 10 percent of the 5 million addicts get treatment.  Valuck says this procedure has the ability to reach more people and eliminate the process of leaving it up to the patient to remember to take the medicine.

“It is just really tough to go through treatment and be successful, I think this will really help improve the success rate,” said Valuck.