As technology evolves there will undoubtedly be changes in how medication is delivered and implemented to the general public. For opioid addicts, (people who are addicted to drugs like heroin, cocaine and opium) a new method of medication delivery into the body to treat this addiction gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.). It consists of a rod resembling a stick of matches inserted under the skin that then releases a set amount of restorative drugs to combat the effects of opiate addiction. Fighting fire with fire, as it were.
The rod insert is comprised primarily of the medication Buprenorphine that was already given the FDA stamp of approval for opioid addiction in 2002, and is already widely in use.
How It Works
Instead of trying to stop the body’s acceptance of opioids in one go, it slowly releases doses of the same chemical it’s trying to fight. Slowly over time, the body reduces its dependence on the drug altogether, similarly to how a nicotine patch works. And because it’s implanted under the skin, there are no missing doses or even overdosing on pills.
The medicine provides users peace of mind as they don’t have to worry about missing a schedule, their children accidentally ingesting pills, or the medications being stolen and illegally resold. There is no need to make any dramatic alterations to accommodate the medication, as it plays on the concept of “out of sight, out of mind”. It provides people who are in need of recovery from addiction the chance to live normal lives, while discretely undergoing treatment for a destructive and debilitating state of mind.
There are questions of administration and how long an effective dosage will and should last. The advised dosage is six months, but depending on the severity of the addiction, this might need to be revised and extended. What’s stopping someone from choosing not to redo the implant after feeling better after the first six months only to relapse later? There are questions still yet to be answered.
To this end, it is proposed the medication is coupled with Naltrexone, which works by blocking the effects of any opioid consumed and thus, helping to prevent relapse. Although these medications are a step in the right direction, they are not fool proof. It ultimately will depend on the will of the patients and their desire to be free of a rather destructive lifestyle. That being said, these developments in medication and medical application help to make that change easier.Back to Blog