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The Bridge: Addiction Counselor Says Thousands Should Use It

It sends impluses that stifle the symptoms caused by withdrawals.

INDIANAPOLIS--The Bridge is a device that people can put behind their ear. It helps people through withdrawal symptoms if they are addicted to heroin or other opioids. An Indiana addiction counselor says tens of thousands, not just hundreds of people, should be using it.

The device was developed by a Hoosier company, Innovative Health Solutions. It has been approved by the FDA.

"So now I think it's really time that we get that to the masses so that we can get beyond anecdotal evidence," said Scott Watson, with Heartland Intervention. He sees Hoosiers who are addicted to opioids, and has not been in favor of using other medications to get them through withdrawals.

"We're at a point now where if this is a device that will help, it needs to be used on thousands of tens of thousands at a time, not just on dozens, so that we can move to knowing that it's best practice," said Watson.

Watson said the device works in a way similar to acupuncture. When people go through withdrawals from heroin or painkillers, they often go through tough symptoms, like diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and anxiety, sometimes to the point where quitting is nearly impossible for them.

"And the thought is that it helps with that detox withdrawal. That it makes people more comfortable during what is arguably the most difficult period of time when you're coming off of those opiate medications," said Watson.

Watson said people who do not have help with withdrawal symptoms are likely to reuse because it is so uncomfortable.

PHOTO: RTV6

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