Indiana Opioid Treatment Center Uses Innovative BRIDGE Device To Help 200 Patients Detox

LIBERTY, IN, March 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Union County Opioid Treatment Center reports two years of success using a device to help people safely withdrawal from opioids. Staff at the treatment center have been installing NSS-2 BRIDGE devices since spring 2016 and more than 200 patients have reaped the benefits. 

“No one believes it the first time they hear about it, until they see it work,” said Jeff Mathews, Union County Opioid Treatment Center co-director. “We have never had a BRIDGE that doesn’t significantly reduce a Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale (COWS) score, never.”

The BRIDGE device, pioneered by Indiana-based medical technology firm Innovative Health Solutions, Inc. (IHS), is placed behind the ear with micro-needle arrays that percutaneously implant in and around the ear. Research study results show an 84.6 percent reduction of withdrawal symptoms in as little as 60 minutes.

IHS donated BRIDGE devices to the Union County Opioid Treatment Center to help jumpstart a program aimed at combating the community’s growing opioid epidemic. Mathews, his co-director, Alvin Day, and other concerned citizens, knew if the program could work in one of Indiana’s smallest and poorest counties, it could work anywhere.

Autumn Howard was one of the center’s first patients to have the BRIDGE installed. Howard had been addicted to heroin for five years when her father introduced her to the BRIDGE. She went to the center having been withdrawn from heroin for 24 hours, a requirement for all patients who have the BRIDGE installed.

“She was in bad shape,” said Mathews. “Her COWS score was so high, and she was throwing up in a bucket every three minutes. I had the seen the BRIDGE work, but I was skeptical with her.”

One hour after installing the BRIDGE, Mathews’ skepticism faded as Howard’s COWS score dropped from 28 to 4. Howard had the BRIDGE removed four days later and has been clean since.

“The BRIDGE saved my life,” said Howard. “I was in awe. There is no way I could have withdrawn naturally. I had tried before, and I never made it more than a day or two. My life is not perfect, but it is a million times better than it was.”

In November 2017, the BRIDGE received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Doctors can now prescribe treatment using the device to patients who are in withdrawal, along with patients suffering from post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). The FDA clearance also means the BRIDGE will be eligible for insurance coverage as soon as states and commercial carriers adopt the technology.

“IHS wants every person who needs it to have access to the BRIDGE and we know without insurance coverage, many of those people won’t be able to afford the technology,” said Brian Carrico, president of IHS. “We’ve seen hundreds of patients, just like Autumn, share their story of success after having the BRIDGE installed. This technology works, it’s one-of-a-kind and it’s saving lives daily.”

Click here for more information about the BRIDGE.


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