The Bridge (NSS-2 Bridge) appears small but has huge potential for helping fight the opioid crisis in America. The NSS-2 Bridge is an innovative device recently approved by the FDA to aid in opioid withdrawal pain. It is appears not much different than a hearing aid behind the ear with some extra wires that connect to brain nerves. The Bridge can significantly inhibit pain and therefore help addicts get through opioid withdrawal and detox.
Heroin use is one leading cause of overdose deaths in the U.S. each year. Heroin is also an incredibly addictive substance, whether it’s opioid or its more deadly counterpart fentanyl. Many people claim to become addicted after a single use, and while they may believe so, it takes time for the body to develop a physical addiction to the drug. It’s actually the psychological effects, or the “high,” that users report that may hook them from the single-use.
The new device was not originally designed to aid in opioid withdrawals. It was originally created to alleviate other pain, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and surgery soreness. It was Dr. Arturo Taca, a certified addictionologist based out of Missouri, who saw the huge need for the NSS-2 Bridge as an aid in opioid withdrawals. In November 2017, the FDA expanded its approval of the device “as an aid to reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.” Continue reading to learn about:
- Drug detox and how the NSS-2 Bridge can help
- How the NSS-2 Bridge aids in opioid withdrawals
- The Bridge’s creation and development
- The Bridge in your recovery program
NSS-2 Bridge’s Role in Opioid Detox
Opioids are addictive substances and its withdrawal can cause drastic effects. This is one of the many reasons over 100 people die every day in the US overdosing on these substances.
According to the American Addiction Association, drug detoxification or simply “detox” is the removal of all drugs from one’s system before being able to take non-narcotic medications to treat addictions. It is one of the most crucial steps of the recovery process.
Detox is the important first step in fighting addiction. A patient must get through detox to begin taking non-narcotic medicines to treat addiction, such as a vivitrol shot. It is also the most painful part because they experience withdrawal symptoms. Because it is so difficult, one should not detox alone. For one reason, most will relapse and give in to taking drugs again. Second, serious medical complications could occur, such as dehydration and uncontrollable vomiting. Medical staff is highly recommended to monitor your safety during this process.
The NSS-2 Bridge is a new device designed to help aid in opioid withdrawal symptoms during the first five days of detox. Learning about the Bridge can help make withdrawal easier.
First Step in Opioid Withdrawals: Knowing the Symptoms
It is extremely difficult to undergo drug detox because the body experiences severe withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Muscle aches
- Increased tearing
- Abdominal cramping
- Persistent fear of death
Symptoms start about 8 hours after stopping use of opioids and can last up to 4 weeks, depending on the type of drug. Addicts feel strong cravings to take drugs again to relieve the pain and fear of death. When they take opioids again, they break their detox. The cycle of pain, fear of death, and all-consuming craving continues. The Bridge is that it aids in this opioid withdrawal pain significantly.
What was used in the past to aid in opioid withdrawal?
When undergoing medical detox people often use medicine to treat these symptoms. Common products are to aid in opioid withdrawal buprenorphine and methadone. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers target the psychological manifestations of withdrawal such as depression and anxiety. Behavioral treatments have also been encouraged in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. Most people need long-term treatment for detox. Support groups and extensive therapy are recommended. Though withdrawal has been treated in these ways, the return rate to drugs is high.
Most deaths caused by overdose occur during or shortly after detox.
With the rise of overdose deaths, advocates are looking away from medicines and want to know more about the Bridge and other devices that can aid in opioid withdrawal.
Why the NSS-2 Bridge is a unique aid in Opioid Withdrawals
The NSS-2 Bridge may be instrumental to aid opioid withdrawal so individuals can get through the initial step of detox in addiction recovery. The president has declared the opioid crisis in the United States a public health emergency. There are more deaths by overdose than by car accidents. It is an emergency, but there are currently only three FDA approved medicines to treat opioid addiction.
The radical fact about the Bridge is that it is not a new medicine, but a new device.
Manufacturers are focusing on creating alternative drugs to be prescribed to replace opioid prescriptions. New drugs take years to get FDA approved. This is a crisis now and cannot wait years for change. The FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. emphasized that the FDA needs to look to alternative solutions, including devices, to aid in opioid withdrawals. The NSS-2 Bridge can start getting people through the important step of detox.
What Is NSS-2 Bridge?
Dr. Taca named this new device the NSS-2 Bridge because he saw it as a way to conquer the most difficult part of withdrawal: the first five days. The device allows patients to make it to the stage in opioid addiction treatment and rehabilitation where medicinal intervention is possible.
About the Bridge’s Creation – A Mission to Aid Withdrawal
The NSS-2 Bridge was recently approved to be marketed as a device to aid in opioid withdrawals in November 2017. Prior to this new approval, the FDA approved it in 2014 to assist with acupuncture. Doctors had known about the Bridge and its benefits prior to FDA approval. They have been recommending it to patients for years. Now, with a prescription, people who have tried to detox but have relapsed during the hardest part will have a chance to make it. This is often the biggest hurdle for people undergoing detox. One person who had struggled with drug addiction for years and had tried several times to get off his addiction states learned about the Bridge:
“Withdrawal is a painful, intimidating process… That period of time that the Bridge helps with, it’s probably the most crucial and vulnerable period of your recovery when you’re starting out.”
The device is named the NSS-2 Bridge because it serves as a link for recovering addicts’ initial and hardest days of detox and their first injection of non-narcotic medicinal treatment for withdrawal pain.
How does the NSS-2 Bridge Aid in Opioid withdrawals?
Unlike medicines that treat withdrawal pain for a couple hours at a time, the unique part about the Bridge is that it stays connected to your brain for the five hardest days of detox. It emits continuous stimulation to the brain nerves that are linked to other parts of the body.It has been reported to reduce withdrawal symptoms by 85% and give those receiving treatment a higher chance at recovery.
Currently, the NSS-2 Bridge is still a new device. Taca and his team are already in the testing phase of developing a “super Bridge.” This super Bridge sends pulses to the brain that are 10x stronger than the original Bridge product. He has already seen success with this device, but official studies have yet to be completed.
Realities Of Opioid Abuse & Heroin Addiction In America
In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-involved overdoses. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
Fast Facts On The Opioid Crisis
Every day, opioid overdoses take the lives of our neighbors, classmates and friends. And, according to an analysis Perla conducted at the request of U.S. News & World Report, the number of opioid deaths is continuing to peak and there is no end in sight.
Here are five surprising facts provide a closer look at the impact of opioid addiction.
- Each day, 140 individuals in the United States die of a drug overdose, 91 specifically due to opioids.
- Between 2011 and 2015, overdose deaths in the US from opioids tripled.
- By 2014, Americans were more likely to die from an opioid overdose than from a car accident.
- By 2017, life expectancy in the United States declined due to opioids.
- By 2017, half of all men out of the labor force were taking an opioid.
Opioid & Heroin Addiction Treatment
Our team of experienced and compassionate addiction specialists can help answer questions. AspenRidge Recovery is a leading provider of recovery programs in Colorado that help more individuals and families overcome the devastation that result from substance abuse. Whether you’re facing challenges with alcohol or drugs, our dual diagnosis center can point you in the right direction to begin developing the tools and skillets needed to find long-term sobriety. For more information contact us 24/7 directly at 855-281-5588.