Addiction

Updated 27 May 2016

Drug-oozing implant approved for addicts

American federal authorities have approved a first-of-a-kind implant designed to help patients recovering from heroin and painkiller addiction.

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Federal health officials have approved an innovative new option for Americans who have a opioid addiction: a drug-oozing implant that curbs craving and withdrawal symptoms for six months at a time.

New delivery system

The first-of-a-kind device, Probuphine, arrives as communities across the U.S. grapple with a wave of addiction tied to opioids, highly-addictive drugs that include legal medications like OxyContin and illegal narcotics like heroin.

Read: Opioid Dependence – is something we should all know about

The implant is essentially a new delivery system for the drug buprenorphine, which has long been used to treat opioid addiction. But its implantable form could help patients avoid relapses that can occur if they miss a dose of medication.

More than 2.5 million Americans are addicted to opioids, according to federal estimates. But less than half are receiving medication-based treatment to help control the problem.

Read more:

Drug implant for opioid addiction

Prescription pain med addiction under spotlight

Scientists can now block heroin, morphine addiction

AP