SALT LAKE CITY - A local recovery center is the first in Utah to use a one of a kind electronic device, used for blocking symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
Salt Lake City's Odyssey House announced it began using the Bridge, which sends electrical feedback to the brain, blocking the intensely uncomfortable systems that come with detox from opiates like heroin.
“I feel a lot better. It’s amazing,” said Randy Burton, a patient who used the device, and has experienced extreme sickness in the past when he tried to come off opiates. “I didn’t know how it was going to work, but it was the easiest detox I’ve ever been through.”
Odyssey House stated that Burton, who had previously been on the streets, was able to detox within minutes with the Bridge. He immediately was placed into the treatment center's adult recovery program where Odyssey House says, "he is doing well in his recovery."
Odyssey Outreach Specialist Rachel Santizo witnessed the first test of the Bridge in Utah. “Watching someone come from a physically hopeless space back to life with a simple device is completely mind-blowing," She said. "It took most of the withdrawal symptoms away within minutes. It is a safer alternative to detoxing. This is exactly what we need.”
Odyssey House stated they are currently testing 10 of the devices. 30-year-old Kyle Drew, who had been on and off heroin since he was 15 years old, used the device when he came into the treatment center:
Odyssey CEO Adam Cohen praised the new device, citing hope for the future of addicts withdrawing from opiates:
“Odyssey House Utah has always pursued cutting edge technologies and pharmaceuticals to treat our clients, so naturally we want to see first hand how the Bridge works. We have tested it on several people withdrawing from opiates and so far it performs exactly as the company says it will. Mitigating the pain from opioid withdrawal could persuade more people to seek treatment once the anticipatory fear of that sickness is gone. If the outcomes we’ve seen so far continue in our testing phase, the Bridge could play a significant role in the continuing struggle to end the opioid epidemic.”
The Bridge has been approved by the FDA and is manufactured by an Indiana based company. People experiencing peak withdrawal wear the device for five days, then turn to long-term treatment to help with the rest of their recovery.