Bridge Device provides 'humane and dignified way to detoxification'

Norwalk Reflector April 29, 2018

Family Life Counseling and Psychiatric Services will introduce a new technological development at the Norwalk office, 34 Woodlawn Ave., in partnership with Huron County Public Health, to offer the latest development in opioid detox.

The Bridge Device is a small electrical nerve stimulator placed behind a patient’s ear. It contains a battery-powered chip that emits electrical pulses to stimulate certain branches of the mid-brain, which controls one’s addiction.

Each of the four small probes is strategically placed at specific points around an individual’s ear and the impulses are utilized to disrupt pain signals. In some cases, the device stops the effects of withdrawal within minutes of use. Patients can use it for up to five days during the acute psychical withdrawal phase, which often include the following symptoms: sweating, gastrointestinal upset, agitation, insomnia and joint pain. 

Released at the end of 2017, the Bridge Device is fully supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

“Given the scope of the epidemic of opioid addiction, we need to find innovative new ways to help those currently addicted live lives of sobriety ... the FDA is committed to supporting the development of novel treatments, both drugs and devices that can be used to address opioid dependence or addiction,” said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner.

Although the device dramatically helps with the first five days of detoxification, after it is removed, the patient will continue to experience anxiety, depression, fatigue, sweating and insomnia, which typically last about 30 days. The cravings will continue and it is essential to take a holistic approach to treatment and recovery.

“The Bridge Device is the first breakthrough that allows the addicted or dependent individual a humane and dignified way to detoxification,” Huron County Health Commissioner Tim Hollinger said. 

It will be applied at Huron County Public Health and the individual will be required additional services at Family Life Counseling & Psychiatric Services. After detoxification, the individual will continue with the appropriate method of treatment to continue with their individual recovery.

Family Life Counseling & Psychiatric Services is honored to aid in the development and offer services to individuals utilizing the Bridge Device. Founder and CEO, Dr. Steven Burggraf, expressed: “this project is an important step in our efforts to advance methods that will lead to successful recovery.”

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