FDA approves implant to treat opiate addicts

This undated photo provided by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office shows fentanyl pills. Authorities say they've arrested Ryan Gaston, a man in a Cleveland suburb after seizing more than 900 fentanyl pills marked liked tablets of the less-potent opiate oxycodone. The Cuyahoga County medical examiner said that lookalike pills were likely to blame for some of the county's 19 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in January 2016. (Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office via AP)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The FDA has approved a new way for people who are addicted to heroin or prescription drugs to receive treatment, without running the risk of overdosing.

An implant called Probuphine will now be available for opioid addicted patients who are in stable condition, recovering from addiction.

Dr. Andrew Mendenhall, an addiction medicine specialist, explained to 22News how it works; “They’re implanted underneath the skin on the inside of the arm, just above the elbow. The medication buprenorphine is released from these rods over the period of 6 months.”

Probuphine will be available at the end of July. Physicians are now working with insurance companies to have the procedure covered for their patients.

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