On May 27, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug-emitting arm implant to treat addiction to heroin and other opioids. Some addiction experts said the implant could offer a more reliable way to keep addicts on their medication. This is similar to Suboxone which contains a combination of both buprenorphine and naloxone.
But like all drugs meant to treat drug addiction, the device could face opposition from those who embrace the total-sobriety approach to treatment long advocated by 12-step programs.
There continues to be debate amongst the “total abstinence” crowd of NA and those who support MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment).
Many in the treatment industry complain that we are simply replacing one addictive substance with another.
The Obama Administration and Congress are clearly supporting the MAT approach as the bills which are not in Conference Committee between the House and Senate are funding almost $2B in treatment support, geared mostly towards MAT and
The match-stick-size implant, called Probuphine, emits buprenorphine, a drug that eases cravings for opioids and prevents withdrawal symptoms. Four implants are inserted into the upper arm at a time, providing six months’ worth of drug. The implant’s marketer, Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, said Probuphine would cost less than $6,000 for a six-month supply.