(CNN) – A new implant device is front and center of the fight against opioid addiction. The FDA recently approved the device to help addicts wean themselves from heroin and opioids such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.
The device will be used as a medication-assisted treatment, which, in conjunction with behavioral therapy, will help with an addict’s recovery for a period of six months. The device is implanted in the arm and releases a medication meant to cut cravings and prevent withdrawal symptoms.
Up until now, that medication has only been available in pill form. Advocates says the device will make sure patients don’t miss their dosage or worse, have their prescription end up in the hands of a recreational user. The FDA sees this first-of-its-kind treatment as a major step in reducing opioid dependence and overdose.