FDA approves implant to combat heroin epidemic

Posted at 4:36 PM, Jun 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-03 16:38:30-04

We've seen the ugly side of the nationwide heroin epidemic here in northeast Ohio, but some experts say they may have found a game changer.

The FDA just approved a new drug to help addicts on the road to recovery; the first long-lasting treatment implanted in the arm. 

Spencer Kline, with Beacon Health, told NewsChannel 5 the new treatment could be one of the solutions to an epidemic that seems to keep getting worse.

"It is a game changer. It's easier for the patient to deal with, the doctor to deal with, it can't be abused," Kline said.

It's called probuphine. It's a 4 rod implant a doctor inserts into a patients upper arm. The rods release a anti-addiction treatment that releases continuously for six months.

Experts said the steady, constant levels of medication can decrease the risk for relapse.

Doctor Kevin Trangle told NewsChannel 5  probuphine is by no means a cure, but in a time where so many are looking for an answer, it could be one of them. 

"Anything that will help people get into a rehab program and change their life, change their perspective, their environment."