DENVER (CBS4) – Drug overdoses are a leading cause of death in Colorado. The opioid crisis is everywhere. Doctors say a huge problem is how to treat those who want the help.READ MORE: Coloradans Kim Dobson And Ashley Brasovan Take Top Spots In Mount Washington Road Race
CBS4’s Jennifer Brice found information about a newer treatment giving addicts a chance at sober life.
Brittany is a recovering addict.
“Addiction is the most exhausting disease,” she said.
Brittany has been struggling with an opioid and heroin addiction for years. She was taking daily medication to cut her cravings, until three weeks ago when her doctor gave her an implantable treatment.
“I have not had any withdrawal symptoms,” she said. “This implant, I think, can do wonders for people out there.”
The drug is called Probuphine. It works by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. Until recently it was only available in pills taken daily. This is the first implant treatment. It’s placed under the skin of the upper arm and delivers the drug for six months.READ MORE: Preventing Theft: Denver Police Etching VIN On Catalytic Converters
Addiction specialist Dr. Nate Moore says 40 percent of his Colorado patients struggle with addiction. Opioids are tremendous problem he says.
“We see three to four new patients everyday struggling with this.” Moore said.
He said patients think they want to come off their addiction but and they can’t because of withdrawal symptoms.
Moore implanted Probuphine for Brittany about three weeks ago. They both say it’s been a success, so far. Brittany says she has her life back.
“It’s like this huge monkey off my back,” she claimed. “It’s a whole different life and it’s overnight.”
If someone attempts to abuse opioids while they have the implant, doctors say, they can’t get high.MORE NEWS: Colorado Weather: Landspout Tornadoes Hit Colorado Plains