The statistics are frightening. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 70,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses in 2017, a number which doubled in 10 years. That translates into about 200 people dying every day from drug use, and the number continues to rise. More than half the overdose deaths were attributed to opioid use.

While many addicts have found recovery with the help of a treatment center or other addiction specialists, there are still those who have been unable to overcome addictive impulses. Recent studies using Deep Brain Stimulation to treat addiction have shown promise.

What is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)?

DBS is a procedure where a neurostimulator device and electrodes are implanted in the brain, to send a controlled electrical charge to areas of the brain that govern certain impulses. The neurostimulator is a programmable, battery-operated pacemaker. The surgical procedure was first approved by the FDA in 1997 for treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and essential tremor. Since then it has also been approved to treat dystonia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and epilepsy. DBS is now being studied as a potential treatment for addiction.

DBS to Treat Addiction

Studies of DBS to treat addiction began in China. The subject of one of their recent studies was a man who struggled for years with meth addiction. He had been in rehabilitation centers several times, without success, but after his DBS surgery was finally able to reach 6 months of sobriety. A separate study in China was published in January, showing that five of eight heroin users remained sober for two years after their DBS surgery. According to a U.S. National Institutes of Health database there are now eight registered DBS clinical trials worldwide for drug addiction.

DBS Coming to America

Although the FDA has been cautious about authorizing clinical trials in the U.S., in February they approved a small clinical trial in West Virginia of DBS for opioid use disorder. Interestingly, West Virginia has one of the highest numbers of drug overdose deaths from opioids in the country. The study will be led by Dr. Ali Rezai, director of the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with DBS. Side effects may include a brain hemorrhage, seizure, infection, or personality changes. However, the few studies that have been completed so far indicate that DBS could be a viable treatment option for addiction.
There are many methods for fighting substance use disorders, and as research on the subject continues to expand, we are adding more tools to the toolkit to fight this crisis.

Related Posts

Is Adderall Bad for Your Health?

Any drug, even when prescribed, can be bad for your health, and Adderall is no exception. Although Adderall can be legally prescribed for certain conditions, if misused or used without a prescription, it can be dangerous. Even when used as directed, this popular “study drug” can cause negative side effects. When misused or abused, Adderall […]

Read More

Podcast: Intervention on The Other Side with Richie H.

Richie H. This is podcast number two … So I have to read stuff apparently, before the podcasts. If you want to subscribe to our podcast, it’s available on the major streaming platforms: iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, which I’ve never heard of, and YouTube. But I’m old. Richie H. So, the last one we did, this […]

Read More

Introducing the New BlueCrest Podcast: “The Other Side With Richie H.”

Introducing the New BlueCrest Podcast: “The Other Side With Richie H.” All of us here at BlueCrest Recovery Center pride ourselves on being open, honest, and transparent when it comes to treatment and recovery. That’s why we’re excited to debut a new podcast that tackles some of the most pressing issues in the world of […]

Read More

Share This

12-Step Recovery Focus

12-Step
Recovery Focus

12-step programs are the path to maintaining long-term, meaningful sobriety.

Consistent Communication

Consistent Communication

Clients and families are kept informed of all treatment components from initial contact to discharge.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Evidence-Based Treatment

Our therapeutic approach is grounded in the most reliable clinical practices for substance abuse recovery.

Multiple Treatment Modalities

Multiple Treatment Modalities

Our program integrates numerous treatment modalities from yoga and meditation to individual and group services.

Highly-Trained Clinical Staff

Highly-Trained Clinical Staff

Our staff is carefully selected not only for their skills and experience but for their passion in helping others, as well.

Post-Treatment Services

Post-Treatment Services

Our case management and aftercare services will make all necessary referrals for sober housing and treatment when completing our program.

Holistic Approach

Holistic Approach

Our integrated treatment model addresses the spiritual, physical and mental components of addiction.

Long-Term Support

Long-Term Support

We ensure every client has a long-term plan for ongoing recovery and a sober network in place before they discharge.

Mind, Body, Spirit Focus

Mind, Body, Spirit Focus

The spiritual, physical and mental components of our treatment promote a healthy mind, body and spirit.

Personalized Plan of Care

Personalized Plan of Care

Each treatment plan is individualized to meet the unique needs of each client.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

BlueCrest has an on-staff psychiatrist, psychiatric APN and licensed clinical team to assist those with a dual diagnosis.

Solution-Oriented Programs

Solution-Oriented Programs

Our focus at BlueCrest is on solutions to addiction and mental health challenges, not living in the problem.

You guys care, you really do. This isn’t just a machine.

I feel like I’ve found somebody that was long lost and I’m still finding that person, and it’s a journey that I’m welcoming. I’ve gotten my life back and I’ve gotten my soul back.

Jason

The longest I stayed sober before I came here?

I think I had 54 days once. Now I have a year. I can't believe it.

Sean

Bluecrest played a most significant role

If you're an alcoholic addict and you want to recover, I have found no other way. That's all I'll say. I can only speak from my personal experience and I think that I represent the overwhelming majority of people who struggle with it and my family is in debt to blue crest

Joseph

Speak to an addiction counselor now

No commitment or obligation. All calls are kept 100% confidential.

We can help. Give us a call today.(973) 298-5776