There are almost 15 million people in the world each year who are addicted to opioid drugs. Some of them can be treated by medicines, behavioral therapies or hospital treatment. For the others, these ways are not working. Because of it, there is another solution. It’s a brain implant.
It is inserted into a human’s body and then brain activity will be monitored by a special team of doctors and addiction experts to see if it’s working. The purpose is to decrease the desire of taking a drug. It is called deep brain stimulation (DBS) and it’s used not only for drug addiction problems but mainly for Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder. According to the article on BBC News, “there are approximately 180,000 people around the world who have brain implants.”
Lately, there was a first brain implant surgery which was approved for drug addiction. A patient is a 33-year-old man, Gerod Buckhalter, who has experienced two overdoses. He is addicted to opioid drugs since he was 18. His surgery was done by doctor Ali Rezai at the West Virginia University Medicine Hospital on 1 November. From now on for the next two years, he will be monitored to see how the implant works on his behavior.