Researchers in Turkey say they may have created the cure to drug addiction through the implementation of a device called a "sub surface chip implant." Addiction medicine expert Akın Bostanoğlu said that a maintenance treatment that combines medication with the subsurface chip gives patients the best chance of sustainable recovery.
While there is widespread interest within the treatment community for the use of the medicines promoted by the Alcohol and Substance Addiction Research Treatment and Training Center (AMATEM), there is also growing concern about the addictive properties of the drugs.
A woman who struggled with drug addiction four three years, identified as E.Ü., said, "I applied to AMATEM and they installed a chip under my skin. Now I am more than happy. I have normal life and I don't want to remember those [dark] days anymore." E.Ü. has now been using the chip treatment for one and a half years.
Across the country, physicians and legislators are ramping up efforts to stem the escalating heroin and other drug addiction crises. Treatment methods, however, vary in efficiency, which complicates the efforts of people with drug addiction in finding a sustainable recovery.
Bostanoğlu, professor and member of the Department of General Surgery at Ankara Numune Hospital, told Anadolu Agency about the recent advancements in opioid treatment delivery methods and the most effective combination of therapies for recovery.
"We place the chip in the fatty tissue through a very short process. This method gradually releases the active substance of naltrexone throughout three months and keeps it at a specified level. Because it is a very small implant, we can easily do this operation in five minutes with local anesthesia. We are in the surgical department, and as long as the psychiatric doctors approve, we can apply the chip every three months" said Bostanoğlu, adding that the department has already implanted the chip in 100 patients.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said there are now more than 29 million people suffering from drug abuse disorders worldwide, an increase from the 27 million reported last year.