New remedies could help treat pain linked to Opioid abuse
Rochester, N.Y. - Recovery experts say most addiction begins with an obsession to numb pain.
Nearly two years ago, Ashley Gnau, a mother of three from Rochester could relate.
"I call my son my saving grace because I overdosed and he called his aunt to come and help me," Gnau said.
Gnau eventually got help, but after her twin girls were born, she relapsed.
She says being off of heroin for just a little bit of time was painful.
"Doctors are prescribing and over-prescribing and not refilling," Gnau said. "At that point, people are already hooked on opioids."
Dr. Aaron Fields, Medical Director for the Delphi Drug & Alcohol Council, says pain management is one of the roots of the opioid epidemic.
"For people who are opioid-naive, Buprenorphine has got a pretty good painkilling effect, and most of the time that is what people are looking for," Dr. Fields said.
Next year, the Federal Drug Administration will review Buprenorphine in an oral spray form as a way to treat patients struggling with pain. Dr. Fields says patients typically consume them through oral strips.
"The big problem there is that Buprenorphine doesn't absorb super fast," Dr. Fields said. "It does take a little bit of time to absorb. I'd be curious to look at their numbers of how well it's getting into the blood stream just with a spray."
"They are going to be a game-changer," said David Attridge, Executive Director of Recovery Now of Western New York.
Attridge says he is working on helping recovering addicts with a device called, "The Bridge." It is placed over your ear for several days and sends signals to the brain.
"Once we put it on, within 30 minutes, 99 percent of the symptoms of going through withdrawal are gone," Attridge said. "That's just not the answer to it all. They have to be attached to some type of program to continue recovery to get them through that worst part of their life."
Attridge adds that the Bridge has an effect rate of about 77 percent.
The manufacturers of the Buprenorphine sublingual spray are expected to present the product to the FDA in July 2018.