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The BRIDGE: The Latest Technology In Treating Pain Without Drugs

The Bridge Technology Treating Pain Without Drugs - America In RehabToday, we know more about the nature of addiction – and how to treat it – than ever before. Contrary to prior beliefs that drug addicts are “morally flawed and lacking in willpower,” science has shown us that addiction is an issue of physical and mental health. This means that, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in order to treat addiction, we must have a deeper understanding of the brain and human behavior.

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Environmental factors certainly come into play, but research has also revealed that there exist genetic and biological considerations that influence how the disease of addiction develops in an individual, and how it progresses. Addiction recovery and behavioral health experts agree that to properly treat addicts, clinicians cannot ignore one of the greatest biological barriers to recovery – the physical pain of the detox process, and the patients’ fear of that pain.

The Painful Withdrawal From Addiction

The pain and fear of withdrawal pose a huge gap between addiction and sobriety – a gap which many healthcare professionals have tried, unsuccessfully, to close.

According to the U.S. Library of Medicine, withdrawal symptoms are many, including the following:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Seeing this list, one can begin to understand why someone would opt for the “high” of addiction over the displeasure of getting sober.

In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that 40 to 60 percent of those seeking treatment for addiction ultimately relapse, leaving their treatment program and returning to addiction.

For many reasons, we continue to study how to address addiction. One of those reasons is the cost absorbed by Americans as a result of substance abuse. NIDA reports that addiction and abuse of everything from nicotine to alcohol to illicit and prescription drugs cost Americans more than $700 billion per year in “increased health care costs, crime and lost productivity.”

Costly in both the literal and figurative sense, drug abuse must be addressed through solutions that are both innovative and research-based.

The Medications Available For Addiction

There are a variety of medications available through rehabilitation facilities, all aimed at supporting patients through withdrawal. The medications work to cleanse the body of the substance to which the patient has become addicted. It is a grueling process.


This opioid-based medication is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, and it works to block the effects of opioids such as pain relief and feelings of well-being. The problem is that these effects are exactly what lead patients to abuse the drugs in the first place, so the loss of relief can make withdrawal an extraordinarily uncomfortable process. Although it is used to treat addiction, Suboxone can also be habit-forming if dosage is not closely monitored. It can cause upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea.


This opioid is used to treat addiction. It reduces the withdrawal symptoms that people experience when abstaining from heroin. Both Suboxone and methadone can cause breathing problems in patients, so those suffering from asthma or other breathing conditions should disclose these to their doctor so that alternative treatment can be explored.


This is an injectable substance used to treat drug or alcohol dependence, and it can be effective when used properly. But, like Suboxone and methadone, the side effects can be severe. While this medication can help subside the need to use an opioid or drink alcohol, it can also cause liver damage and more serious and even fatal ailments if mixed with other medications.

The Risks Of Relying On Medication To Treat Addiction

For these and other reasons, researchers are working to identify solutions that can treat addiction, without the residual harmful effects sometimes experienced by patients on medications. Nontraditional methods of treatment are gaining popularity as the idea of addressing dependence on one substance with the use of another has raised concerns about the body’s ability to emerge from such a process healthy and strong.

Treating Pain Without Drugs: Nontraditional Solutions

In the midst of this $700 billion problem, another solution is emerging … one that has the potential to revolutionize the way addiction treatment is managed.

Through a contemporary understanding of how addiction works with the brain, Innovative Health Solutions has come up with a non-narcotic, FDA-cleared device that helps to target the pain and discomfort that is characteristic of withdrawal from opioid addiction.

By easing patients through what is arguably the most challenging phase of the addiction recovery process, this device works with the brain to support patients along the path to overcoming addiction.

The BRIDGE Device To Help With The Pain Of Withdrawal

Bridge Opiate Withdrawal Treatment DeviceThe BRIDGE is a small, discrete neuro-stimulation system (NSS) that attaches to the patient’s ear, sending “gentle, electrical impulses directly into the brain via electrodes placed on your nerve endings found in and around the ear.”

The electrical impulses sent through the electrodes target the areas of the brain most damaged by addiction, blocking pain signals that travel through the spinal column. This act of blocking pain is crucial, as the first few days of being weaned off a drug can be torturous.

In short, the BRIDGE is a tiny tool that sticks to the patient’s ear and signals the brain to block the physical and emotional distress suffered during withdrawal.

Relief is often felt within 10 minutes, and nothing is ingested by the patient. This research-based opiate epidemic solution makes it possible for those who choose to take action to heal from the disease of addiction to do so gently and effectively.

The BRIDGE Is A Groundbreaking Device

The Bridge Opiate Withdrawal Treatment DeviceThe device should be placed on the patient by a licensed clinician, and it attaches externally behind the ear with thin electrodes that adhere to various areas of the ear itself. In this age of technology, the BRIDGE is minimally obtrusive and can go as unnoticed as a Bluetooth headset, earbuds attaching to one’s cell phone, or even a hearing aid.

Once the BRIDGE has been installed – a process taking only 15 minutes – patients describe the relief of pain, reduction of sweating, shaking and anxiety, as well as feelings of calm and relaxation … all within half an hour. Those who walk into a clinic with extreme discomfort, nervousness and fear have been witnessed walking out with a smile, and a noticeably calm and soothed demeanor after using the BRIDGE.

According to Jeff Mathews, a director for the Union County Opiate Treatment Center in Indiana, his experience with the device has been…


See Mathews’s full interview about the BRIDGE by clicking on the link below:

A Solution At A Crucial Time

Patients are instructed to wear the device for five days before having it removed, and then they are placed in a long-term assistance program, which often includes counseling and medication-assisted treatment. These are the most critical five days of an addict’s recovery process because, as mentioned previously, the withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that many people never make it to the stage of long-term assistance or counseling. They often quit, opting for the unfortunate state of addiction over the painful process of recovery.

The BRIDGE is an innovative opiate epidemic solution to the distress of withdrawal.

In 2014, the U.S. National Library of Medicine reported that there were 435,000 heroin users in the United States and more than 4 million people who were users of non-medical narcotic pain relievers. Not only does the BRIDGE have the potential to drastically reduce this national number, but it can offer an economic boost to the nation, as it is American-made. Innovative Health Solutions is a company based out of Indiana, so the device’s success not only points to addiction recovery, but also to the state’s (and country’s) economic development.

Where The BRIDGE Is Used

VA hospitals and clinics across the nation are already implementing this innovative technology to relieve post-surgical chronic and acute pain. It has been tested on more than 30,000 patients, and the effects are undeniable.

The Union County Opiate Treatment Center has also used the BRIDGE on dozens of patients. Of the first 37 to be treated with the BRIDGE, all have made it through the initial withdrawal phase and continued on to the long-term treatment phase.

Of those who continued, 89 percnet succeeded in completing the entire process. Compare that to the 40 to 60 percent relapse rate reported by the NIDA, and it is clear why so many are reaching out to Innovative Health Solutions to learn more about this cutting-edge product.

Drawbacks Of The Device

The drawbacks of using the BRIDGE are minor. First, although it is extremely safe, water resistant and low voltage, the device should not get wet. If the batteries get wet, it will simply stop working. Patients need not fear any sort of electrical shock. Patients have been able to take showers and wash their hair by simply holding a dry washcloth over the device.

There have also been rare side effects reported, including slight skin irritation, bleeding, pain or infection at the site of the device, dizziness, fainting, and an allergic reaction to the adhesive or tape used to attach it. Those experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their clinician.

It’s Time To End The Opioid Epidemic

Previous attempts at addressing the growing drug addiction problem in the United States have, quite frankly, not worked. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that in 2014, opioids killed more than 28,000 people – more than any other year on record. The BRIDGE has proven results, and can drastically lower these numbers.

An experienced medical team coupled with the biological and technological accuracy of the BRIDGE can optimize your outcomes in recovery. It’s time to reclaim your life.

If you (or someone you know) is ready to recover and has been held back by the fear associated with withdrawal pain, now is the time to act. For more information on the BRIDE, see what WDRB in Kentucky had to say about the device, or contact us to learn more.

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Medicaid To Pay For Inpatient Addiction Treatment?

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On Computer-Medicaid To Pay For Inpatient Addiction TreatmentIt was a long-standing rule of thumb that if you or a loved one needed addiction treatment, you had to pay out-of-pocket, hope that your health insurance provider offered some level of benefits or rely on state and local sources for financial help. The Federal government was firmly removed from funding addiction treatment.

However, according to, this policy may be changing with a proposed policy change affecting Medicaid. In a substantial turnaround, Federal help may soon become available as the program is proposing to cover 15 days of inpatient rehab per month for anyone enrolled in a Medicaid managed care plan.

Is 15 Days Of Inpatient Treatment Enough?

Those within the addiction treatment industry are certainly supportive of the additional support potentially being offered to those who need help battling drug or alcohol addiction. Yet, many believe that 15 days of residential care isn’t sufficient for those with addictions to heroin, prescription painkillers, alcohol and other hard-to-treat substances.

The majority of addiction treatment professionals believe that it simply takes more than 15 days to obtain a positive outcome from addiction treatment. The concern is that those who undergo treatment for this length of time are likely to fall back into addiction shortly after treatment. With poor outcome rates, the policy change may do little to help those in need.

What The Proposed Policy Change Could Mean For Addiction Treatment Providers

Treatment Funding-Medicaid To Pay For Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Along with individuals struggling with addiction, the policy change could also affect providers of addiction treatment services. This funding could potentially open up the possibility to obtaining addiction treatment to a greater number of individuals.

However, these prospective patients may only be able to obtain the amount of treatment offered by the program – 15 days. Thus, it may be necessary to consider how these individuals can combine other resources from state and local funding, other forms of insurance, and private funding to obtain the amount of treatment that will provide the best chance of long-term recovery.

With each relapse, recovery is more challenging. Thus, the goal of any program is to provide the individual the best chance of sustaining recovery after they leave inpatient addiction treatment.

Stay On Top Of Changes In The Addiction Treatment Industry

Because our industry is rapidly evolving due in large part to changes in health insurance and public funding of insurance, it’s vital to stay on top of what is happening. With the latest information, you can position your treatment facility and provide the correct information to individuals struggling with addiction and their loved ones.

Are you searching for an experienced partner to guide your marketing efforts? Contact the treatment industry leaders at America in Rehab today to learn more about our services.

Learn More About Our Professional Rehab Marketing Services

Where is the Drug Rehab Industry Heading? What is Vivitrol?

Jonathan Todd Barlow  Founder of

Jonathan Todd Barlow

I really did not have a grasp on Vivitrol until I spoke with Jonathan Todd Barlow. In this short interview with Jonathan Todd Barlow, founder and developer of RecoveryMaps he discusses the reality of drug rehab. Where it is going. How addiction can be managed with alternative drugs. The pain of locking one up in a long term drug rehab or an extended stay drug rehab centers really is not working that well. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Jonathan over the past few years and I think what is is doing is radically different.

Jonathan is an outside the box thinker and I believe that he is truly making a strong effort in providing a different solution than the traditional 30 day residential drug rehabs. We will be revealing more of our interview with him in the coming days/weeks.

While Jonathan criticizes the 30 day drug rehab model for it’s faults he backs it up by providing a real world solution with his RecoveryMaps solution. At the same time he does believe that there needs to be stabilization of the addiction and that can be detox or rehab and it is different for each person. Also he says that the different treatment techniques work for some and not for others.

Having managed and overseen hundreds and thousands of cases Jonathan does have a command on the addiction subject. You will get the feeling that he does know what he is talking about when he discusses the Vivitrol subject. What I really love about his thinking is he is actually doing something about the problem of relapse and addiction vs. just talking about it. We don’t see that too often in today’s world.

2015 Private Equity Money in Addiction Treatment

If I was an addiction treatment center owner in 2015 and someone came to me with an offer to sell my drug rehab I would seriously consider it. Why? There is a lot of new money in the addiction treatment and behavioral space right now and the addiction treatment space is expanding. You will see a lot of private equity firms as well as firms with real estate holdings that are very interested in the space.

Addiction  Treatment Center Home

I would say that right now is the boom times in the addiction treatment field. CRC recently got acquired by Acadia Healthcare in a $1.18 Billion deal. There are a lot of lead generation companies from other industries entering the space. The big guys are snapping up the little guys. It is harder and harder for the 6-20 bed facilities to thrive.

For the smaller players it is a lot to manage the marketing, the staff, the clinical record keeping, HIPAA compliance, licensing, zoning and many other business processes required to be competitive in the addiction treatment field.

With the new money entering the field it can be cyclical and right now is potentially a really good time to “sell at top of market” while the NASDAQ is at and all time high and before everyone gets pre-election jitters. With all the “new drug rehab money” coming into the space there is going to be consolidation for better or for worse the time might be right to sell a business while the market is strong.

If you are looking for buyers or sellers give us a call. (617) 229-6753

Rehab Marketing Trade Off’s

As with anything there are trade offs. In baseball you can trade for a power hitter who hits 40 home runs per year but he also strikes out 200 times per year. So do you want 40 home runs at the expense of 200 KO’s? Same happens in marketing. For example, we want users to fill out forms on our website. At the same time we don’t want to get a lot of SPAM. We can put a CAPTCHA on the web form but that sometimes can stop a well qualified lead or inquiry from coming in. Deleting a few extra spam comments is a small price to pay.

Tracking is so important in addiction treatment lead generation and web marketing. In the drug rehab industry tracking can be time consuming. We use software to track the calls and web forms. It is called Call Tracking Metrics. Here’s the challenge when we do call tracking. It requires someone to go in and score the calls. Usually this is the busy admissions person. It is time consuming. It breaks workflow. It can be labor intensive to some but the benefits are enormous.

Many centers think they do call tracking by “counting the calls.” But there is much more to it than that. If you are not doing call tracking correctly then be prepared to see a lot of your marketing dollars leak out the back door quickly.

Web design is another area where there are trade offs. If you are spending upwards of $20K per month on PPC traffic in addiction treatment marketing then you want to make sure you have a website that converts. You can save an extra $5K by putting up a great website that will get found but if it were me I would not only want to b e found I also what the people that come to my website to CALL ME! What makes them call? T-R-U-S-T. (One word) TRUST. It better look great! The logo and identity better look like there was some though and effort put into it. Do you have trust icons on the home page? Do you have insurance icons on the home page? Are the testimonials credible?

So the bottom line is we have trade off’s in pretty much everything in life…..and that is OK. 🙂