JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—A one-of-a-kind medical device could save thousands of lives. The first-ever FDA approved buprenorphine implant that helps treat people who have an opioid dependency.
"It truly gives patients the opportunity to stay clean without the temptation of using, because you can't unless you take a knife and dig the implant out of your arm," said Chris Borgioni.
He underwent a clinical trial and is currently using the probuphine implant. The medication in the implant has been used for years to treat people opioid addictions. Until just recently, buprenorphine was only approved as a pill.
"This implant, which is a probuphine implant, delivers the buprenorphine every day at the same blood level without any fluctuation in the blood level up to 6 months," said Dr. Amit Vijapura.
Vijapura treats patients on the First Coast like Borgioni.
Vijapura said the opioid abuse on the First Coast is serious. "This is a medical disorder which is killing many lives and we think we can help, we can make a difference."
Especially for people who want to get help, but Borgioni said it isn't always an easy decision to make.
"I met someone who got oxycontin prescribed to them and they basically gave me whatever I needed for free. They just kept giving me pills, I would take them every day and I didn't realize that I had a problem until I wanted to stop"
Chris said he got hooked on pain killers after a sports injury and he couldn’t find a way to get off the drugs. "The withdrawal was worse than anything you could possibly imagine, worse than any flu it was to the point of where you felt like close to death."
Borgioni said he’s been clean for seven years, possibly the best of his life. "Not having to wake up every morning and being dependent on taking a pill was a real positive in my life and it made me feel normal again."