Various ways have been tried with the hope of fighting drug addiction and putting an end to it. With the help of the most advanced technologies nowadays, it has become possible to try different ways and methods. Now, another way that is being tried is a brain implant. In fact, this is used in the United States to fight drug addiction.
Patients with severe opioid addiction are being given brain implants to help reduce their cravings, in the first trial of its kind in the US. Gerod Buckhalter, 33, who has struggled with substance abuse for more than a decade with many relapses and overdoses, has already had the surgery. Lead doctor Ali Rezai described the device as a “pacemaker for the brain”. But he added it was not a consumer technology and should not be used for “augmenting humans”.
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Mr Buckhalter had his operation on 1 November at the West Virginia University Medicine Hospital. Three more volunteers will also have the procedure.
It starts with a series of brain scans. Surgery follows with doctors making a small hole in the skull in order to insert a tiny 1mm electrode in the specific area of the brain that regulates impulses such as addiction and self-control.
A battery is inserted under the collarbone, and brain activity will then be remotely monitored by the team of physicians, psychologists, and addiction experts to see if the cravings recede.