The idea of using brain implants to treat diseases or boost the brain’s functions is not at all new. Scientists from different fields have researched a lot in this regard. Now, the researchers at West Virginia University have admitted that the development of a brain implant for treating addiction is under work, as we speak.
The USA is facing a very big addiction problem
Unfortunately, the USA is now facing a complicated opioids addiction problem and the lack of methods to easily solve addictions is deepening the crisis.
Opioids or opiates are chemical substances present in opium, which in turn is extracted from white poppy, also known as opium poppy or Papaver somniferum.
Opioids addiction is one of the strongest addictions. Opioids include several drugs among which the most used ones are opium, heroin, morphine, codeine, and a few other opium derivates that are used in analgesics manufacturing processes.
The way the opioids addiction acts is both physical and psychological.
Psychological addiction is represented by the urgent need for the consumer to always administer the drug and is due to the favorable psychopharmacological effects of the drug.
Physical addiction is signaled by abstinence syndrome when the drug use is abruptly seized. This syndrome is triggered rapidly, is severe and even dangerous through its manifestations, which are opposed to those determined by the drug itself.
A brain implant for treating addiction may be the solution
Dr. Ali Rezai, a neuroscientist at the West Virginia University is working on the development of a brain implant for treating addiction. The implant will be designed to send electrical signals to the reward system region of the brain in order to stimulate it and to cut the addiction need for the drug.
According to James Berry, an addiction psychiatrist, the lack of methods to treat addictions lead to a global addiction crisis. However, he thinks that brain implant technology could be more valuable in this regard than medication or brain surgery.
It is not yet known when the brain implant for treating addiction will be ready.