Greenwood City Court in Indiana has made history by becoming the first court in the United States to offer a new and innovative drug treatment program for offenders who are addicted to heroin. The device is might right in Indiana, and it helps offenders deal with the effects related to suffering from withdrawal. This will allow those offenders the choice of opting for rehab over prison time.
The rehab option includes a three-step program that involves the use of the Neuro-Stim System Bridge. This little device is said to be the size of a half-dollar, and it sends impulses to nerves to block the pain that is associated with detoxing. This makes what is an otherwise grueling withdrawal process significantly easier to endure. Because many are afraid of the pain associated with detoxing, they tend to abstain from seeking help, but taking the pain out of the equation removes the fear, and the hope is that it encourages them to get clean.
This device works for five days – the amount of time necessary for a heroin user to make it safely to the other side of withdrawal. Once that period is up, the user can then enter rehab and receive counseling and treatment that includes the use of Vivitrol to help them kick the habit entirely. The medication is administered on a monthly basis, and it is used to block the addictive euphoric feeling that the user's receptors continue to produce while he remains addicted to the drug.
The Greenwood City Court is effectively hosting a trial run of the Neuro-Stim. If the device proves to be a success, then it is expected that other courts will soon follow suit and begin incorporating the device and the subsequent rehab structure as well.
Like everything, though, there is a catch, and the catch here is that insurance does not currently cover the Neuro-Stim, which runs about $495 just for the device, plus the fees associated with a medical professional's help in placing the device and taking it out once the five days are up. That is a hefty price tag, especially for drug abusers who tend to allot the majority of their disposable income to paying for their next fix.
The organization Drug Free Johnson County has funded the program via a $7,000 grant, as well as with fees that have been collected from people who are currently on probation. These funds, however, are only expected to cover the program for about six months. Further, none of the taxpayers' monies will be used to fund the program. The hope, however, is that if the program is a success, then others will want to jump on board and help fund it, such as Indiana's Medicaid program and additional states and insurance providers.
To kick off the program, those who are currently on probation in Greenwood will be expected to comply with random drug testing. Those who fail to comply will go to prison, but those who admit that they do, in fact, struggle with drug use will instead be referred to this new program.