SALT LAKE VALLEY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) -- Doctors now have a new tool to combat the opioid epidemic. It's an implant to wean patients off their addiction.
Earlier this month, 24-year-old Carsen Taylor of Ogden became the first to get what's called the Probuphine implant in Utah.
Carsen Taylor lost his leg rock climbing in 2014, when a boulder landed and crushed his foot.
Doctors prescribed him Oxycodone and he was hooked ever since.
"I thought I could stop taking it when it stopped hurting. It doesn't really work that way."
He sought help with Dr. Layne Kamalu at the Kaysville Clinic Family Medicine. He suggested Carsen get a new procedure to help him kick his habit.
The Probuphine implant consists of four, one inch rods containing a drug commonly used to treat addiction, Buprenorphine. It blocks receptors in the brain and suppresses withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings.
Dr. Kamalu, "Implants are not unknown. Women receive them for birth control. It's the same concept with a new different drug."
Dr. Kamalu says there's the potential for the drug to be used for all ranges of addiction.
"I think we're we're just scratching the surface."
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