New treatment for opiate, alcohol addictions

Drug overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes and the OD's are typically from prescription painkillers.

A new treatment in Macomb County has hopes of fighting the epidemic

For the past six months, Eric Markel has been sober. That's after spending 12 years addicted to heroin. So what made it work? An FDA approved drug called Naltrexone - 12 Tic-Tac sized pills inserted into his lower abdomen. The goal of the drugs is to cut the cravings and he says it works but it still requires work.

"You brain kind of eases you into it so you have to concentrate on getting the live coaching, going to 12 step meetings and you can actually comprehend that stuff," Markel said.

Judge Linda Davis is an advocate to help people with addictions. When she found about the drugs, she couldn't believe the effects.

"What I like about this one is it is long lasting. Some treatments, they last for 30 days. You go in and get a procedure and do not have cravings but in this particular procedure, you get a small implant and, for six months, you're not having cravings," she said.

But it's not just hard street drugs. For years, Chris Barden was addicted to alcohol. As a fourth-generation firefighter and husband, he was told by his wife to shape up or ship out. He said he was stunned by it's benefits.

"I went and had the procedure done, it's very simple, it's a painless procedure, it takes about 20 minutes. Within 3 to 4 hours, the cravings went away," he said.

"It's been around for decades, it was FDA approved in 1984 for opiate addition and in 1995 for alcoholism. It dramatically reduces the cravings or eliminates the cravings that addicts and alcoholics have - which is the most prevalent reason for the relapse. People cannot get through that first year sober without those intense cravings being eliminated," Markel said.

*Note: Due to overwhelming response to this story, the spots for the free trial have been filled.