Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Bridge?

The BRIDGE is a percutaneous nerve field stimulator (PNFS) device system, that has been FDA cleared as an aid to reduce the symptoms of opioid and alcohol withdrawal.

How Does the Bridge Work?

The BRIDGE is a small device that is placed behind the ear which sends gentle electrical impulses through nerve endings around the ear that stimulate branches of cranial and occipital nerves that lead into the spinal cord. This stimulation has been shown to greatly diminish the physical symptoms associated with alcohol and opioid withdrawal.

How soon can I expect results from device treatment?

The BRIDGE clinical trials demonstrated response in 30 to 60 minutes. Patients will notice a reduction in their symptoms within that time frame.

Can the BRIDGE be used alone or is it used in conjunction with other treatments?

The BRIDGE should be considered an important part of an overall treatment plan.

Is the BRIDGE appropriate for any patient suffering from opioid withdrawal?

No. The BRIDGE should not be used for people with hemophilia, psoriasis vulgaris, or anyone using cardiac pacemakers. An intact skin surface is essential. Always thoroughly discuss your medical history with your treating clinician so treatment decisions can be accurately made.

What happens if the BRIDGE gets wet?

It will simply stop working. It will not shock you or explode. If you accidentally get the device wet, carefully dry it and call your treating clinician.

Can I wash my hair while wearing the BRIDGE device?

Yes. While the devices are water resistant they, should not be considered water proof. Hold a dry wash cloth or a small plastic cup over the ear while showering to protect the device.

Can I exercise while wearing the device?

Sweating enough to make the affixing bandages or the generator come off is a possibility but rarely occurs. DO NOT SWIM while wearing the device and it is not recommended to go into a sauna. If any device is immersed in water the adhesive holding the arrays or the generator may become loose.

How long should the BRIDGE be left on?

The BRIDGE runs for up to 120 hours (5 days) / with periodic rest. The device should be left on for the recommend length of time unless discussed by the treating clinician.

How many treatments are required?

Treatment length varies from patient to patient depending upon your condition and many other factors. Treatment time and estimated number of devices should be discussed in advance before treatment is initiated with your provider.

Should I take the BRIDGE off if I don't feel the pulsing?

No. This is one of the most commonly asked questions. Each device is checked several times in the factory before they are shipped. Each device is activated immediately before placement. The device will be working when placed. IT IS NORMAL to not feel the pulsing on the second day because the nerves get used to the pulsing. Just because you don’t feel it doesn’t mean it is not working.

What is the cost for treatment?

The BRIDGE is one important part of our complete treatment program for opioid or alcohol dependence. The total cost for our treatment program will vary by patient, and since many of the costs are not commonly covered by insurance, the patient will be responsible for these charges which are usually less than $4,000 including the BRIDGE and Vivitrol.