Brain surgery may combat opioid addiction

Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, via pacemaker technology may help those battling the addiction, which kills 128 Americans every day.
2:26 | 09/17/20

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Transcript for Brain surgery may combat opioid addiction
A possible breakthrough in treating addiction, brain surgery T could be the future of how we combat the opioid epidemic which takes more than 100 American lives every day. Diane Macedo has that important story for us. Good morning, Diane. Reporter: Robin, good morning. So this proceed hour has been around for deckdecades. Using pacemakers to try to curb addiction. We got a chance to talk to their very first patient. This morning, a procedure used to treat disorders like Parkinson's and epilepsy is creating hope for those who suffer from addiction. Jim Hudson suffered from a tremor from 30 years but undergoing deep brain stimulation, he's made a remarkable recovery. Now the procedure is being tested to help curb cravings and anxiety. The only thing you want to do is get high because that's all you know how to do. Reporter: Gerod has been addicted to opioids for over 18 years. He's now the first U.S. Patient to have dbs treatment aimed at addiction. I tried every avenue of recovery that you could possibly find. Reporter: Desperate he turned to the Rockefeller neuroscience institute at West Virginia university. When addiction gets so severe, it becomes a brain condition and there's a part of the brain that is driving you to have increased cravings and it's a drive for you to seek drugs. Reporter: Since his repeated stints in rehab failed Dr. Ali re zai admitted him. Similar to a heart pacemaker except the wires go into the brain. They are implanted causing tremors to stop the tremors of Parkinson's or different start to stop seizures. In this case we implant them in the part that deals with addict. He's now sober almost a year. I was as bad as they can get and if it can help me then it can help anybody. Reporter: It is important to note it is still in early trial stages only intended for people who tried other treatments but for gerod he's been addicted since getting shoulder surgery in high school. For him these results pretty remarkable, robin. Yeah, and very, very promising. Diane, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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