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Knoxville woman credits specific treatment for opioid sobriety

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - A Knoxville woman is celebrating six months sober this month and crediting a specific treatment called Vivitrol for getting her off opioids.

Angie Ovens met with a nurse Wednesday at The Goodman Center in Knoxville, which she does every 28 days in an effort to battle a disease she dealt with for 12 years.

"I'd be taking Percocets or hydrocodone, any kind of opiate I could get my hands on," Ovens said. "You live for your next pain pill. That's all you do. You wake up in the morning and you reach for that pain pill."

She went to The Goodman Center six months ago in search of for help.

"I just got tired of it. My relationships with my kids, and family, and finances got pretty bad," she said. "Here I am! Six months later, yay sober!"

Ovens said it is thanks to two treatments.

One is called a bridge device that got her through withdrawals early on. It is a small device similar to a hearing aid that is taped above the ear with four points that use nerves in the ear to control pain.

The other treatment is a once monthly shot called Vivitrol that blocks opioid receptors in the brain.

Both are treatments The Goodman Center has seen success with in their patients.

"If someone will stick with our program we've seen a success rate north of 70 percent which is phenomenal," said Lewis Frazer, The Goodman Center co-founder.

They pair those treatments with counseling to try to ensure all their patients are successful in the long run.

"We also believe that the longer that we can provide a resource the better someone's chances of recovery are, so six to nine months is very common, but we will provide support groups that are free to the patient after that in whatever capacity we can do to help them out," Frazer said.

For Ovens these six months mean the world as she looks forward to a cleaner, healthier future.

"You're constantly rolling the dice. That's what you're doing, but you're doing it with your life," she said.

The Goodman Center says the makers of the bridge device have gotten it approved by the FDA and are now working on approval by insurance companies.


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