''Takes 5 Minutes'': Man In China Receives Surgical Chip Implant To Treat Alcohol Addiction
The chip, when implanted releases naltrexone which is absorbed by the body and targets receptors in the brain.
A 36-year-old man in China has received a surgically implanted chip designed to help him overcome his alcohol addiction, South China Morning Post reported. With this, he has become the first person in the country to receive such a treatment to help him with addiction.
The man, whose surname was mentioned in the report as Liu, underwent a five-minute procedure on April 12 at the Hunan Brain Hospital in central China. The procedure was part of a clinical trial led by Hao Wei, a former vice president of the United Nation's International Narcotics Control Board.
Mr Hao said that the chip is expected to combat alcohol cravings for up to five months. The chip, when implanted releases naltrexone which is absorbed by the body and targets receptors in the brain. Naltrexone is a substance commonly used in addiction treatment to prevent relapse.
Notably, Mr Liu has been an alcoholic for 15 years. He had a habit of consuming half a liter of Chinese liquor daily, which made him violent. His daily routine included drinking alcohol before breakfast and then consuming it throughout the day at work and evening until he passed out.
He said that he'' felt very anxious'' when he didn't have a bottle with him. However, his addiction, which had become more acute in the past five years, almost destroyed his health and his relationship with his parents and girlfriend.
When he heard that local hospitals had begun clinical trials of implanted chip technology, he decided to give it a shot. Though initially anxious, he was surprised at how quick and easy the procedure was.
''It only took five minutes, and then I bid farewell to alcohol,'' Mr Liu said. After the successful surgery, he hopes he can now enjoy a life free from alcohol.
As per a 2018 report by The Lancet medical journal, China topped the world for alcohol-related deaths.