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Harford County

Harford County Health Department offering new opioid withdrawal treatment

The Harford County Health Department has begun offering a new outpatient detox treatment designed to ease the withdrawal from opioids, according to a news release from the health department.

The Transcutaneous Auricular Neurostimulation wearable device, which is cleared by the federal Food and Drug Administration, is meant to “deliver drug-free personalized opioid withdrawal relief” through a form of non-invasive electrostimulation, according to the news release.


Adults 18 and older who struggle with opioid dependence are eligible for the treatment.

“Anytime we can break down a barrier of addiction, the path to recovery is more attainable,” the health department’s Behavioral Health Bureau medical director Julie Stancliff said in the release.


Neurostimulation is delivered through an earpiece worn on the left ear that targets two cranial nerves, the vagus and trigeminal nerves. The device can be worn until the individual is symptom-free of withdrawal. Patients enrolled in the detox must also attend treatment at the Harford health department.

The additional treatment includes individual therapy, an intensive outpatient program three days a week, medication management and peer recovery support. According to the health department, the outpatient detox is covered by most insurance policies.

The health department has seven tAN devices, although no one is using them yet, according to the health department’s public information officer Ronya Nassar. Prior to this treatment, the health department did not offer outpatient detox treatment.

“We are excited to offer this new device to Harford County residents as we continue to improve opioid treatment throughout the county,” Harford County health officer Marcy Austin said in the release. “By offering unique and meaningful treatments, the health department can help promote a pain and drug-free life for those who are suffering from an opioid use disorder.”

The FDA-approved Transcutaneous Auricular Neurostimulation  or tAN wearable device is now being offered by the Harford County Health Department for opioid treatment. The device lessens withdrawals for those who are in treatment for opioid addiction.