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he arsenal of therapies available to combat opioid addiction has expanded beyond pills and shots to include over-the-ear electrodes and virtual reality headsets. But an upcoming clinical trial could push the boundaries of addiction treatment further, and by a more invasive means than any therapy currently embraced by medical experts.

The therapy, called deep brain stimulation, requires electrodes to be implanted into the brain to regulate activity in the brain’s neurons, much like a pacemaker does to the heart. Deep brain stimulation is currently used to treat tremors related to Parkinson’s disease, and is being tested on patients diagnosed with a variety of brain disorders.

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