RIPLEY CO., Ind. (INDY STAR) -- A Southern Indiana company has received approval for its device that aims to help reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Earlier this week the Food and Drug Administration gave a nod to Innovative Health Solutions' NSS-2 Bridge, a half-dollar-sized device that blocks the pain of withdrawal. Innovative Health Solutions is based in Versailles.

The FDA clearance should open the door for insurers to cover the Bridge, which is only available with a doctor's prescription, the company said in a press release announcing the approval. Before approval, the device cost about $500.

While insurance does not cover the device, the Greenwood City Court had a pilot project that allowed those on probation who have a substance use disorder to choose recovery over jail. That program, funded by a grant from Drug Free Johnson County, used the Bridge to help those who entered get through withdrawal.

A patented technology, the Bridge is placed behind the ear, where cranial nerves sit close to the surface. A battery-operated chip sends impulses to those nerves blocking pain and making it easier for a person to weather withdrawal.

According to Innovative Health Solutions, studies have shown an 85 percent reduction of withdrawal symptoms as soon as an hour after the Bridge is planted. Typical withdrawal symptoms include pain, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Call IndyStar reporter Shari Rudavsky at (317) 444-6354. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.