Misuse of Buprenorphine "A New Problem in the Making."
More than ten years ago, buprenorphine hit the market with critical acclaim from government officials and treatment professionals alike. It was seen as a helpful tool to use for opiate withdrawal, but was then later pushed as a maintenance drug as well.
The drug was originally released under the brand names of Subutex and Suboxone (buprenorphine combined with naloxone), but there has since been approved for generic versions as well. When used for withdrawing from heroin or prescription painkillers, the drug continues to work wonders for many people in the form of lessening the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
However, the number of opiate-dependent people turning to buprenorphine as a maintenance drug has increased significantly, as well as associated problems with the drug. Buprenorphine has found its way to the streets where addicts will use it and abuse it, leaving some people questioning its overall benefits if it is diverted in such a manner.
“The benefits of the appropriate medical use of Suboxone probably far outweigh the potential for abuse,” says Eric Wish, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland. “But those benefits will be jeopardized if we don’t take care of this abuse issue.”
Why do we look to the pharmaceutical industry for solutions to drug addiction?
Buprenorphine sales have increased at least ten-fold since 2006 and now approach $1.5 billion annually. Perhaps the tendency to continue to look for pharmaceutical solutions has been a large contributor to the addiction problem in America.
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, our medical and clinical staff use only the necessary amount of prescriptions to help ease withdrawal symptoms, and then work with each individual to find drug-free solutions to problems they face in life moving forward. We provide a unique blend of traditional medicine and a non-12 step rehabilitation process.