Opiate addiction is a serious problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opiate addiction is responsible for more deaths each year than homicide or car accidents.
There are many opiate addiction stats that show the seriousness of the epidemic:
- From 1999 to 2015, more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. 78% of these deaths were due to opioids.
- In 2015 alone, the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths were synthetic opioids (other than methadone).
Drug Substitution Treats Addiction by Replacing Opiates with Less of a “High”
One of the most commonly used treatments for opiate addiction in America for many years has been to use methadone as a maintenance drug. This theory behind this drug substitution method of treating opioid addiction is simple. Methadone is supposed to replace heroin or other opiates with less of a “high” and less overall damage caused to the individual, his/her family and society as a whole. For some people, that is exactly what methadone has done for them. However, there is another side to that story.
Detoxing from methadone has proven to be more difficult than coming down off most other opiates. In addition, the drug has also developed a large illegal street markey. Additionally, it has a higher level of toxicity that can build up in a person’s body that increases the risk of overdose. According to the CDC, methadone overdoses increased by a factor of six during the first part of this century. By 2010 methadone accounted for nearly one-third of the more than 15,000 total prescription drug overdoses.
Buprenorphine: A Drug Used to Treat Opiate Addiction
Officials knew that something had to be done. Therefore, the U.S. Government partnered with a private pharmaceutical company to develop buprenorphine.
Buprenorphine is a prescription medication that is used to treat opioid addiction. It can be used to help people who are addicted to opioids like heroin, oxycodone, and fentanyl. It can also be used to prevent relapse in people who have already been treated for addiction. Buprenorphine is a long-acting opioid medication, which means that it stays in the body for a long time and can help to prevent cravings for opioids.
This drug has been warmly welcomed to the addiction treatment community. This should come as no surprise since it was initially approved for aiding in opiate withdrawal. The idea was to get people off opiates. However, too much money is made by keeping people on drugs. This happens even when they don’t need to be. Now, buprenorphine is also used as a long-term maintenance drug as well.
Today, even with millions of people using the “lesser of two evils”, there are still more than 260,000 Americans taking methadone through opioid treatment programs on an average day in the U.S. The result is that we have even more people than ever taking long-term replacement drugs for opiate addiction when counting both methadone and buprenorphine.
Get Help Today
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we do see the value in short-term drug substitution through medical detox procedures. It just makes sense to have a medically-controlled environment that can help someone step down from opiates – on their way to complete withdrawal. Once a person has been detoxed, then our special program combines physical and mental health recovery methods to assist individuals in living drug-free lives from there on out.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opiate addiction, there is help available. Treatment options include both inpatient and outpatient programs, and there are many different approaches to treatment. Some people find that an outpatient program works well for them, while others need the structure and support of an inpatient program.
No matter what treatment option you choose, it is important to find a program that fits your needs. Gulf Breeze Recovery can help you find the right program for you or your loved one. We offer a variety of programs, and our staff is experienced in helping people overcome opiate addiction. To find out more, contact one of our representatives today at 833.551.2304.