There is an explosion that is taking place on the streets of our country, it's early and we haven't seen anything yet. Just like the drug companies over the last two decades came out with generic forms of opiate pain medications, the same thing is ringing true with drugs that are comparable to Suboxone.
Suboxone, which is a combination of two drugs, buprenorphine and naloxone, is being prescribed to heroin and opioid users at an alarming rate. In 2014 over nine million scripts were written for the drug. It equates to being a $1.5 billion industry in our country alone. Reckitt-Benckiser is the pharmaceutical company that came up with the formula for Suboxone. It was introduced to the U.S. in 2002 and it took off from day one. The patent for the combination of drugs that make up Suboxone expired in 2012 and opened the doors to all of Reckitt's competition to come up with a generic form. Today dozens of companies out there are testing various versions of the drug in studies. One company has even come up with a plan to devise a way to have buprenorphine to be implanted under the skin.
It seems as if Suboxone and its equivalents are the new wonder drug. Many people rave about the effects it has had on their opiate addiction. What seems to not be reported is some of the devastating effects it has when it is prescribed in the wrong way, usually that being using the drug over a long period of time as a maintenance drug. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMSHA) has reported a 100% increase in emergency room visits due to the abuse of Suboxone. Over half were for non-medical use of buprenorphine. What we've seen with the over prescribing of the drug that it has now become a "street drug". The dealers are now not only carrying heroin and opiate pain medications but they also offer Suboxone. The addict will keep a supply of it so that when he/she runs out of heroin their detox isn't bad. They are using it in between highs to manage withdrawals.
Percy Menzias, President of Assisted Recovery Centers of America says, "“Suboxone is a fantastic detox agent. But you have to use it with great caution as a long term maintenance medication. In my clinic we use a lot of Suboxone, but only for detox. The Suboxone doctors, many of them have been very irresponsible, because they have no training in addiction. It is shocking in this day and age that physicians are so incredibly ignorant about the pharmacology of buprenorphine preparations.”
Clearbrook is a believer in the complete abstinence model. Suboxone can and is utilized in a our detox model on a case by case basis. Long term maintenance programs are not offered here. In short, treating an opioid addiction with another opioid does not work. Freedom from all mind and mood altering chemicals offers the best chance at recovery. We have had hundreds of patients come to us now that were offered long term Suboxone and Methadone programs. They didn't work and these people now tell us that getting off the drug that was prescribed to treat the initial addiction is even harder. Please call Clearbrook for help with any addiction. We are on call 24/7.You can also read more about prescription drug abuse treatment and suboxone rehab here.
Clearbrook Treatment Centers
Thank you to National Pain Report for the information we found in writing this article. You can read their full article HERE