Last February I reported an update from Join Together that I interpret as the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) planning to again move their “War on Drugs” to the pharmaceutical arena by developing a plan to “control diversion and abuse” of Buprenorphine (often prescribed as Suboxone), which is an anti-addiction medication for opiates. For the full update please Click Here.
Yes it is true that like any medication this drug can be abused. In spite of all the safeguards built into the drug when it was developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and pharmaceutical firm Reckitt Benckiser, addicts are diverting the drug from its original use by crushing the pills, injecting them and even selling them on the street.
Despite this and because I believe this medication to be so important I once again want to share my thoughts about Buprenorphine (Suboxone or Subutex). I have seen this fairly new medication help many pain patients who had either been abusing, addicted or suffering from pseudoaddiction from other opiate prescription medications.
Yes any drug/medication can be abused but this knee-jerk reaction and the use of scare tactics is not helping. What does help people is accurate and objective information about this medication, which was designed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and pharmaceutical firm Reckitt Benckiser to be resistant to addicts crushing the pills and injecting them.
Buprenorphine has been praised as highly effective at curbing withdrawal symptoms, and this medication’s wider availability has allowed many opiate addicts with limited or no access to methadone programs to get treatment. About 170,000 people have prescriptions to buprenorphine. Only a small percentage of those prescriptions are being diverted or abused but to hear the DEA talk it seems like we have a major epidemic on our hands. I want to post one comment from a person that was significantly helped by this medication.
Posted by Suboxone4now on Mar 07, 2008
I’m currently taking Suboxone to replace my close to death addiction to pain medications. I’ve been on the medicine for 14 months and in that time I have saved my marriage, kept my house, received a promotion, and rebuilt my relationship with my two children. I thank Suboxone for being developed. It gives addicts a chance to stop their addiction because withdrawal is delayed until the addict has his or her life together enough to then taper off the Suboxone. What is key to any success is an educated Suboxone Doctor along with group meetings and if you can afford it a drug counselor.
Learning how to manage life sober is so important for an addict that I would say if that one part is not worked on and understood that I would bet my life on a relapse Suboxone or not. We all want to know how to stay sober. The first step is to help the addict not go into full blown withdrawal. We need to stop feeling sick long enough for us to work to a sober mind set. Yes Suboxone can be abused so can Ice Cream. If people are getting high off this stuff by shooting it then there are addicts that will abuse anything. This drug taken correctly has no high effect at all. To me that is the true gift of the medicine along with of course breaking my withdrawal systems helping me stay off pain meds. Suboxone really has helped save my life and it makes me sad that it’s being shared in the news this way without saying but Suboxone used right can help save people from dying basically.
I also think not all addicts have to go the Suboxone route. My thought is simple. Do what keeps you heading toward pure sobriety. If cold turkey is your way and you stay sober GREAT but if your like me and you just can’t because of sickness and your life won’t allow it then Suboxone can give you the time you need to stop your addiction and begin your healing. I also want to say that I plan to get off Suboxone soon.
I can with the Doctors help wean myself in a kind way where I can get off completely with some insight that I might feel like crap for a couple weeks but I’ll be ready for it and that’s a big advantage for any addict heading toward complete sobriety.
To learn more about using a biopsychosocial approach that includes medication management for chronic pain management please check out my article The Need for Multidisciplinary Chronic Pain Management that you can download for free on our Ariticles page.
You can learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you are working with people in chronic pain or living with chronic pain yourself and want to learn how to develop a plan for managing the pain and coexisting psychological disorders including PTSD or addiction effectively please go to our Publications page and check out my book the Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders: Using the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. To purchase this book please Click Here.
To listen to a radio interview I did conducted by Mary Woods for her program One Hour at a Time please Click Here to go to listen to this interview.
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