Most people probably never heard of “Bupe,” the shorter name for buprenorphine (sold under the name Suboxone), a substitute opioid used to treat addiction to prescription pain pills. Many addicts even credit it for saving their lives. But, according to an article from the New York Times (NYT), the “double-edged drug” can be “Addiction Treatment With a Dark Side.”
The article describes the controversial treatment as “the blockbuster drug most people have never heard of” and goes on to describe it as, “In demand in clinics and on the street, ‘Bupe’ can be a savior or a menace.”
While Suboxone been on the market for more than a decade, the Affordable Care Act will be making it more available as a treatment for addicts, but one that has had considerable success and failure. That’s why more people should be aware its good effects and its more deadly ones, as well.
“The benefits are high, the risk is low and it is worth it on a population-wide basis,” said Dr. Stuart Gitlow, the president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. But Dr. Robert Newman, a leading advocate of methadone treatment, said, “The safety factor should not be oversold.”
Personally, I am cautious on the subject of Suboxone treatment, and you should be, too. You owe it to yourself to know all about this drug and how it can be misused…or even lead to death. That knowledge is essential in light of this country’s growing dependence on prescription painkillers…up 36% since 2002 (as revealed in a study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, that the newspaper cites in the article).
Misinformation is plentiful on Suboxone and the unintended consequences of its use by physicians. The article shows data on disciplinary actions taken against subscribing doctors (including reprimand, probation, suspension, and license revocation). In fact, doctors authorized to prescribe buprenorphine are more likely to have been disciplined for professional violations than doctors in general. So, it pays to know what’s what with both your doctor and any potential treatment.
For your own best interest and the safety of your loved ones, I urge you to read this informative NYT article, share it with it with your family and friends, and save it for future reference.