Doctors have turned to the use of new medications to treat the disease of addiction. To curb the ever-growing problem of opioid abuse, Suboxone treatment is on the rise and is now a popular option among physicians. Traditional methods such as methadone or inpatient rehabilitation, while still in use, are being replaced as a primary option. In combination with counseling and social support, Suboxone carries people along the process of recovery and restores hope to countless individuals.
Catalysts of Recovery
The life-changing drug is a combination of Buprenorphine, a synthetic opiate, and Naloxone, which acts as an opioid blocker. Buprenorphine attaches to the same pain receptors as other narcotics such as heroin or oxycontin. Due to its chemical structure, it relieves the patient of detox symptoms but does not produce the "high" associated with painkillers. Also, its ceiling effect lowers the risk of overdose which can be a danger of methadone use.
Physicians report its use as being a critical part of the recovery process for their patients. While allowing outpatient access, patients adhere to strict dosing limits and times during the first phase of their treatment. Being a requirement for some programs, group therapy and meetings with counselors create a well-rounded regimen. Patients are still able to fulfill vocational requirements and meet family obligations without having to attend a costly inpatient rehabilitation center.
Assistance of Authorities Key to Ending Abuse
To combat the accelerating opioid epidemic, the federal government has shown support for suboxone treatment. Expanding availability and allowing providers to prescribe the drug to more patients has been proposed by the US Department of Health and Human Services. In defense of the proposal, the previous limits on the number of possible patients cut down access to the pharmaceutical. Therefore, people who need the assistance will not be able to get it.
The Affordable Care Act has created several more opportunities for patients seeking Suboxone treatment. Substance abuse is now required coverage by plans on the government insurance marketplace. Likewise, new plans seeking to lower drug abuse and overdoses have been proposed. Naloxone has also been encouraged by federal programs as an effective drug in combatting addiction.
Accessibility: From First Responders to Local Pharmacies
Naloxone quickly reverses the effects painkillers have on the body. It is commonly used by emergency rooms to recover users from overdoses, but in the past, its availability has been confined only to hospitals. On some occasions, people have died en route to the hospital or while waiting for ambulances to arrive. In 2016, the federal government issued funds to states to help distribute the drug and train first responders on how to use it. In some states, Naloxone can now be purchased over the counter at local pharmacies.
Suboxone treatment, with the support of the government and the number of lives being saved, has given new hope to people suffering from drug addiction and doctors alike. Buprenorphine, a safer opiate replacement to assist in detox, in combination with the life-saving properties of Naloxone, is now a primary medical option.