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Doctor's Note - Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment for You
Written by: Dr. David Kushner
Opioids are frequently used for pain management but can be highly addictive. For some, opioids produce a sense of euphoria that is so intoxicating they find it hard to quit. The addiction can stem from other underlying issues like the environment, upbringing, and trauma. Intense anxiety. Persistent vomiting. Profuse Sweating. Insomnia. These are just a few of the symptoms people recovering from opioid addiction experience as they go through withdrawal. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that 40 - 6... Read More
Doctor's Note - Being Treated With Buprenorphine is not a Life’s Sentence
Written by: Dr. Thomas Locke
You can get off of buprenorphine when the time is right without having to experience withdrawal. We began developing a tapering protocol five years ago that we have now perfected. I have made it available to all stable patients desirous of discontinuing buprenorphine. Understand that a percentage of people who are addicted to opiates will be better served with long term maintenance with medication assisted therapy. However, after adequate counseling and implementation of appropriate lifestyle c... Read More
What is Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is an FDA approved opioid addiction treatment. Currently Subutex® & Suboxone® are the only Buprenorphine medications approved by the FDA.
Buprenorphine itself is opioid itself, but the maximal effects are less than other more dangerous opioid agonist like methadone and herion. By producing enough agonist, individuals taking Buprenophine that have become addicted to other opioids are able to discontinue abuse with minimized withdrawl side-effects.
In 1965, K.W. Bentley discovered the class of compounds synthesized from an alkaloid of thebaine, the opium poppy plant, known as Papaver somniferum. Among these semi-synthetic compounds is Buprenorphine - the first in a series of opioid agonists. Many were more than 1000 times more effective than the analgesic, morphine.
In the 1980s, Reckitt & Colman, today known as Reckitt Benckiser, introduced Buprenorphine hydrochloride for sale. Buprenorphine, an analgesic, was first made in sublingual tablets of 0.2 mg (Temgesic). It was also made as an injectable of 0.3 mg/ml (Buprenex). Read More...
What is Suboxone®?
Suboxone® is the first narcotic drug available for prescription from a doctor's office for use in the treatment of opioid dependence under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 or DATA 2000.
The primary active ingredient in Suboxone is Buprenorphine, which itself is a partial opioid agonist. This means the the opioid effects and withdrawal symptoms from Buprenorphine are less than other full opioid agonists such as heroin, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and others.
Suboxone, taken as sublingual tablets or "under the tongue", has been shown to help in suppressing opioid withdrawal symptoms, decrease illicit opioid cravings and use, and under the correct supervision can help with overcoming an opioid dependence. Suboxone comes in 2mg and 8mg sizes of sublingual tablet form.
Suboxone contains naloxone, which blocks the effects of medicines and drugs like methadone, morphine, and heroin. This is added to prevent people from injecting Suboxone and improper use of the medication. Injecting naloxone can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone is the most commonly prescribed medication and given to patients during the maintenance phase of treatment. Subutex is typically given during the first couple of treatment.
Because Suboxone has a lower potential for overdose and abuse, unlike methadone, Certified Doctors are able to prescribe take home supplies of Suboxone in certain circumstances. Read More...
The Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Since 1949, the 12-step program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous has been the dominant way we think about facing and fighting addiction. Many people have successfully used this community- and willpower-based approach to escaping addiction. However, countless others have tried it, and relapsed. With the powerful hold that opioid addiction has on so many people in America, it’s time to face addiction with an equally powerful—and proven—method: medication-assisted treatment (or MAT).
MAT is the practice of using drugs like suboxone and subutex to help people dependent on painkillers gradually ease themselves off their addiction. While these treatments have been available for many years, there is a stigma to relying on these medications to help fight addiction rather than the traditional willpower and community approach of a 12-step program. Here are five benefits to using an MAT approach to ending opioid dependency:
1. MAT is proven to have better results than conventional programs alone.
2. MAT stops withdrawal symptoms so patients can live a normal life.
3. MAT is flexible, allowing medication to be taken at home or in a clinic
4. MAT offers multiple drugs (like suboxone and buprenorphine) to find what works for you
5. It’s easy to find an MAT/suboxone provider near you