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The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 Explained.

Countless soldiers, home from World War I, returned as heroin addicts. Drug Treatment clinics were swamped, then shut down by the Federal Government, because Opioid addiction was considered a criminal offense, rather than a medical problem. Physicians were dissuaded from treating addiction from the 1920s until the 1970s. The Narcotic Addict Treatment Act of 1974 then allowed physicians to treat opioid addicts with methadone in federal and state licensed facilities only. Let us see how DATA2000 weighs in on America's long history of opioid abuse and addiction.


More Addicts Unpredicted

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the media reported that people were suffering needless pain due to doctor and dentist reluctance to prescribe strong pain relief medications. Consequently, the overdose and addiction rates were concurrent with the increase in medical and dental prescriptions of opioids. Chronic pain, treated by opioids, also unpredictably produced thousands of addicts.

Some opioid narcotics are produced straight from opium, like codeine and morphine, while heroin is derived from morphine. However, some opioids are pharmaceutically manufactured, and are similar to opium chemically, such as oxycodone, fentanyl, and hydrocodone. These are particularly effective in the treatment of severe pain. Consequently, injured soldiers and seriously ill, or injured people had become addicted unintentionally. Still, others used it as an entertainment drug.

As prescriptions were written profusely in response to public demand, more than 60% of adolescents became opioid abusers because the medications were so readily available from a family member. Marijuana was quickly surpassed by prescription opioids as the typical gateway to illicit drug abuse among adolescents.



In 2000, The Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) was introduced by Senators Joe Biden (D-DE), Orrin Hatch, (R-UT), and Carl Levin (D-MI). This legislation was necessary because of the continuous increase in the number of opioid addicts and brought changes in the way America looks at and treats drug addiction.

Physicians who meet certain criteria are permitted to treat opioid addicts with addiction therapy medications that are approved by the FDA. Among other prerequisites, physicians are required to have a specialty certification under an approved organization, such as the American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Board of Medical Specialities, or American Osteopathic.


Originally, physicians were permitted to prescribe medications for only 30 opioid addicts in their private practices. However, the law did not differentiate between group and individual physician practices. Some practices, especially clinics or hospitals, may have had hundreds of Suboxone doctors but were still limited to only 30 addict patients; Treatment was denied to countless other addicts who sought help. Seeing the injustice, medical professionals sought help from the legislature and the law was changed in 2005. Now every qualified doctor, in a group or as an individual, can treat 30 patients.

Authorized physicians can now treat up to 100 addicts, if they had submitted, at least one year ago, their original "intent." This act also allows qualified physicians to obtain a waiver from specific registration stipulations in the Controlled Substances Act as a provision of medication-expedited opioid therapy. This waiver permits physicians to treat addicts with narcotic medications, specifically those on the Schedule as 3(III), 4(IV), or 5(V) narcotics. In 2002, The FDA approved Suboxone and Buprenorphine as treatment drugs for opioid addiction.

Suboxone & Subutex Usage

Suboxone and Subutex are in high strength tablets that dissolves under the tongue and is used primarily in the treatment of OxyContin and heroin addictions. Subutex is useful in preventing symptoms of withdrawal, while the latter is useful in the maintenance stage of treatment of opioid addicts.

Subutex and Suboxone are two most important drugs that are used at the start of addiction treatment. Injection solutions, Buprenex and Temgesic are used in primary-care locations for acute pain. Butrans and Norspan are opioids that are semi-synthetic transdermal formulations for incessant pain, such as that caused by cancer. These are stronger drugs used for opioid addictions, and in lower doses for pain control in non-addicts.


Buprenorphine, reaches a "ceiling," meaning stronger doses does not increase its effect. It has fewer adverse effects than does some other opioids and stays in the body decreasing withdrawal symptoms from opioids for nearly 48 hours. Past a certain dose, the duration of withdrawal suppression increases along with opioid blockage. Some opioids, such as methadone and morphine is displaced by the ceiling drug.

Currently, drug addiction in the United States has hit an all-time high. Since 1980, the number of those who have died of drug overdoses has risen more than 540 percent. However, because of DATA2000, the stigma of addiction has been lifted and all addicts, not just opioid addicts, can obtain physician-assisted pharmaceutical treatment to aid in the defeat their addiction.






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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 Read More...