I have no issues what so ever with pharmaceutical help for addiction such as Methadone or Suboxone. What I do take issue is with newspapers reporting that a drug like Suboxone is a miracle drug because now small town people won’t have to go to the big city for treatment, they can get treatment on an outpatient basis from their own physicians.
While I understand that physicians must first become certified to be able to prescribe Suboxone, I’m just a little skeptical about the type of recovery program a patient will be expected to participate in while they are taking their Suboxone if it is being prescribed by their primary care physician.
If you have been keeping up with your local news at all, I’m sure you will agree that arrests involving possession of Suboxone is becoming more and more common (at least it’s that way in Massachusetts). How is this Suboxone getting in the hands of people on the streets? Someone is given a prescription for it by their primary care physician, they go get it at the pharmacy, and then proceed to sell it to someone for some pretty good money.
Why is this? Because taking Suboxone does not require daily attendance to your doctors office. You get a prescription for it, right from the start, and have your medication at home. This is unlike a methadone program where for a while you have to go to the clinic to be given your daily dose under supervision.
I do understand that there are some positive aspects of being able to prescribe Suboxone to patients and have them be responsible for self dosing. Not everyone is near a treatment facility. If we want people to start recovery with the use pharmaceutical help, we can’t make it impossible for them to get to it.
Being able to take your medication at home instead of staying in an inpatient facility makes treatment possible for those who cannot afford the inpatient facilities.
I guess my main concern is that people are going to see Suboxone as a quick fix kind of drug. If they are addicted to opiates, they can go to a doctor who is certified to prescribe Suboxone and they can get themselves enough of a supply to get through the acute withdrawal stages. But what happens after that?
If they are not actively pursuing recovery…they will go right back to opiates once their prescription for Suboxone runs out. Getting the drugs out of your system isn’t the problem with most people it’s keeping them out of your system that is the hard part.
So while I do agree that when coupled with a strong recovery program, Suboxone is a really good aid in helping someone stop their addiction. I think it’s giving people the wrong idea to be calling this a miracle drug.