If you have started Suboxone treatment you may have experienced the incredible change that occurs for many patients. You have gone from complete despair and sickness to feeling well and at peace again. It is as if you were never addicted in the first place. Yet, you are concerned about Suboxone because of how well it works.
What if they take it away? There are articles all the time about lawmakers in various states and in Washington D.C who are not happy about Suboxone. They do not understand exactly what it is and how it works. They think that Suboxone is just another opioid and that we are heading towards a whole new drug crisis with Suboxone at the center.
The people who attack buprenorphine do not understand it. Yes, it is technically classified as an opioid. Yet, it works completely differently from other opioids. Patients who are successfully treated with Suboxone do not act in an addictive manner. They function well in their lives, no longer obsessing over drugs and getting sick. There is no more lying or stealing to get more drugs.
Unfortunately, there are always a few bad apples who spoil the bunch. There are a small number of people who misuse Suboxone. Some inject it into their veins with a syringe or snort it. Others sell it on the streets.
It doesn’t seem to make sense since buprenorphine is not a drug that produces much of a high. The drug has a ceiling effect. This is because buprenorphine is a potent opioid receptor blocker and only partially activates the opioid receptor. As the user’s system becomes saturated, the effects do not increase.
In fact, much of the Suboxone that is illegally sold on the streets is simply used by drug abusers who want to get clean from heroin or pain pills. They are not getting it for the purpose of getting high.
In spite of the fact that Suboxone is not a drug of abuse in the way that heroin or oxycodone are, there are lawmakers and law enforcement officers who want to limit access to this life saving medication. In some places in the world, there has been discussion of switching patients to the injectable form of buprenorphine. It is possible that in some countries, sublingual Suboxone film and tablets will no longer be available and patients will only have the option of the injectable.
While having access to injectable buprenorphine is better than nothing, it is still best to have more options to treat patients. It is important that doctors can continue to prescribe meds such as Suboxone and ZubSolv, the sublingual forms of buprenorphine. Different patients respond better to different treatments. The more effective options that we have available to treat patients, the bette the chances that we can help more patients to overcome opioid addiction.