Opiate dependence, or more commonly, pain pill addiction, is an epidemic affecting people of all ages and cultures. Opiate dependence has traditionally been treated in residential treatment centers followed by a lifetime of twelve step or other recovery meetings. Even with intensive treatment, opiate dependence is a lifelong disease and relapse rates are high. Just enough addicts find sobriety through traditional treatment to allow the impression that ALL addicts should have the same success. Despite the known ineffectiveness of such treatments, addicts who relapse are treated as ‘failures’ by physicians, AODA counselors, the courts, society in general.. and other addicts.
The laws regulating the use of opiates for treatment of addiction were changed by an act of Congress called DATA 2000, and in 2003 a chemical called buprenorphine was approved by the FDA for treatment of opiate dependence by specially-certified physicians. Buprenorphine is marketed and sold under the trade names Suboxone and Subutex, and became a generic medication in late 2009.
When used CORRECTLY, buprenorphine is a breakthrough in the treatment of opiate dependence. At last, the fatal disease has a treatment with potential to put addiction into remission indefinitely. Because of a less-than-perfect launch of this new treatment, a great deal of confusion exists over the proper use of the medication. Limits on patient numbers per physician result in treatment shortages in some parts of the country. The high cost of the medication has reduced acceptance of the treatment— even though the cost of active addiction is many times greater for the addict and society. Finally, the use of ‘Suboxone’ has been tarnished by diversion, street use of the medication, and even a number of deaths from combining the medication with other respiratory depressants by people without significant tolerance for opiates.
AddictionRemission.com consists of a collection of web sites dedicated to education about opiate dependence and other addictive disorders, information about the proper use of buprenorphine, and fellowship for opiate addicts to share their own experiences and learn from the experiences of others. I invite you to use the links to visit our forum, the blog, and our store with educational recordings and written materials, where all proceeds contribute to the growth of this site. At the present time, all efforts are personally funded by Jeffrey T Junig MD PhD, a Board Certified Psychiatrist and recovering opiate addict.
Comments about Suboxone should be respectfully shared at SuboxForum. We only ask that people respect the choices made by others, realizing that opiate dependence has a high fatality rate— and people must find a way to survive that best individually suits themselves. Because of the large volume of mail that I receive, I cannot respond to every question, and I encourage you to use the forum. Any specific questions associated with a donation of $20 or more will receive priority, and thank you in advance for your support. Such questions as well as any questions about advertising on our sites should be sent to comments (at) addictionremission (dot com).