Due to the overwhelming problem of heroin and prescription drug (opioid) abuse impacting our community, we have implemented a program in order to help treat the disease of drug addiction. Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone), the main component of our medication assisted treatment, can help reduce opioid cravings. Those who wish to receive Suboxone must also attend a psychosocial support program as combining psychosocial support with medication can be beneficial for most patients. This support program may include attending NA meetings which we can help each patient locate if need be.
The opioid problem has reached epidemic proportions and has spiraled out of control. In 2014, there were over 47,000 lethal drug overdoses in the United States with opioids accounting for approximately 30,000 of these deaths. Nearly 20,000 were due to prescription pain medication and more than 10,000 due to heroin. To put things in perspective:
78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
More people die from prescription pain medication than from heroin and cocaine combined.
The overdose rate nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2008.
The vast majority of heroin users start with prescription pain pills and move on to heroin because it becomes more affordable and accessible than pain medication.
Most adolescents who misuse pain medication obtain the pills from a friend or relative for free as patients often share their unused medication. Unaware of the dangers associated with this practice, most of those who share their medication do not realize that it is illegal to do so and classified as a felony for which one can be imprisoned for.
Firearm related murders in 2015 = 13,286.
Motor vehicle related deaths in 2015 = 35,029.
Opioid and heroin related deaths in 2014 = 29,467.
Buprenorphine can help lower the potential for misuse, diminish the effects of physical dependency to opioids such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and increase safety in cases of overdose.
A simplified diagram of how Suboxone works can be found here.