Starting today, KLEAN is running a series this week. The topic: Suboxone. The good, the bad and the ugly will be revealed this week. Some of this you may have known but a lot will be shocking so stay tuned with this series and discover the truth about Suboxone.
There has been more talk recently about Suboxone, the newest smash hit with people that want to kick opioids, which includes both illicit and non-illicit drugs like heroin, Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocets, Morphine, and others. The fact that the US is knee deep in opioid epidemic brought music to many people ears that finally there was a drug besides Methadone that could help people addicted to these drugs. Well, the concept was a good one but as usual concepts can be corrupted by opportunities and this was the case with Suboxone too.
According to an article in the New York Times, in 2012, sales of Suboxone exceeded the one and a half billion dollar mark. That is some significant cash flow that looked very attractive to those who had the power to benefit from it. For starters, understand that the federal government helped to finance the development and promotion of Suboxone. It was marketed as a safer and more convenient option to methadone.
Suboxone, a Decade Later
Suboxone is now well established after being available for more than ten years and now an even newer factor is about to effect the limitations and access to Suboxone with the Affordable Care Act. Thousands of individuals suffering in the realms of addiction will have a chance to receive the drug that can be both a lifesaver and a death sentence.
Suboxone, a drug that could have been nothing short of a wonder drug for so many now possesses many labels that carry both successes and failures. It is a prescription but it is also an illicit drug, it is attractive to prisoners who find it effortless to smuggle into the jails, it is a commodity for corrupt doctors, drug companies, drug dealers and patients, it is a killer, and it is a savior, it is an answer and it is completely misunderstood.
Why the Demand for Suboxone?
There are two main reasons for this; one is that people can catch a buzz from Suboxone. It is a milder buzz but it is still a buzz. It is also addictive. Now, keep in mind that not any doctor can prescribe Suboxone as their patient numbers are restricted. Doctors must be federally authorized.
These restrictions only up the ante by fueling a prosperous underground market that thrives on supplying opiate addicts because they are about to go into withdrawal or because they cannot afford the upfront fees that are associated with first time visits to most of the doctors that are authorized to prescribe Suboxone.
Of course, there are also those who choose to use it recreationally and the people that buy it to smuggle into the prisons and jails. Often referred to as “prison heroin”, Suboxone became especially popular for those behind bars after it became available in the new dissolvable filmstrip.
Look for Part II of the The Suboxone Conspiracy this week.