Suboxone At present, we currently have very few medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options available for opioid addiction. MAT is not the sole option for every individual, but it is an effective treatment for patients who suffer from opioid addiction. The most common well-known MAT is Methadone which the FDA approved half a century ago as a harm-reduction model for patients whose addiction is in highly advanced stages. Methadone treatment is strictly regulated and the dispensing clinics operate on a “ daily dosing ” model. Patients initially come to the clinic each day for their methadone dosing and engage in other behavioral treatments. This well-structured treatment regimen is suitable for patients who need highly structured medical care. Other patients may go through traditional 12-step and Narcotics Anonymous ( NA ) meetings to overcome intolerable withdrawals from Opioids and without any medications while learning how to handle the cravings.

Following the massive rise of opioid prevalence in America, the mushrooming of narcotic pain clinics in our communities, and the unchecked quantity of pills being prescribed, more and more people found themselves addicted to pain pills. Unfortunately, in addition to the uncontrolled overprescribing, many found themselves using illegal drugs such as heroin when their prescriptions ran out. Today we are facing a raging fentanyl epidemic that is attractive to millions of people struggling with opioid addiction. Methadone, however, comes with its drawback. Besides the daily clinic dosing, patients can be at risk of toxicity, respiratory depression, medication interactions, and cardiac side effects.

Around the Year 2000, the FDA introduced a new groundbreaking (alternative to methadone ) called Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone). This medication acts in the same way as methadone, but it is partially agonist on opioid brain receptors, it has a ceiling effect on the dose with the maximum effective dose usually less than 24 mg. Suboxone contains Naloxone(mixed with Narcan), which blocks opioids, has less interaction with other medications, has a higher safety profile, is a schedule III controlled medication, and has a lower toxicity risk and risk of respiratory depression.

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