“Buprenorphine is one of the medications used to treat opioid addictions. A speaker at a recent medical conference in Anchorage said getting the medication to heroin users through their primary care providers is an essential way to reduce overdose deaths. But some addiction treatment professionals in Alaska say not so fast.
Martin spoke to a group of primary care providers from around Alaska during a conference in late April. He said that drug dependence needs to be looked at and treated like any other chronic disease — as part of primary care. And, just like medical providers don’t require counseling for medications to treat depression or diabetes, they shouldn’t require it for buprenorphine, a medication to treat addiction.
“I think it’s naive to think that counseling isn’t effective. I think that by just prescribing we’re addressing the biological effects of the individual and keeping them from suffering withdrawal symptoms,” Soderstrom said. “But we’re not addressing the root causes of the addiction and the underlying behavior that the individual is experiencing.”
Source: AlaskaPublic.org – May 4 2017