Feds Seek Ways to Expand Use of Addiction Drug

White House“The government’s top drug abuse experts are struggling to find ways to expand use of a medicine that is considered the best therapy for treating heroin and painkiller addiction.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan on Wednesday pressed officials from the White House, the National Institute of Drug Abuse and other agencies to increase access to buprenorphine, a medication which helps control drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It remains underused a decade after its launch.

“As long as we have too few doctors certified to prescribe bupe, we will be missing a major weapon in the fight against the ravages of addiction,” Levin told the forum, which also included patients and non-government medical experts.”


Source: BostonHerald.com – June 18, 2014


  1. John Mark Blowen says:

    It seems to me tha buprenorphine has more problems than not enough doctors certified to prescribe it
    1. The education for certification is inadequate to deal with a health care problem the magnitude
    of opiate addiction – especially since most doctors have no training in addiction before that.
    2. In Suboxone programs addiction treatment is optional under the law.
    3. There’s more money to be made getting people into treatment than keeping them in treatment
    which with the 30/100 pt limit provides an incentive to pronounce people cured and taper
    them out.
    4. Buprenorphine because of it’s inherent agonist/antagonist quality doesn’t have the
    opiate ‘oomph’ to match significant tolerance.
    5. The induction process is often very sloppy.

    The buprenorphine treatment system needs a major overhaul.
    In adolescents just becoming dependent with intensive highly structured addiction treatment I have no doubt it could be very useful.
    But we don’t even diagnose addiction in childhood (though it almost always asserts itself by adloscence) and we, as a society, do not support the ongoing expensive cognitive behavioral therapy needed for patients to develop the skills to manage the addiction tendency that they will presumably have for the rest of their lives.

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