Archives for August, 2011

Buprenorphine

Misinformation about Suboxone

More than ever, patients have easy access to information once read only by scientists and medical professionals.  And at the same time, doctors have reduced the time spent with patients during appointments.  The result has been an increase in internet-educated patients, who come to appointments armed with data from package inserts, information from internet health forums, and stacks of questions from net-savvy relatives.

There is a good side to this...
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Addiction

The Fall of Western Society?

Let me start by saying that I realize that this post risks placing me in the camp of those who worry that the world is falling to pieces-- an opinion that I am reluctant to endorse.  I have always thought of myself as one of the ‘hip’ parents, and someone who is accepting of pop culture. But I came across something recently that deserves mention in a blog about addiction.

Has anyone listened closely to the...
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Addiction

Afraid Of My Doctor

I recently received the following question from a reader:

Dr. Junig, I made a horrible mistake after almost a year of doing well on Suboxone.  A friend gave me a Vicodin tablet, and on impulse, I took it.  I'm afraid to tell my doctor because he has a zero tolerance policy, and he will probably kick me out of his treatment program.  What should I do?

I have received a number of similar messages over the years,...
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Addiction

Refuge for Scoundrels

When Suboxone first became an option for treating addiction to pain pills back in 2003, some people were excited about having a cure for opioid dependence. Those people were mistaken.  It is true that Suboxone has been a huge benefit for treating opioid dependence, but the medication cannot cause the permanent changes in the brain that would be necessary to prevent relapse.  Instead, in order for the medication to work, people...
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Addiction

Methadone, for One Thing or Another

As I’ve mentioned, I receive several e-mails each day asking questions about opioid dependence.  There are a number of confusing opinions, attitudes, and regulations that ultimately get in the way access to treatment.  And with opioid dependence, access to treatment can mean the difference between life and death.

One area of confusion relates to the use of methadone to treat opioid dependence.  Methadone is a potent, low-cost pain medication.  While a month’s prescription for...
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