The Great Suboxone Debate

Summary and Analysis

Suboxone has garnered a greatly divided crowd.  When asked if it should be used as a way to detox from opioid addiction, most agree yes to this, but when asked if it should be a maintenance drug, the gap is quite obvious between those who insist that it will return addicts to a "normal life," and those who believe that any opioid will have long term harmful effects, both mentally and physically.

As with OxyContin, Suboxone was at first being promoted as a non-addictive drug. Many years later doctors now realize that it is  25 to 45 times as powerful as morphine. No long term study has been done on those addicts who have been using it for years and because of that some doctors who specialize in treating addicts, cannot condone its long term use.

Excerpted from The Fix

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When it was first released in 2002, Suboxone was hailed as a major advance over methadone. But millions of scrips later, critics charge that the seductive opiate “cure” is causing its own epidemic of addiction. 

This is the question many addicts are asking about Suboxone. Should they take buprenorphine, or “bupe,” long term mainly to avoid cravings—and the junkie lifestyle—or heal their bodies by detoxing and staying clean, which is harder and, in certain ways, riskier? Weighing the costs and benefits of each approach is a very personal, even existential, matter, and science can offer only limited advice, since there are no studies of long-term use of buprenorphine in former opiate addicts. We’re pretty much on our own.