Diffusion and Diversion of Suboxone: An Exploration of Illicit Street Opioid Selling

Summary and Analysis…

This paper examines the diffusion and diversion of Suboxone, lists some factors contributing to its diffusion, names overprescribing as a factor that “fuels” diversion and identifies the possibility that Suboxone misuse could delay entrance into drug treatment.

Excerpted from Journal of Addictive Diseases

Interviews with fourteen opioid retail pill sellers provides an exploration into the diversion and diffusion of Suboxone to recreational (“week-end warriors”) drug users. The use of social media and electronic devices enables the diffusion of Suboxone to dependent and non-dependent opiate/opioid drug abusers. Overprescribing by physicians and prescribing in drug treatment settings fuels the diversion of Suboxone. The diversion and the diffusion of Suboxone have the potential to delay entrance into drug treatment and promote the misuse of the drug by both dependent opiate/opioid drug abusers and recreational users. The dilemma posed by Suboxone maintenance treatment will not be easily addressed or mitigated in the near future.