New Medication for OxyContin and Heroin Addiction
March 23, 2008
The prescription painkiller OxyContin and the street drug heroin both belong to a class of drugs called opioids. OxyContin is a medication that is used to treat pain for a variety of legitimate medical conditions, but it can have severe consequences when it’s abused. These substances create a strong physical and psychological addiction in the user that is extremely difficult to recover from.
Some treatment centers and addiction professionals are excited about the use of a new medication to treat OxyContin and heroin addiction. It is called Suboxone, and experts say that counseling is also necessary in a treatment program that uses it. The recommended addiction treatment is an outpatient program that lasts at least a year. Suboxone would prevent individuals from being able to feel an opiate high while they are taking the medication and prevent withdrawal symptoms from detox. This is similar to some of the methods that are currently used in other treatments for OxyContin and heroin addiction, most commonly methadone.
Suboxone is being touted as a new and improved form of treatment that can be used instead of methadone. Unlike methadone, experts say that it is practically impossible to have an overdose of Suboxone. It is also a safer drug to take. It is obtained by getting a prescription from a doctor’s office. In comparison, methadone patients have to go to a clinic every other day to get their doses of that medication. However, doctors cannot prescribe Suboxone without receiving special training, and then they are only allowed to write a limited number of prescriptions for it.
There are a couple of potential problems for some individuals who want to use this medication in the treatment of OxyContin and heroin addiction. It doesn’t work 100 percent of the time. It is less likely to be effective in individuals who use very large amounts of heroin or OxyContin. It’s also rather expensive. Without insurance, Suboxone costs $400 to $600 per month.