Pain Killers: Getting off is hard to do...

Archive for December, 2010

Suboxone Better Than Methadone for Opiate Withdrawal For Some Addicts

Addiction experts say the Manitoba government should pay for a medication that potentially could save lives and help young Manitobans hooked on powerful narcotics such as OxyContin curb their drug abuse.

Dr. Lindy Lee, director of Health Sciences Centre’s addiction unit, said Suboxone is a far better option than methadone to treat opiate addiction in teens and young adults, as it comes with fewer side-effects, it’s easier to wean them off and there’s a lower risk of overdose and accidental death if doses are diverted.

Like methadone, Suboxone is a synthetic opiate that is taken daily to reduce cravings and curb symptoms of withdrawal.

Methadone comes in a liquid form, and addicts start on a very low dose that is closely monitored and increased over several months until cravings subside. Some methadone patients sell doses illegally: a small amount can be lethal to someone who has never taken it before.

By comparison, Suboxone is a pill taken orally, and the average addict reaches his or her optimal dose within two to three weeks.

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