Across the country, Suboxone has been making its way into the lives of those battling against addiction. A medication that was initially meant to block the craving for opiates and primarily help addicts get sober has become a controversy among addicts, families, and professionals alike. We are seeing a vast rise in the number of professionals who have the ability to prescribe the drug. Some doctors have the best intentions along with the appropriate education; but then there are those, unfortunately, that have very little understanding and training in the field of addiction.
A doctor in Kentucky has turned his office into a Suboxone clinic twice a week. Both the doctor and the local police chief have recognized that the lines of patients outside of his office have become uncontrollable, often causing several disturbances. Groups of people are coming in from different counties and even out of state to stand in this line each week. The local police have mentioned a sharp increase in the abuse of the medication, as well as the illegal distribution of it, both in that very parking lot and in local jails.
This doctor believes and has said that Suboxone can be beneficial and has done well for many, as long as it is in the hands of the right people. Those people being professionals who are able to prescribe the drug and manage the disease well. If that is really the stance he is to take, shouldn’t he have stricter regulations within his own office? Is he really “managing” by allowing his patients to stand in long lines outside of his practice?
Shamefully, prescribers only need to take an 8-hour online course to be certified in prescribing Suboxone, and with new legislation allocating more funds and resources for medically assisted treatment, where will this leave us? This seems reminiscent of the Oxycontin prescription pill epidemic of years past. Will Pennsylvania be the next site for these new “pill mills?” The doctor does have the right idea in mind, in terms of Suboxone helping countless people, but without the correct treatment to follow it, all they are doing is lining their pockets and handing over a narcotic that is highly addictive.
Suboxone is not treatment and is definitely not a cure. It is a narcotic medication that can cause dependency and even alter a person’s state of mind if abused. This medication can help in very particular circumstances, those of which must include drug and alcohol counseling and prescription monitoring.
If a doctor wants to begin prescribing Suboxone to individuals struggling with opiate addiction, that is their right, but they need to make it a full-time job. They must have the proper training and expertise in the field, and fully understand the disease concept behind addiction. Lining patients up and dispersing medication is unacceptable, and frankly, out-right unethical. It is not only a danger to the individual, but to society as a whole.
At Clearbrook, we have seen the harmful effects of Suboxone maintenance programs that operate without proper clinical treatment for their patients. Our beds are frequently filled with those who got on these maintenance programs only to find it very difficult to get off, that their lives were really not much better, that they were not much happier and that had really only traded one habit for another.
If you are on a Suboxone maintenance program or are considering one as your solution, please pause for a moment and give us call. Clearbrook has a better way; one that doesn’t just hand you a pair of crutches for your broken leg, but actually sets the break so it can heal properly.
ARE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT STRUGGLING WITH DRUGS OR ALCOHOL?
CALL CLEARBROOK TREATMENT CENTERS NOW AT 1-800-582-6241.
Thank you to WKYT for their coverage on some of the material in this post. For their complete story, please Click Here.