If someone asked you to guess what the leading causes of death in the United States are, heart disease, car accidents, and gun violence might come to mind. While these all top the list, accidental overdoses from opiate meds are a significant killer, coming in at approximately 28,000 deaths in 2014, a figure that is rising more and more each year.
Health officials are putting their faith in a relatively new medication, Buprenorphine (say that five times fast.) They hope it will assist in reversing the deadly trend. Buprenorphine, a pain med that is also an opiate, has been tightly controlled in the past. In order to prescribe it at all, physicians need to receive specialized training. They are then able to prescribe it to 30 patients per month. If they receive special permission they can prescribe to a max of 100 patients per month.
The Obama administration is changing the rules, however, and starting this August any doctor who has received the training will be able to prescribe to up to 275 patients at a time. This a significant increase and the administration predicts that up to 17,000 additional people could benefit from the increase in available treatment.
Recognizing the seriousness of this epidemic, Obama plans to add $1.1 billion in funding to anti-opioid programs. Unlike the Buprenorphine measure, however, congress must approve the additional funding. We all know that these days getting anything through congress is about as easy as teaching quantum physics to an uninterested group of 1st graders.
Clearly, opioid abuse is becoming more and more common, as approximately 40% of all Americans personally know someone with an opiate abuse problem. Perhaps one of the hardest opiate drugs to kick is heroin. Heroin users are at risk of not only overdose, but many heroin addicts share needles and can potentially contract AIDS or other diseases. So, how does Buprenorphine help with addiction? It blocks heroin withdrawal symptoms making it easier for addicts to slowly taper off heroin. The hope is that the use of this drug, in conjunction with counseling and/or 12 step groups will stem the tide of this drug.
Traditionally Methadone has been used to help people with their withdrawal symptoms, and Buprenorphine works in much the same way. The downside with Methadone is that people have to come once or twice daily to a methadone clinic, sometimes traveling for hours, to get each dose. Buprenorphine is more convenient because those struggling with addiction can take it home and not have the inconvenience and increased cost of traveling to a Methadone clinic.
Some people, especially those that have struggled with heroin addiction long-term or those who have tried to quit many times and eventually relapsed may have to be on it for a long time in order to stay off heroin. While this may seem like jumping out of the frying-pan and into the fire, Buprenorphine is considerably less risky than using Heroin, not to mention the fact that you can avoid jail time with the former.
Chances are good that you now know or will know someone who can benefit from Buprenorphine. If that is the case, or if you have other medications that you use, contacting searchRx will help you find the lowest prices on medications in your area.