Opioid dependence, A.K.A. addiction to pain pills, kills thousands of young people in the US every year. Those who have read my columns on the topic at my blog, forum, or at my PsychCentral site probably have a good sense of my attitude toward Suboxone: While it would be wonderful if people could stop using opioids completely, in reality the relapse rate after treatment is over 90%. And frankly, not treating people with such a fatal condition is, in my opinion, a shameful way to practice medicine.
Suboxone has unique properties. People who are taking Suboxone as prescribed become tolerant to the effects of the medication, and within a week they look and feel completley normal. They are not ‘on’ anything, anymore than a person with hypertension is ‘on’ blood pressure medication. Although while medications for hypertension reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease to a varying degree, Suboxone has a more direct and constant effect, by blocking the effects of heroin or pain pills.