Sunday, June 21, 2015

buprenorphine portrayal and response from Stop Stigma Now

Dr. Phil Paris from Stop Stigma Now comments on buprenorphine portrayal in the media. Education on and promotion of safe medication use for all medications is necessary; not just for opioids. 

What was the drug Dylann Roof was holding when arrested in February?
                                                       By BIANCA SEIDMAN  CBS NEWS  June 19, 2015

When Dylann Roof, the suspect in the deadly shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, was arrested last February on trespassing charges at a mall in Columbia, South Carolina, police said he was carrying the drug Suboxone, the brand name of a narcotic that's considered milder than others drugs in its class, such as oxycontin, heroin and vicodin. It is prescribed as a drug for the treatment of opiate and painkiller addictions

Suboxone has been a helpful tool in fighting opiate addictions without the need to send patients to methadone clinics."While its safer than heroin or methadone if you take it as directed, if you don't it's as dangerous as any of these other drugs," says Dr. Eric Wish, the Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland.
Many people who use Suboxone are already opiate dependent and for them it's a milder drug.  But side effects of the drug may be greater for those who use it recreationally and not for its intended purpose of opiate recovery. Law enforcement seizures of buprenorphine drugs, which include Suboxone and generics, has increased from 90 to 10,537 packages between 2003 and 2010.
Response from Dr. Philip Paris, Stop Stigma Now
The introduction of Suboxone has been life saving for thousands of those suffering from opioid addiction.  But, like every other medication prescribed by doctors, when misused it can have serious side effects, including a fatal overdose.  This is true for each and every medication in our medicine cabinet from aspirin to Tylenol.  Unfortunately, the possible use of Suboxone by the accused killer of those praying in a Charleston church will surely be used by those who stand against the use of any medication in treating opioid addiction.