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posted by martyb on Friday July 08 2016, @10:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the kicking-is-hard dept.

The Obama administration is loosening restrictions on buprenorphine/Suboxone prescriptions in order to fight the "heroin epidemic", while calling on Congress to act on a request for $1.1 billion in additional funding for opioid treatment programs across the U.S.:

The Obama administration is making it easier for people addicted to opioids to get treatment. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced new rules Wednesday to loosen restrictions on doctors who treat people addicted to heroin and opioid painkillers with the medication buprenorphine. Doctors who are licensed to prescribe the drug, which is sold mostly under the brand name Suboxone, will be allowed to treat as many as 275 patients a year. That's almost triple the current limit of 100, and HHS estimated that as many as 70,000 more people may have access to the drug as a result.

"There are a number of ways we are trying to increase access to medication-assisted treatment," said Michael Botticelli, the director of national drug control policy, on a conference call with reporters. "This rule itself expands access and gets more physicians to reach more patients."

Suboxone is itself an opioid. It eases withdrawal symptoms and cravings, but doesn't make people high. [...] Botticelli said an average 129 people a day die from opioid overdoses.

Here is some basic information about the differences between buprenorphine (Suboxone) and Naloxone (Narcan).

Previously:
White House Announces Heroin Response Strategy for the US Northeast
Alarming Rise in Death Rates for Middle-Aged White Americans
Kroger Supermarkets to Carry Naloxone Without a Prescription
4/20: Half-Baked Headline


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @12:41PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @12:41PM (#371750)

    The epidemic these days is people OD-ing on blood pressure meds for one reason or another.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @01:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08 2016, @01:34PM (#371771)

    Yeah but those are stand-in for other drugs they cannot get. All this of course is a symptom of larger problem. Our society is only magnificent on the surface. A lot of shit is swept under the carpet where it boils over into addiction because the real lives people have to live everyday turnout to be unbearable to them leading to massive escapism. Even the vast sugar addiction falls in this. I can only go on conjecture here, but I think a lot of people live their lives as if it was a desert dotted with oases of indulgence. The periods of indulgence make the desert bearable for a time, but the need for indulgence gets worse and worse. You cannot cure the epidemic unless you figure out how not to have people fall into such unpleasant lives. Thou my one distinct fear is Humans are just this flawed and it simply cannot be done. </humanities>