Buprenorphine abuse

Good news! In United States Buprenorphine and Suboxone Abuse among substance abuse patients has declined

12/21/20223 min read

According to data from opioid treatment center around the country, approximately 75% of substance abuse recovery patients who use buprenorphine did not misuse the prescription in the previous year. Furthermore, despite increases in the number of people receiving buprenorphine therapy, buprenorphine usage among patients with opioid use disorder decreased between 2015 and 2019. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated on the study, which was published today in JAMA NetworkOpen.

Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of opioid addiction( Pill addiction) and severe pain. Buprenorphine, which is used to treat substance abuse , works by partially activating opioid receptors in the brain, reducing opioid cravings, withdrawal, and total opioid use.

More than 93,000 substance abuse people died from drug overdoses in 2020, with opioids accounting for 75 percent of those deaths. However, due to stigma and difficulties to receiving these medications, less than 18 percent of people with a past-year substance abuse disorder obtained prescriptions to treat their opioid addiction in 2019. Suboxone doctors must prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder in a recognized Opioid Treatment Program or submit a notice of intent to the federal government, and they are limited in the number of suboxone patients they can treat at any given time. Only a limited percentage of Suboxone physicians are qualified to utilize buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder, and even fewer prescribe suboxone or buprenorphine.

"Safe and effective treatments for health issues, including substance use disorders, are required for high-quality medical practice." "This includes delivering life-saving drugs to persons with opioid use disorders," stated Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Despite the stigma and prejudice that still exists for persons with addiction and the medications used to treat it, this study provides more evidence to support the need for wider access to proven treatment modalities, such as buprenorphine therapy."

The US Department of Health and Human Services amended buprenorphine practice guidelines in April 2021 in order to increase access to substance abuse treatment . However, there are still some challenges to using this substance abuse treatment , such as suboxone provider apprehension about handling patients with opioid use disorder, a lack of acceptable insurance coverage, and worries about diversion, abuse, and overdose risks. Patients who misuse pharmaceuticals do so in ways that are not encouraged by doctors, such as eating someone else's prescription medication or taking one's own prescription in bigger amounts, more frequently dosages, or for longer periods of time than prescribed.

Researchers evaluated data on prescription opioid use and misuse, including buprenorphine, from the 2015-2019 National Surveys on Drug Usage and Health to better understand buprenorphine use and misuse (NSDUH). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducts the NSDUH every year. It provides nationally representative statistics on prescription opioid use, misuse, opioid use disorder, and reason for recent misuse among noninstitutionalized civilians in the United States.

The researchers discovered that nearly three-quarters of persons in the United States who reported using buprenorphine in 2019 did not misuse the drug in the previous year. In the previous year, an estimated 1.7 million persons reported using buprenorphine as prescribed, compared to 700,000 who reported abusing the drug. Furthermore, despite recent increases in the number of patients undergoing buprenorphine therapy, the proportion of people with opioid use disorder who misused the drug decreased with time.

Importantly, the most common motivations for recent buprenorphine misuse among adults with opioid use disorder were "because I am hooked" on opioids (27.3 percent), indicating that people may be self-treating craving and withdrawal symptoms associated with substance abuse disorder with buprenorphine without a prescription, and "to relieve physical pain" (20.5 percent ). Furthermore, those who received drug use therapy were less likely than those who did not receive drug use treatment to misuse buprenorphine. These findings underscore the critical need to increase access to buprenorphine treatment, as therapy may help to minimize buprenorphine misuse. Furthermore, initiatives to continue to monitor and minimize buprenorphine abuse must be developed.

People who did not get substance abuse help or who resided in rural areas were also more prone to misuse the medication, according to the study. Other characteristics, such as being a member of a racial or ethnic minority or living in poverty, had no bearing on buprenorphine abuse. The authors of the study concluded that in order to combat the present opioid crisis, patients with opioid use disorders should have better access to and quality of buprenorphine therapy.

Wilson Compton, M.D., M.P.E., Deputy Director of NIDA and senior author of the study, remarked, "Three-quarters of adults on buprenorphine do not misuse the drug." "Many people who have an opioid use disorder want help, and as professionals, we have to treat their sickness." This study also emphasizes the importance of addressing racial and ethnic disparities in treatment access, as well as health insurance, economic, and regional barriers, to ensure that everyone with substance abuse disorder has access to this life-saving drug."