Jul 252017
 

Is it possible to treat teens with addictions at home, the very place they struggle to stay sober? A Connecticut-based company called Aware Recovery Center has proved that it does. Of those who sought treatment with the Aware program, 64% completed it and 72% have stayed in treatment or are abstinent. The latter figure is more than double (35%) the success rate of 30-day traditional outpatient rehabilitation programs that don’t provide follow-up care.

NBC’s Nightly News with Lester Holt featured a segment on eighteen-year-old Emily Gendreau, whose battle with drug addiction led to much trouble and trips to rehab centers.

In 2016, suffering from a difficult breakup and a loss of a family member, Emily turned to prescription killers, which were left over from a surgery she had. She eventually graduated to using heroin. Her life began spiraling out of control: losing friends and money, getting arrested, and being expelled from school – all this by the time she was in senior high.

Emily knew she hit rock bottom when she was caught using heroin in school by the principal. It was then that she realized she needed help.

A six-day detox at the Arms Acers rehab facility in upstate New York was followed by a stay for 89 days at Newport Academy, a treatment center specializing in teen addiction in Bethlehem, Connecticut.

Just like others with addictions, it was the returning home and post-rehab life that made Emily anxious. There, she would be exposed to addiction triggers, including parties and friends who were drug users. To cope with this, she turned to Aware for help.

Aware is a 52-week, in-home rehabilitation program providing around-the-clock treatment for patients, including support from a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation team comprised of an addiction psychiatrist, a case manager, a family therapist, a nurse coach, a primary care doctor, as well as peer support and 12-step meetings. Participants of the program can also be provided with GPS tracking, medication-assisted treatment, and urine screening if they choose.

Just because the symptoms are in control doesn’t mean addiction has disappeared. Addiction is a chronic illness and someone who is prematurely discharged from a rehab program has an increased risk of using again when back in their old environment.

The Aware model makes sure that those recovering from addictions don’t get tempted to use even when in a familiar environment. A representative from the program will visit the home to look for issues that could trigger a relapse then provide solutions.

In Emily’s case, Aware taught her a technique called “riding the wave,” which lets the patient have the cravings should they feel like taking drugs or alcohol which they then let go of.

Aware also set up a meeting with Emily’s guidance counselor and principal at school to help her avoid triggers. This included allowing her to go to the nurse’s office rather than use the school bathrooms.

The out-of-pocket cost of the Aware program is $38,000 a year. This sum looks costly but it is roughly equal to what will be spent on one month inpatient treatment.

 

 Posted by at 2:00 pm

Why People Should Not Use the Term ‘Addict’ on Anyone

 Addiction Awareness  Comments Off on Why People Should Not Use the Term ‘Addict’ on Anyone
Jun 282017
 

While it might not mean anything to most people, the term “addict”, especially when used to identify a person who has an addiction to drugs, is a demoralizing word.  Since time immemorial, there are people who have the notion that it is alright to refer to someone as an “addict” when in truth, this is indeed a derogatory term and can be hurtful.

The Associated Press (AP) had the same sentiments that the word “addict” should not be used as a noun anymore. This was included in the latest edition of the popular AP Stylebook, the English grammar and usage guide created by American journalists and is widely used globally.

According to the style guide, it is recommended to use phrases, such as “people with heroin addiction” or “he used drugs”. This is emphasize the disease is not the person and vice-versa.

Why is it improper to call someone an “addict”?

There are several reasons behind the term “addict” being derogatory. Perhaps, the most obvious one would be because when a person has an addiction to drugs or a particular drug like painkillers, this means that he has a medical disorder indicated by compulsive use of drugs even if there will be unfavorable effects like impairment.

If the “person-first” approach is used on people with mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorders, why is it any different from using this language to a person with heroin addiction?

Another debatable topic is on the use of the term “dependence” and “addiction”. This is also included in the new edition of the AP Stylebook in which journalists are encouraged not to treat these two words as synonymous to each other.

As stated earlier, addiction is indicated by a compulsion to take a drug and this can lead to impairment as well as bad consequences. Dependence means that a person who is prescribed a drug to treat or manage a medical condition needs to take the medication to function normally. Failure to take the drug can lead to withdrawal symptoms but this does not mean that this person is addicted to the medication.

This is also the reason why “substance dependence” was removed as the diagnosis for addiction from the DSM, psychiatry’s diagnostic manual since it implied that the two have the same meaning.

Treatment on People Referred to as “Addicts”

When journalists and newspapers use terms like “addicted babies” for those who have mothers taking opioid drugs while pregnant, this can lead to abuse and neglect from caregivers and other people who have this misconception. The ones who suffer are the infants who have nothing to do with taking drugs.

Also, not being able to separate the terms “dependence” and “addiction” can lead to a person not given the right medical treatment. Worse, proper treatment needed, such as, opioid therapy can be discontinued on patients who are not addicted to the painkiller but only dependent on the medication.

If more people are taught about the inappropriateness of referring to someone as an “addict”, individuals who have an addiction to drugs will not only be treated the way any person deserves. This will also make people realize that addiction is a medical disorder just like other illnesses and treat those who have this with respect.

 

 Posted by at 2:37 pm

Gray Death Is The Latest Opioid Of Concern

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Gray Death Is The Latest Opioid Of Concern
May 152017
 

The opioid epidemic is on the rise and is showing no signs of stopping, yet another player has joined the game and is making it even more dangerous: Gray Death.

Its name sounds ominous, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at the drug itself. It looks a lot like concrete mix at first glance, and its texture ranges from a fine powder to hard and chunky pieces. However, “Gray Death” will seem appropriate once you hear that the drug has been blamed for around 50 overdoses in Georgia in the past three months.

 

What’s in the Mix?

Gray Death isn’t just one type of substance; rather, it’s a mix of several well-known drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil, which is used to tranquilize elephants, tigers, and other large animals. According to Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, fentanyl is “50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine”, while carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine.

Gray Death also contains a kind of drug called U-47700. Also known as “U4” and “Pink”, it’s a synthetic opioid that’s considered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as one of the most dangerous drugs in the country.

Users get Gray Death into their bodies by snorting, smoking, swallowing, or injecting it. Because of the mix of substances it contains, Gray Death is much more potent than heroin, which means that users don’t only get a stronger high — they also have higher chances of overdosing on it and losing their lives.

What makes the drug even more dangerous is that users don’t know exactly what substances are in the mix and what their concentrations are. This makes it too easy for people to overdose, especially those who take Gray Death in large amounts and/or use it along with other types of drugs. Another thing that makes Gray Death incredibly dangerous: because of its potency, it can be easily absorbed by the skin. So, even simply touching the concrete-like drug can put users at risk.

Thankfully, the DEA has not noticed a “national proliferation” of Gray Death; currently, it’s still limited to Ohio and Georgia as well as the Gulf Coast. However, just like with any other drug, it can make its way to the rest of the U.S. in the next few months.

 

New Trends

The Gray Death is the latest addition to the growing trend of mixing opioids with other drugs to create deadly cocktails. A version of Gray Death sans U-47700 was first detected by the authorities in 2012 in Atlanta and later made its way to Cincinnati, Chicago, San Diego, and other cities.

In certain communities, users are mixing fentanyl with cocaine and other non-opioid drugs. Other combinations include heroin and fentanyl-class drugs, which are then mixed with HTC, methamphetamine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other non-opioids.

What’s dangerous about this is that not all users are aware that they’re getting a mix. Some users, for example, think they’re buying plain heroin, when in fact many sellers are now selling heroin that’s laced with a more powerful form of fentanyl called 3-methylfentanyl. With this potent combination, users become even more at risk for overdose and even death.

 

 Posted by at 1:37 pm

Philippine President Duterte Says Bullets Better Than Drug Rehab

 Drug Addiction, News  Comments Off on Philippine President Duterte Says Bullets Better Than Drug Rehab
Apr 112017
 

Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, has slammed the European Union for criticizing his bloody war against drugs and suggesting that drug rehabilitation is the right solution.

There have been 8,000 drug-related killings since Duterte became the country’s president in June 2016. The police have assumed responsibility for more than 2,500 of these deaths, which isn’t surprising since Duterte encourages police officers to shoot if they feel their safety is threatened. He has stated in many interviews that he stands behind the authorities, noting that he will “accept the consequences” for officers who have killed drug offenders who resisted arrest.

Police insist that the remaining 5,500 or so killings were made drug gangs who wanted to silence their members and/or sought revenge for unpaid goods. However, many local and foreign human rights groups believe that the police were behind these mysterious deaths.

The rising extrajudicial death toll has prompted the EU, which is one of the country’s largest trading partners and provides it with tariff benefits, to step in. The Union proposed a health-based approach to the Philippines’ drug problem and promised to provide financial aid for drug rehabilitation projects. The bloc stated its support for the fight against drugs but asked the Philippine government to focus on drug barons and trafficking networks instead of targeting small-scale drug users. It also showed concern for the safety of senator Leila de Lima, who is one of the president’s most outspoken critics and has received serious backlash because of it.

Duterte did not agree with the proposal from the European Union and was angered by it. During an event with the Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, he called EU lawmakers “sons of bitches” and stated that he did not need the Union and the drug rehabilitation programs it recommended.

Duterte believes that people can enter rehab clinics, be given their choice of drugs (e.g. marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine), and walk out. This, in turn, means that Filipinos can “go there and consume every chemical until kingdom come, until they are crazy”, which makes them inclined to commit crimes like rape and homicide.

The Philippine president points out that the European Union should not complain about the bloodshed that was brought about by his war on drugs, considering that millions of Europeans have died in the last two world wars. He urges the EU to trace their history and remember that they “also washed [their] hands with blood”.

His allies echo his sentiments. Philippine senate president Aquilino Pimentel accused the EU of trying to micromanage the country’s internal affairs. Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo that the bloc should “mind their own business” and not “interfere with the judicial processes” of the country.

During his campaign, Duterte’s main message was that he would wage war on drugs if he would be made president and that he would make the country drug-free within the first six months of his presidency. Half a year after he ascended into office, he asked for an “extension” of another six months, revealing that he initially did not recognize just how big the country’s drug problem was and that he needed more time to solve it.

 

 Posted by at 2:16 pm

Opioid Epidemic Not Driven by Prescription Painkillers

 Opioid Addiction, Prescription Drug Abuse  Comments Off on Opioid Epidemic Not Driven by Prescription Painkillers
Mar 312017
 

Prescription painkillers are no longer causing opioid epidemic, according to a top official for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This was revealed at a congressional hearing that heroin and illicit fentanyl were instead the culprits for the rising rate of drug overdoses.

Proven Wrong Based on Research

The fact that prescription opioids were allegedly causing the rising deaths related to overdose for years, proved to be wrong as it was found out that the occurrence was due to synthetic opioid and heroin overdose. Moreover, this was also determined to have been caused by fentanyl manufactured illegally.

Over 33,000 deaths were blamed to opioids in which less than half were related to pain medication. CDC Director Debra Houry also said that based from statistics, more than half of those who overdosed on fentanyl or heroin have received at least a single opioid prescription within 7 years before they have died.

Reports regarding efforts to reduce prescription of opioid that have led to the increased use of prohibited drugs were also disputed by Houry. In fact, it was the office of Houry that supervised the development of CDC guidelines. This was reportedly been controversial, as doctors were discouraged to prescribe opioids for chronic pain.

More on Opioids

Based on research, one of the three main categories of medications that would offer certain liabilities for abuse are prescription opioids. The other two are the central nervous system stimulants and depressants. Likewise, there are some factors, which contribute to the severity of the current abuse problem in prescription drugs. Such would include greater social responsibility to use medications, increases in the prescription count whether dispensed or written, and aggressive marketing of some pharmaceutical companies.

When it comes to mortality and abuse, opioids constitute among the highest proportion of the problems related to prescription drug abuse. In fact, as early as 2002, certain cases about opioid analgesic poisoning related to mortality are more common than cocaine or heroin.

Proper Knowledge About Prescription Drugs

According to experts, there is a great lack of medication-assisted treatments in many of the settings of addiction treatment. This is where negative attitudes and stigma persist among administrators and clinic staff. Thus, it would lead to the failure of treatment and the perception that such drugs are ineffective, which would reinforce negative attitudes towards using them.

It might be very difficult to explain that prescription drugs are effective and safe, but at the same time addictive and harmful when abused. That is why there should be focused research in order to discover some targeted communication strategies to address the problem effectively. The notion to educate is a crucial component of any effort of curbing prescription medication abuse, which should be targeted in every segment of the society that should involve doctors.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that opioid medications are still gateway drugs for many, it was otherwise revealed in a report that not all of them are using prescription painkillers before they succumb to death. Therefore, it was strongly denied by Houry that such a report on reductions of prescribing opioid would increase the use of heroin or other illegal drugs.

 

Reference

https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/3/26/cdc-painkillers-no-longer-driving-opioid-epidemic

 

 

 Posted by at 2:32 pm

New Synthetic Drug U-47700 Under Scrutiny for Deaths Across the U.S.

 Designer Drugs  Comments Off on New Synthetic Drug U-47700 Under Scrutiny for Deaths Across the U.S.
Feb 102017
 

 

A highly potent, new synthetic drug has been added to the list of Schedule I drugs, after cases of deaths related from an overdose from using it were reported from different states in the U.S. This is an opioid analgesic known as U-47700. Developed in the 1970s by the pharmaceutical firm, The Upjohn Company, U-4 has a street name of “Pink” or “Pinkie.

This chemical substance was all over the headlines in the past months for the series of deaths from across the country, including the states of Utah, Mississippi and Michigan. As a result, around twelve states have requested for a ban of the drug.

In September last year, two 13-year old boys from the town of Park City, Utah, died after taking the drug. According to Wade Carpenter, Park City Police Chief, the cause of death of the two teenagers was acute intoxication of the U-47700 drug. This was derived from the results gathered from the medical examiner of the Utah Office.

The parents of the victims were clueless at first because not much evidence surfaced. But further down on the investigation, authorities were able access the social media accounts of the teens and discovered about the drug. It was later found out that it came from one of classmates of the teenagers who ordered it online.

It is said that some teenagers in the community ordered the drug from China and was shipped to the U.S. After a group of teenagers were questioned as part of the investigation, one teenager was charged with reckless endangerment and distribution of a controlled substance.

 

U-47700 Background

Created by Upjohn, the U-47700 was patented by Jacob Szmuszkivicz, a chemist, in1976. The drug was first tested on animals and it was concluded that the potency of the opioid substance was higher than morphine, albeit, it is less addictive. Originally created to be used to alleviate pain in cancer patients, injury and cancer, the drug was never tested on human beings. While it was not made available to the public, the research continued and medical journals about it were published. These journals became the basis of some drug laboratories in China and other locations for making the recreational drug with the streetname, “Pink”. This was because the journals included information on how to make the drug.

This research chemical has become a popular recreational drug because it can easily be purchased online and is relatively cheap, selling for only $30 a gram. Manufacturers are also able to get away with it because they have learned to adjust the composition of the drug that it does not match the scheduled substance.

Reported to be seven-and-a-half times more fatal than morphine, this opioid can cause respiratory distress and later, death. One person who admitted having tried U4 said that the drug gives a feeling of relaxation and laziness. But experts also warned that the potency of the substance is based on the exact measurements stated in the patent and that other manufacturers do not follow the dosage, thus, users end up coming up with a more fatal substance.

Although it is now in the Schedule I Drugs List, it is too early to consider this new recreational drug as illegal. Meanwhile, U-47700 was also said to have been found, along with Fentanyl as one of the drugs in the estate of icon singer, Prince, who died from drug overdose.

 

Reference

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/11/03/tests-confirm-utah-teens-overdosed-on-new-synthetic-drug.html

 

 Posted by at 10:39 am

Increase in Number of Prescription Opioid Poisonings in Children

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Increase in Number of Prescription Opioid Poisonings in Children
Jan 032017
 

A study was conducted about opioid poisoning and the results found an increase in the number of young children and teenagers being victims of ingesting these painkiller drugs that were supposedly for the medication of other members of the family.

This was revealed by head of the study, postdoctoral fellow, Julie Gaither, from Yale School of Public Health. She said that with the enormous number of opioids in households, these children gain access to these prescription medicines.

The mortality rate of children with opioid poisoning-related deaths in the last six years, from 1997 to 2012 was high with 176 deaths while the incidence increased to 165%. This information was gathered from the available data recorded until 2012 which means that for the last four years, the trends in terms of awareness and the prescription of opioids are not available.

To conduct the study, more than 13,000 records from hospital discharges and census date covering the six years were examined to extrapolate rates and the study was then published in JAMA Pediatrics. Conversely, in relation to drug abuse and addiction in adults, the rates are still high although findings show a decrease in the trend.

In the study, researchers also posit that the number of teenagers at risk for opioid overdose, deliberately or otherwise are also increasing since this age group are high risks for suicide and depression, with around 10 out of 100,000 teenagers treated for drug-related poisoning in 2012.

It also found evidence that teenagers may also be leaning towards taking heroin since drug regulations have made it difficult to get prescriptions for opiates with heroin-related hospital cases from aged 15 to 19 increasing by 161%.

As for hospitalized toddlers with opioid-poisoning cases, the rates have also increased from 0.86 to 2.62 for every 100,000 children. This was attributed to the fact that most of these kids thought these drugs were candies.

Gaither recommends that medical practitioners should educate patients on proper storage of drugs. Moreover, she and her co-authors mentioned that this suggestion should coincide with addressing the problem of over-prescription of drugs.

The study also came up with findings that doctors prescribing drugs to children, particularly adults, should be more careful about this practice since there have been reports of high school students who deliberately took opioids prescribed to them for no medical reason at all. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics noted the increase in the number of young patients being prescribed with painkillers in the 1990s and 2000s.

However, Stanford Medicine physician, Jonathan Chen, thinks otherwise. According to him, asking doctors to teach patients about drug storage in the home might not be possible since these doctors already have a lot of issues to discuss with their patients and should not be expected to always be able to consider the possibility of drugs lying around the house and be taken by other family members. Chen said that while the idea is theoretically good, this might not be possible to be carried out.

For Dr. Julie Gaither, however, it is still crucial for doctors to take children into consideration and the toll opioid-poisoning related to prescription drugs has on their health.

 

 Posted by at 4:48 pm

Carfentanil Has Been Unleashed

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on Carfentanil Has Been Unleashed
Oct 262016
 

A couple of months ago, the powerful sedative, Carfentanil, was all over the Internet. The powerful drug was being linked to the numerous deaths from overdose in the Midwest. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has declared that this is the most potent opioid sold commercially on a global scale.

This synthetic opioid is considered 10,000 more potent than morphine, 50 times deadlier than heroin and 100 times stronger than the prescription painkiller, Fentanyl, which took the life of popular singer Prince this year.

Back in August, there were at least 92 cases of drug overdose in Cincinnati and it was believed that these were not only due to heroin but also to the deadly drug, Carfentanil. According to reports, drug dealers deliberately combine the drug with heroin or make them into pills. These drugs, in turn, are sold to buyers without disclosing the presence of the synthetic opioid.

Head of the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force in this part of Ohio, Police Chief Tom Synan of Newton, reported that the commercial opioid made its way to the county in July and the officers who responded to the calls were swarmed with cases. He said that calls were continuous and that in one shift, 14 cases came from just one district. The mere touch or inhalation of the opioid is so deadly that health practitioners who attended to the patients in emergency rooms as well as the first responders had to wear gloves and masks.

According to Synan, what used to be four to five overdose cases in a day grew to 20 to 50 overdoses. It was only a few years back when drug traffickers replaced heroin and other street drugs with Fentanyl.

elephant-down

 

How strong is Carfentanil?

This dangerous drug is not fit for human consumption and is only used in animals for sedation. These large animals include buffalos, moose and elephants. If two milligrams of the opioid is administered to a 2,000-pound African elephant, this small amount can totally knock the animal down. In regard to people, a dose of this drug which is as small as a grain of salt can kill a human being.  A failed hostage rescue operation in Moscow was a proof of this. This was after more than 100 hostages died after Russian Special Forces team sprayed a chemical aerosol in a theater. It was revealed that the chemical had Carfentanil as one of the components.

The drug used to reverse the effects of opioids, Naloxone, is also used to save a person who overdoses from it. Tim Ingram, the commissioner of Hamilton County Health, also said that while it takes a longer time for a person who took the opioid to metabolize the drug in the body, this results to getting high for a longer time. Sadly, it also makes it harder for health practitioners to revive a person who gets overdosed.

Spokesman for the DEA, Russ Baer, says that Carfentanil is sold online and comes from China or is distributed by drug traffickers from Mexico. Meanwhile, Ingram expressed that there should be tougher penalties in selling Carfentanil. With the current policy about drugs, selling them in the street is not considered a violent crime.

 

Reference

http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/09/02/64245/an-even-deadlier-opioid-carfentanil-is-hitting-the/

 

 Posted by at 1:58 pm

Drug Addicted Newborns

 Drug Addiction  Comments Off on Drug Addicted Newborns
Sep 072016
 

Among the many issues regarding the rising drug abuse problems in the US, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has been one that has been making headlines today. As described by medical experts, NAS is a cluster of symptoms a newly born baby shows from withdrawing from drugs the mother used during pregnancy. In Tennessee, there seems to be an epidemic of this condition, as a substantial number of newborns have become tangled in the complex web of opioid addiction. According to recent official data, already 485 newborns in the state have been diagnosed with NAS this year.

newborn-crying

Neonatal specialist at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Dr. Des Bharti, said that infants who are born with NAS could also be addicted to certain drugs, ranging from anti-depressants to narcotics, and the condition is sometimes difficult to treat after birth. These babies are then admitted to a hospital and would typically stay there for as long as 3 weeks, where treatment can cost more than $45,000 per child.

Commenting on this, Bharti said, “Our basic idea of admitting them to the hospital here is to treat them with the medication or without medication and make sure they are comfortable and stable at the time of discharge. When we do treat them with drugs, our idea is to bring them to a state where they can be managed at home.” However, it is important to note that some cases are more difficult to treat than others.

The number of infants born with NAS in Tennessee has increased eleven folds since 1999, according to reports, ranking the state as having the highest percentage of NAS births in the country. Now, efforts have been made to address the issue, with medical professionals, like the Sullivan County Health Department health nurse Joy McLain, stating that the task is not easy.

As you can see, Sullivan County is one of the most heavily affected areas in the state. McLain stated that the medical community has been doing their best to fight the growing epidemic in the area over the last 2 years, with the health department helping the community through schools, churches, anti-drug coalition programs and methadone clinics to educate women about pregnancy and NAS. Now, such efforts seemed to have paid up, with recent data showing the epidemic growth rate to be slowing down from last year.

McLain added that a big contributor to the epidemic is the culture and belief that “everything can be fixed with a pill”. While changing culture is no easy feat, she is hopeful that the continuous efforts to fight addiction, combined with proper communication and communal understanding of the problem, will see even better results in the next few years. She said, “Addiction is one thing that isn’t picky about who it chooses. It crosses all socioeconomic barriers, so it’s something that we all have to participate in the discussion.”

It is important to note that communication with health professionals will be the key in helping pregnant women struggling with substance abuse deal with their problem and in fighting NAS.

 

Reference

http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Local/2016/07/31/Drug-addicted-newborns-Our-most-vulnerable-victims-of-prescription-drug-abuse.html?ci=featured&lp=4&ti

 

 Posted by at 9:57 am

First Implant for Opioid Addiction

 Opioid Addiction  Comments Off on First Implant for Opioid Addiction
Aug 042016
 

opioid-addiction-implant
A development in the drive to battle addiction to opioids recently came up. The Food and Drug Administration had already given its approval on what can be considered a breakthrough in medicine – the first implant treatment for opioid dependence. This is what is referred to as the Probuphine device.

Although there are already available medicines that will reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, this implant is the first of its kind. Probuphine has already been in existence for more than a decade. For 14 years, patients have been taking this prescribed medicine orally and Probuphine has been an effective drug to manage withdrawal symptoms of heroin and painkiller addicts.

This subdermal implant will be marketed in the United States by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals and will need to be done by trained healthcare providers, particularly physicians who have to be certified to insert these implants on patients. Also, it will not be available in pharmacies and will only be dispensed with prescription.

Supporters of the use of this prescribed drug say that the procedure will make the drug out of reach of children who are at risk to accidentally ingesting the drug in oral form. Apart from this, probuphine also offer other benefits such as providing correct and ample levels of buprenorphine and ensuring patient compliance. It is also given once every six months in an outpatient setting, making it convenient.

However, not all patients can be candidates for the procedure as per the FDA approval. Only those who belong to the category where dependency to buprenorphine has already been minimized to at least 8 milligrams or less are considered although trained health care providers who are certified to perform the procedure can give it to new users of the drug as well as other off-label users.

Understanding Opioid Addiction

Addiction is characterized by cravings and is a chronic disease of brain reward, memory and motivation. It can also manifest lack of impulse control. Opioid addiction is a medical condition that is considered to be an increasing global problem. The use of oral buprenorphine is considered as an effective treatment in managing this medical condition but it does not come without disadvantages such as possible abuse and incorrect dosage of the medication.

The patient will be given four implants of small sticks that are around 26 millimeters in length and will be inserted in the upper arm. The simple procedure will only take less than a quarter of an hour to finish.

The approval by the FDA of the implant will have an impact on the prevalence of opioid addiction in the U.S. with a recorded number of more than 80 people overdosing from opioids. Developed by Titan Pharmaceuticals, the marketing of Probuphine by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals is under a license agreement between the two pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, the first series of Probuphine implant trainings will be conducted in San Juan Puerto Rico from August 5-7 for qualified health care providers. In the U.S., more than 4,000 doctors have already expressed their interest to get certified to insert and remove the implant.

 

Reference

http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/27/fda-probuphine-opioid-addiction/

 

 Posted by at 9:56 am