Urban, suburban and rural counties all have experienced significant growth in deadly drug overdoses, according to data from the Pew Research Center. During 2016, counties that are considered suburban have experienced the most overall drug overdose-related fatalities. Due to these sobering numbers, the vast majority of Americans understand that drug addiction is a major problem in their community.

At the Columbus Addiction Center, located in Columbus, Ohio, we understand the complexities of drug addiction. Ohio is one of the many states that has struggled with the problem of opioid drug addiction. It is a chronic illness that creates obsessive and uncontrollable habits along with negative consequences. The addiction induced brain changes often lead to self-destructive behaviors for the individuals suffering from the disease. Unlike some other diseases, drug addiction has a relapsing effect which makes it hard to completely cure the disease.

This is due to the fact that over a period of time, drug use becomes more of a compulsive behavior. Long-term drug use actually changes the part of the brain responsible for reward, pleasure, memory and motivation. This re-wiring of the brain makes drug addiction especially challenging to treat since this disease simultaneously affects the brain and behavior. Opioid-drug addiction is treatable, but it requires a long-term commitment. The vast majority of recovering users will need long-term care and support if they are to regain control of their lives.

With this in mind, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a 5-point strategy for combating the opioid drug crisis. The five Betters that the HHS has proposed are:

  • Better addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services
  • Better data
  • Better pain management
  • Better targeting of overdose-reversing drugs
  • Better research

This five-point strategy is a step in the right direction, but what people need who are suffering from the effects of drug addiction are solutions that work.

The staff at Columbus Addiction Center has found that one proven solution that works is Suboxone film. In 2002, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of buprenorphine products, like Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) film, for opioid-drug addiction therapy. Suboxone film, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, provides a whole-patient approach to the treatment of opioid dependency. When taken as prescribed, this medication is safe and effective.

Suboxone is a MAT (medication-assisted treatment) and is used in order to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates, such as pain relievers like morphine. This medication offers several benefits to those with opioid dependency and to others for whom treatment in a methadone clinic is not preferred or is less convenient. Unlike older methadone-based treatments, which are performed in a highly structured clinic, Suboxone film is permitted to be prescribed or dispensed in physician offices which greatly increases treatment access.

The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000), that was passed by Congress permits qualified physicians to treat narcotic dependence with schedules III-V narcotic-controlled substances that have been approved by the FDA for that indication. Qualified physicians can now offer buprenorphine (Suboxone) for opioid dependency in various settings, including in an office, community hospital, health department, or correctional facility. In June 2018, the FDA also approved the first generic versions of Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual film (applied under the tongue) for the treatment of opioid dependence.

The success of this treatment is evident by the fact that the state of Ohio is working to significantly expand the number of doctors certified to prescribe Suboxone and other treatment drugs. Over the past year, the number of doctors certified to prescribe Suboxone and similar medications increased from roughly 1,100 to 1,800 health care providers.

There are still serious side effects from the use of buprenorphine medications like Suboxone. Due to this fact, only a qualified and legally-certified physician can legally dispense or prescribe these opioid dependency medications. For additional information or questions about this medication, contact the staff at Columbus Addiction Center.

Our office phone numbers are (614) 532-1782 or (614) 532-7299.

Treating Opioid Drug Addiction, Suboxone film, Ohio