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Re: buprenorphine, legal issues Elizabeth

Posted by MB on August 10, 2001, at 11:00:43

In reply to Re: buprenorphine, legal issues desertflower, posted by Elizabeth on August 9, 2001, at 22:02:04

> I get buprenorphine as an antidepressant; it's also used for pain (although retail pharmacies won't stock it -- they'll have to special order it). Maintenance treatment of opioid dependence is a very charged political issue in the U.S.A., and people who want to get treatment have to go through a lot of hassle.

This is totally true...getting on a maintenence program with anything other than methadone or one of it's longer acting derivatives is nearly impossable. I knew a shrink that lost his job as the head of a methadone clinic becasue he was giving some of the patients codiene (it worked better for them than the methadone). Codeine is even scheduled lower than methadone. His attitude was, "what the hell's the difference???" I guess methadone (and LAAM) is the only drug US govt. wants to see used for treating addicts.

On the flip side, try to get a doctor to prescribe methadone for pain. Some of the more progressive docs might be willing to do it, but most will look at you like you're crazy. The pharmacy is likely to freak out on you too. It's as if they've divided opiates into two categories: those for addicts and those for pain.

It amazes me that a doc could prescribe buprenorphine to a patient for depression but if the same doc prescribes it to an addict for maintenence, that doc could get slapped by the DEA.

This country is so weird.




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