Educational Essays – Introduction
To gain a thorough understanding of how Buprenorphine treatment can help people
addicted to opioids, you must have an understanding of opioids, addiction, stereotypes,
existing treatments, and some basic pharmacology. The text contained in this section
is a collection of articles meant to give an overview and to aid in understanding these
issues so that you can completely understand the scope of today's opioid addiction
problems. Here you will learn the definitions of opioids and opiates, what opioid
addiction is and what it is like, and the difference between physical dependence and
addiction. A brief history of opioids and addiction will help you understand why opium
and substances derived from it became a "drug" while tobacco did not. It covers the
stereotypes of the drug addicted and explains the events that help shape our image
of the addicted. This website offers information on the most up to date, scientific
approach to the treatment of Opioid addiction.
Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone) received approval by the FDA on October 8, 2002. It is state-of-the-art medication to treat the medical
condition of Opioid addiction. It is improving the quality of life for patients in recovery and giving them hope, dignity, and the ability to have a
normal life again.
There has been much damage done by the negative stereotype of addiction. Even the medical profession has held a negative stereotype causing
resistance to getting involved in helping people with this brain disease. Until recently, the image of a weak morally depraved person has encouraged
a punitive perspective and slowed science and research of this medical condition.
The following is a thorough explanation of physical dependence and addiction and how buprenorphine works to treat it. Finally, there is a day-by-day
and week-to-month description of what to expect when starting Buprenorphine treatment.
The key to solving the problem of addiction is in understanding and education.
Opioids are a family of drugs consisting
of those derived from opium and of those
synthesized in a lab to emulate the effects
This is a physical condition; not caused by
lack of morals, nor controlled by willpower,
nor cured by good advice. It is a disease
as is diabetes or cancer.
Brief History of Opioid Addiction
Every American has been touched by addiction
in some way, whether it was an addicted
parent or child or in the form of higher health
costs, insurance, or taxes. Addiction costs this
country in excess of $400 billion a year...
Breaking the Stereotype
The stereotypical view of a drug user is a
morally weak person with no willpower or
sense of responsibility, a dishonest self-
centered, entitled parasite, worthless to
society. This view is expected;
Opioid receptor is empty – As someone
becomes tolerant to opioids, they become
less sensitive and require more opioids to
produce the same effect.
Technical Explanation of Buprenorphine
Most of the information contained in this
section is excerpts from the TIP 40 publication
(treatment improvement protocol) issued by
the U.S. Department of HHS, SAMHSA, CSAT.
Behavior Modification and the Brain
In 2000, the BBC published a news story on
the brains of the famed London taxi drivers.
Taxi drivers in London must memorize an
incredible amount of information in order to
get their livery licenses...
Opiates are drugs derived from opium.
At one time "opioids" referred to synthetic
opiates only (drugs created to emulate
opium, however different chemically).
Now the term Opioid is used for the entire
family of opiates including natural, synthetic
What it is Like to be Addicted
Opiate addiction is a brain disease
characterized by increased tolerance
leading to more and more substance
needed to achieve the same effect.
Also, there is continued use of substance
despite negative consequences...
The Birth of a Stereotype
For thousands of years opium was used as
a medicine and relieved the suffering of
many people for many aliments. There
were few cures so relieving suffering until
the inevitable end was welcome treatment.
A significant breakthrough in the treatment
of opioid addiction occurred with the
introduction of methadone in the 1960s.
Modern Addicted Treatment
Jose was running low on his substance of
choice (S.O.C.) one day; soon he would
exhaust his supplies. He began to plot and
scheme as to how to obtain more.
Pharmacology of Buprenorphine
Buprenorphine is a thebaine derivative that
is legally classified as a narcotic. It is
available in numerous countries for
use as an analgesic.
What is Buprenorphine Treatment Like?
From preparation to staying drug free, the
following is an in-depth look at what to
expect from Buprenorphine Treatment.