Help pay for treatment by taking research surveys, while dispelling myths about buprenorphine treatment.
Physicians and counselors - please tell your patients about this opportunity
The NAABT.org home page links to current surveys conducted by researchers. These confidential surveys often pay an honorarium (usually $25-$100) which can be applied toward treatment costs. But beyond the money, patient voices need to be heard now more than ever. Recent media coverage of buprenorphine exaggerates and mischaracterizes the risks and benefits of the treatment. These surveys will gather facts to counter the erroneous assumptions made by the media.
Ongoing Buprenorphine-Patient survey: click here
We are allowing the critics and the uninformed to frame the discussion about medication-assisted treatment.
In the last 12 months we’ve seen increasing negative hype about buprenorphine which culminated in last year’s front page Sunday New York Times piece, “Addiction Treatment with a dark side”, and more recently The Christian Monitor’s article “ Drugs for treating heroin users: a new abuse problem in the making?“ Smallerpapers, bloggers, and social media continue to provide misinformation thus contributing to the confusion. Also disturbing, a growing number of journalists are content assigning equal credibility to a scientific consensus as to an anonymous individual.
Consequences from this coverage are serious and growing. Patients who need lifesaving addiction treatment are now foregoing treatment due to the fear, inaccuracies and skepticism of evidence-based addiction treatments that these articles convey. Others discontinue treatment prematurely, only to relapse soon after. This is particularly alarming considering that according to the CDC over 40 people a day die from prescription opioid overdose. Compare that with the 40 people per year claimed to be attributed, in part, to buprenorphine, and it’s clear that the greater risk lies with untreated addiction, not treatment. If this isn’t tragic enough, legislators are about to make it even worse.
Perhaps most troubling is that the majority of the recent articles squander the opportunity to improve understanding and arm patients with genuine facts so that they can make better decisions about their life. Few articles end with action steps for someone suffering from addiction. Hype and fear mongering, crowds out any useful information that might otherwise be imparted on readers and perhaps save lives.
The ongoing patient surveys are one effort to gather facts which will hopefully provide some evidence to counter the mischaracterization of buprenorphine treatment and put diversion and abuse in context with the substantial benefits. Please take the surveys and/or tell your patients about them. Ongoing surveys are always posted on the home page of NAABT.org.
Jun 25, 2014 at 7:00 AM comment