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The National Alliance of Advocates
for Buprenorphine Treatment

Buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®3, Zubsolv®4, Bunavail™5, Probuphine®6) is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction in the privacy of a physician's office.1 Buprenorphine can be dispensed for take-home use, by prescription.1 This, in addition to the pharmacological and safety profile of buprenorphine, makes it an attractive treatment for patients addicted to opioids.2

Patient Stories

"I would say if you are addicted to opiates to please give Suboxone a try – if you have tried every other way and failed first. Bupe isn’t for everyone but it works wonders for me..."

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I am Keith from around Pittsburgh, PA. Well let’s see, my first ever opiate was a small line of crushed Percocet®, it wasn’t enough to make me high but I had a feeling. Later that year I stole a whole bottle from my grandpa and snorted all of them in 4 days. That was my beginning.

Keith's DogMore on down the road, my friend’s dad had a lot of problems pain-wise. He was prescribed tons of Vicodin® ES but never took it. So I started hanging out with that friend and stole his dad’s Vicodin and Lortabs®. I became addicted very fast and also drank and smoked pot. I figured out a way to pop out my shoulder and keep it out. I used this to go to many Emergency Rooms and obtain high doses of opiates for pain and sedation to put my arm back in. To this day, I still regret doing that. That was the beginning of complete demoralization for me.

After my first shoulder surgery in 2003, I recovered from that well with a bottle of 10mg Percocet. I bribed the doctor as much as I could to get more. He wouldn’t budge, so naturally I went to another doctor. The next doctor I went to wanted to do surgery right away. I let him, so later that year I had shoulder operation number two. I recovered from that well with OxyContin® 20mg and Oxy IR 5mg for a month. I bribed this doctor, and he sent me to a pain clinic. That was the beginning of the end, lol.

I lasted one or two months at that pain clinic. I was called in for a pill count and couldn’t produce, so I got booted. Now with nothing to do for pills I begin hitting up ERs all the time. Probably 4 times a week I’d go to one of the 13 ERs around here.

Before all of this, I had started studying emergency medicine and got to know all the ER doctors around the area. So I used that to the best of my ability. Although after a few years, they caught on. But I was still able to get a few hours supply of pills upon leaving.

I have been through a lot because of my addiction. Of course I stole from people, lied and cheated and did whatever I could not to be sick. I robbed one lady that was friends with my aunts and took, altogether, 3,000 pills of OxyContin, oxycodone, Vicodin, Lortab, Percocet, Tylox®, some benzos and other meds. She was a pain patient and had a bad condition. I still thank God today that I never got a felony charge for that.

In 2004 I had my third and final surgery on my shoulder. Because no doctor in the Pittsburgh area would touch me, I had it done at the Cleveland Clinic. I became a pain patient there, but was unable to get narcotics for some reason, so I continued going to several ERs to support my addiction. I had gotten 2 DUIs and was on probation. So in 2005 I start taking tramadol and buying it offline, I was still taking everything else on top of the tramadol.

When I tried quitting opiates in 2005, my family doctor prescribed Subutex®. The dose he gave me wasn’t enough and I relapsed. Plus, I did not want to quit then. He tried Suboxone® next and when I was caught at an ER later that week he dropped me as a patient.

In August 2006 I had a grand mal seizure and got admitted to the hospital. I went through withdrawals and went straight to a rehab where I started bupe. I knew right there, after letting that pill dissolve, I was going to be on this for a while. After three days at the rehab, they tried to wean me down, so I left. I got my own bupe doctor, and I have been addiction-free ever since. Bupe is a great medication if you are ready to put your addiction into remission. I have been to a total of seven rehabs, my story isn’t very detailed of that, but I had tried to quit several times and was unsuccessful.

I would say if you are addicted to opiates to please give bupe a try – if you have tired every other way and failed first. Bupe isn’t for everyone but it works wonders for me, along with working 12-step programs actively. I have happiness in my heart that is there and is not just there for a few hours like when misusing my DOC. I enjoy life today. I'm happy and free. Bupe and working a recovery program has saved this hopeless person’s life. Thanks.

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The Purpose of Buprenorphine Treatment:

To suppress the debilitating symptoms of cravings and withdrawal, enabling the patient to engage in therapy, counseling and support, so they can implement positive long-term changes in their lives which develops into the new healthy patterns of behavior necessary to achieve sustained addiction remission. - explain -

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment is a non-profit organization charged with the mission to:

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA Talk Paper, T0238, October 8, 2002, Subutex and Suboxone approved to treat opiate dependence.
  2. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 40. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 04-3939. Rockville, Md: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004.
  3. Subutex Discontinued in the US market in late 2011.
  4. Zubsolv (bup/nx sublingual tablet) FDA approved 7/3/2013 see buprenorphine pipeline graphic -in pharmacies now.
  5. Bunavail (bup/nx bucal film) FDA approved 6/6/2014 see buprenorphine pipeline graphic -in pharmacies now.
  6. Probuphine FDA approved 5/26/2016 - FDA Probuphine press release