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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

"My only regret with Suboxone is that I didn't try it sooner. My advice to anyone that is struggling with an addiction is to give it a try. I also believe that therapy is a very important part of recovery."

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womanI'm 30 years old, married with one child, and I'm a stay-at-home mom. I am addicted to hydrocodone, and I will be for the rest of my life. I took my first Vicodin® about 5 years ago for back pain. I did not abuse it right away, but I did notice how much I liked the way they made me feel. I didn't even use them on a regular basis. About 6 months later I had surgery to get breast implants and it was very painful. The doctor gave me 60 pain pills. I started feeling better but kept on taking the pills anyway, and from that point on I never stopped. As time went on, my tolerance got higher and higher, and before I knew it I was taking anywhere between 20-30 of the 7.5/750mg Vicodin.

During this time I began to isolate my friends and family. I lied to everyone. I was the head of the PTA at my child's school, I was taking karate lessons, I volunteered, and I was a part-time student. I slowly quit doing all of it because the pills were more important to me. I was a very active mom, always hosting sleepovers and play dates, and I became the druggie mom on the couch that just wanted to sleep. My life revolved around waiting for the FedEx or UPS truck to pull up and deliver my next bottle of Vicodin. When I would run out early I'd get very sick and my husband would have to miss work to take care of our son. I hated myself so much and the guilt and shame I was feeling was so overwhelming that it just made my addiction stronger. I felt alone and so very ashamed.

My husband knew I was addicted but didn't know the extent of it, and about a year ago he asked me and I came clean about it. I also came clean to my therapist as well. They both said they would support me in what ever I needed to do to get clean. I was so ready to be clean. I had tried so many time by myself to taper but I just wasn't strong enough. So I went to a detox clinic and started on Suboxone. The program was for 4 days on the Suboxone® to help the withdrawal process. A month later I was back on Vicodin and I picked up right where I left off. I tried Suboxone again 3 months later and a few days after I was done with the sub I became very ill from something unrelated and spent a week in the hospital on very heavy pain meds. When I came out of the hospital they sent me home with a prescription for Vicodin! I spent the next month back on them and then I went back on Suboxone.

My history proved the time on Suboxone was just too short. So I'm now on a maintenance dose of 2mg of Suboxone and it's been 3 months since I've taken a Vicodin!! The first month I still had bad cravings and the second month it got a little easier but I still thought about them. The third month I had no cravings. I feel really good. I'm back to doing all the things I use to do. I don't feel anything from the Suboxone except normal. I can look at myself in the mirror again and feel good about it. I have my life back. More important, my son has his mother back!

I don't listen to any negative stuff people say about Suboxone. I listen to my doctor and I listen to myself. As of right now I know I'm not ready to stop taking Suboxone and I don't know if I will ever be able to. I have no problem using Suboxone for maintenance for the rest of my life if it will keep me from going back to Vicodin. My only regret with Suboxone is that I didn't try it sooner. My advice to anyone that is struggling with an addiction is to give it try. I also believe that therapy is a very important part of recovery. I went through a lot of emotional ups and downs through out this whole experience. It has helped so much to have my therapist there to help me understand my addiction and deal with the guilt and shame that came along with it. I know that with out a doubt I would still be abusing pain pills if I didn't have sub and therapy.

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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