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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

What are the statistics with regard to opioid addiction and use in the US?

According to the January 2003 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Report published by SAMHSA's OAS, the incidence of abuse of prescription opioid pain medications (also known as narcotic analgesics) such as hydrocodone and oxycodone has risen markedly in recent years (Crane 2003). From 1994 to 2001, there was a 117% increase in emergency room visits related to opioid analgesic abuse. According to the DAWN Mortality Data Report for 2002 (SAMHSA 2002), hydrocodone ranked among the 10 most common drugs related to deaths in 18 cities. Oxycodone ranked among the 10 most common drugs related to deaths in 19 cities, including Philadelphia (88), Baltimore (34), Boston (34), Phoenix (34), and Miami (28).


According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), there were an estimated 810,000 to 1,000,000 individuals addicted to heroin in the US in the year 2000 - which is the highest number since the mid-to-late 1970s (ONDCP 2003). Several factors have contributed to this increase. Historically, heroin purity has been less than 10 percent. By the late 1990s, however, purity was between 50 and 80 percent.


Because individuals can become addicted to or overdose from heroin taken via any route, the increase in the type and number of routes used has lead to a rise in new cases of heroin addiction across all socio-demographic categories.


The rise of heroin use appears to be a national phenomenon in the United States. Heroin overdose deaths have risen sharply, as have emergency department admissions involving heroin. The most recent data comes from SAMHSA's DAWN reports, which can be accessed via the web at the following sites:

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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