Suboxone was heralded as being a safe way to treat heroin addition when the prescription drug was introduced in 2003. But after changes in federal laws approved the drug for outpatient use, police in Milwaukee noticed instances of suboxone abuse soon after. Suboxone appeared on the street.
How widespread is the problem of Suboxone Abuse?
A medical director at the pharmaceutical company which manufactures Suboxone reported 15 deaths, in 2009, had been attributed to suboxone abuse. In comparison to the billions of people in the U.S., this is a very small percentage of deaths. In each of the 15 deaths reported nationwide, abusers had combined Suboxone with alcohol or other drugs.
Why would anyone participate in suboxone abuse?
For recreational users, Suboxone combined with alcohol, can produce euphoric effects. Suboxone, by itself, produces euphoric effects. But, the results are short-lived. This is why other sedatives and alcohol are combined with Suboxone to produce deeper, longer periods of euphoria. With combined with other drugs, Suboxone can increase the risk of suppressing breathing and slowing heart rate. This is why the potential to suffer an overdose and the notion of suboxone abuse is a real threat.
What are law enforcement officials doing to curb suboxone abuse?
Undercover detectives have been trying to discourage suboxone abuse by arresting would-be dealers through sting operations. Law enforcement officials aren’t surprised to see suboxone abuse in the streets. It is a drug and any drug can be abused. As recreational users find new uses for new prescription drugs approved for outpatient use, officials are hoping suboxone abuse will cease to be a problem.
Do the benefits of using Suboxone outweigh the possibility of suboxone abuse?
In 2009, more than 1,500 patients in Wisconsin were treated using suboxone. These drug treatment programs aimed at stopping opioid abuse usually take from three to six months to complete. Then patients stop using Suboxone and continue their recovery drug-free. Counselors in the Wisconsin area reported success rates ranging from 30 percent to more than 75 percent. Counselors insist there is no opportunity for suboxone abuse using Suboxone alone.
What are the signs of suboxone abuse?
Suboxone abuse is when someone ingests the drug, Suboxone, in combination with other drugs. In combination with alcohol or other drugs, Suboxone can slow breathing and lower heart rates. If you suspect someone of deliberate suboxone abuse, take the victim to a hospital. The threat of an overdose is possible.