A Powerful Drug Must Be Taken Under Medical Care to Prevent Dangers

Suboxone is a powerful drug used to lessen withdrawal symptoms from other opioids. It has been on the market only since the early 21st Century. In that time, it has proven itself a worthy adversary to drug addiction.

Recognition of the urgent public health need for opioid-dependence treatment alternatives was one of the reasons SUBOXONE was developed in cooperation with the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

The appeal of opioids has existed for many years. They are very effective and usually well-tolerated painkillers. Modern research continues to develop long-lasting and even more powerful medications, and many of them are opioid based.

Although Suboxone itself was created to help stem abuse of other drugs, it can prove addictive. Its potential for abuse comes from the stresses of life and people’s attempts to cover up their tensions and ease their pains. Suboxone’s manufacturers have taken steps to reduce the possibilities of its abuse.

According to the US government, approximately two million Americans were either dependent or actively abusing heroin and other strong drugs by 2003. At the same time Suboxone went on the market to treat opioid dependency. It can now be prescribed for use away from medical settings, the same as is true for other medicines.

Buprenorphine is Suboxone’s major ingredient. It is one of the partial agonists that decrease a body’s receptor activation. It can be contrasted with oxycodone and heroin which are both full opioid agonists.

Suboxone’s formula also includes naloxone, an opioid antagonist. Together, the ingredients create a more subtle opioid effect in the body. Suboxone does not give the user as great a feeling of euphoria as other powerful drugs like heroin.

When it is taken as prescribed by letting the tablets dissolve under the tongue, enough buprenorphine enters the system so that withdrawal from other drugs is lessened. There is a danger, however, for people who inject Suboxone. This releases bigger doses of the naloxone and that cuts off the effects of the buprenorphine.

Suboxone abusers injecting the medicine may find themselves going into unexpected withdrawal from the other drugs. They may shoot up more Suboxone. This can lead to dangerous overdosing.

The patient gets the full effects of the buprenorphine when Suboxone is taken properly. Injecting the medicine can release more of the naloxone which cuts down on the effectiveness of the buprenorphine. People who are already dependent on a drug such as heroin may go into withdrawal symptoms which can mimic those of overdose.

Medical supervision is an important factor in successful use of Suboxone. Used as indicated, it has proven very effective in its mission of treating dependence on other drugs. In 2000 the National Addiction Treatment Act went into effect, giving doctors the right to use regulated opioids in their offices for treatment of drug dependency.

Before then, opioids had to be administered in hospitals. The need was great at the start of the 21st Century for addiction treatments. Opioid dependency was charted at 18 percent of all substance abuse treatment admissions.

That figure exceeded that for cocaine admissions for five years running. Today the government says that some 1.2 million people in the U.S. are dependent on opioids. They are the ones not seeking treatment.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc., the manufacturers of Suboxone, are doing all they can to improve the safe use of Suboxone. They are focused on a care model so that patients and their medical providers are aware of the best uses of the medicine and of its potential hazards. The company continues to emphasize education and awareness so that more people can receive the help they need. When taken properly, Suboxone can ease the suffering of many people addicted to drugs.

Leadership Development: Don’t Abuse the Power Drug

“IMF chief jailed on sexual assault charges.” The headline was splashed across newspapers and websites around the world. If you’re not familiar with the event, the now former head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested in New York City for an alleged sexual assault against a hotel worker. The story became the subject of conversation around the dinner table with friends the other day, as I’m sure it has at many tables around the world. A friend wondered how a person could reach a point where they believed such behavior was acceptable.

Unfortunately, we’ve all seen this before. There’s an old saying that the higher you go, the harder you fall – and the bigger splash you make when you hit – but look at leaders at much lower levels to understand how this behavior develops.

First, let’s be clear that, at least in this country’s system of jurisprudence, the accused is not guilty just because he was charged. His guilt or innocence is for a court to decide. But, from what I read, it seems pretty likely that the accused did at least take some inappropriate liberties with a worker. Why would he do such a thing? Why jeopardize a seemingly distinguished career? Did he not consider the potentially disastrous consequences?

Probably not. When I first attained a leadership position that afforded me a little bit of power I noticed that there was a personal affect beyond just the responsibility that came with the position. People treated me differently. They tended to defer to me in some situations and those whose professional future I could affect were eager to do whatever they could to make me happy. Now let me emphasize that this position afforded me only a little bit of power. As I observed my peers, I saw different ways of handling the small amount of clout we all had. Most were humble and used that influence to further their organization’s goals and help their people. Unfortunately, though, a few became intoxicated with the perquisites. As I observed those in positions above me, who had more power, I saw the same thing. It was interesting to note that the higher and more powerful the position the more likely it was that those who didn’t handle the power well earlier became even more arrogant and displayed an attitude of entitlement.

That’s when leaders get in trouble. Power can be an addictive drug. Like many narcotics, it can be used to do wonderful things, or it can be abused, leading it’s victims to ruin. This drug can lead to a feeling of entitlement, making the abuser feel immune to the rules as they apply to everyone else. Oddly enough, there are always plenty of examples to demonstrate that leaders are not immune. When leaders ignore the warnings they themselves became an example for those who replace them after they fall.

As leaders, we must resist the temptations that come with power, starting at the lowest leadership positions. That means training new leaders in the need for restraint. As Obi Wan said in Star Wars, “Use your power for good, not evil.”

Opioid Drugs Intended For Cancer Pain Now Being Prescribed Elsewhere

Going through a disease like cancer can involve excruciating pain, and doctors will often prescribe painkillers to help victims of the disease to manage it. Over the years, powerful painkillers based on the opioid family of chemicals have been developed, and doctors often prescribe this type of drug to cancer patients.

The problem with opioid drugs, however, is that they are incredibly addictive. They come from the same family of drugs as morphine, opium and heroin. They can give relief from pain, but users often end up abusing the drugs as well. Patients that are prescribed the drugs often find that they have become tolerant to their prescribed doses, so they try to start taking more of the drugs than is safe.

In other cases, people get a hold of the drugs even when they have never been patients and never had the drugs prescribed to them. These pills can simply be swallowed, but they often will take effect slowly because that is how they are designed. In order to get a faster rush from the pills, users can also crush up the pills and snort them or dissolve them in water and try to inject them. These create a bigger, more intense rush and also get the person addicted faster.

An Increase in Non-cancer Related Prescriptions

Studies from the Daily Science have shown that the number of patients going to doctors with symptoms of pain have stayed at a relatively level proportion over the past decade. Even while the proportionate number of these visits has not gone up, the prescription patterns have changed dramatically. Doctors today are prescribing many more opioid-based painkillers than non-opioid based drugs. Even when these drugs were originally meant for cancer-related pain, doctors are also now prescribing them for a variety of other conditions with other causes.

If you have a lot of back pain, doctors from ten or twenty years ago might have had a variety of different remedies to advise you with. There is a much greater chance today, however, that doctors will give you powerful painkillers like Oxycontin or Vicodin to deal with it. Even dentists will give out prescriptions for these powerful drugs to deal with the pain of dental work.

The result of this change in prescription patters is that there are a lot more people out there with access to powerful drugs. Painkiller abuse is the fastest growing category of abuse in many states, and it doesn’t help that doctors are actually the source of many of the pills that Americans are abusing.

Ways to Stem the Tide

One of the best ways to control or stop the expansion of any category of drug use is to look at where those drugs are coming from. With many categories of drug use, that can be incredibly difficult to do, but authorities have had success at limiting the expansion of some drugs like meth. Law enforcement has to do a lot of street-level work to shut down the labs that produce these powerful and dangerous drugs, but they are making great strides in doing so.

The advantage we have in dealing with prescription drug abuse is that the main source of the drugs (doctors and pharmacies) are members of a highly regulated and controlled industry that can easily have laws and reforms applied to it. Recognizing that the heightened levels of prescription drug abuse in this country largely have their beginnings in the prescription patterns of doctors, we can start to make the needed reforms in the offices of these doctors to see real change in our country.