The Facts: Part l
Suboxone is More Effective and Safer than 28 Day Abstinence Based Treatment Programs
Much of the problem comes from those people who still believe that because Suboxone and Sublocade are themselves opioids, and the fuzzy incorrect notion that anyone using these medications is not “clean and sober”. Clean and sober are not medical terms. People who use them are sadly missing the point.
Opioid Addiction is a Lethal Disease that kills over 3,200 Floridians a year.
Nearly 300 of our family, friends, and neighbors overdose daily, and nearly 10 die each day in the Sunshine State.
Opioid addiction is the number 1 killer of people under the age of 50.
People treated in 28 day abstinence only programs, have 32 times the risk of overdose death within 4 months of becoming clean and sober in these programs then those not treated or who drop out, and 8 times the risk of overdose death within the first year. Yet a proven medical treatment that can prevent many of these overdoses and overdose deaths is misunderstood and unfairly maligned. Simply put, Suboxone saves lives, yet it is sadly underutilized. Addiction-free and addiction remission is not defined by clean, sober or abstinence the buzz words used by a failed and ineffective opioid treatment system.
The drug-treatment industry is also resistant to Suboxone because of its self-serving bias against a medical approach to treating opioid addiction. Opposition to Suboxone, truly a lifesaving medication, comes from those 90 % of all addiction treatment programs that remain insistently and irritatingly wed to an abstinence-only based, 12-step approach to opioid addiction recovery. They ignore the fact that over 90 percent of graduates” from 28 Day Abstinence- Based only Opioid Rehab Programs or Detox Programs relapse in the first year, and many of these die of preventable opioid overdose
Sadly, standard opioid addiction treatment in the United States incorrectly emphasizes willpower over chemistry. To enter the drug treatment system, such as it is, literally requires a leap of faith. The system operates largely indifferent to the findings of modern medical science. Peer-reviewed scientific data and evidence-based practices do not control how rehabilitation facilities function.
The services received in most of Abstinence Based Rehab Facilities are determined by the philosophy, design and model of the treatment program, not the individualized needs of the client. This is more than just unethical. Many addiction experts see this as a form of medical malpractice.
Why Abstinence-Based Treatments Don’t Work for Opioid Addictions
Tolerance, a condition that occurs when the body gets used to an opioid so that more of the opioid is needed to achieve the same effect, can easily increase ten-fold with regular opioid use; likewise tolerance can drop back down to its original level after a period of abstinence leaving opioid users extremely vulnerable to death by opioid poisoning at this time.
“Successful” graduates of 28 day abstinence-based rehab programs and/or rapid detox programs are at the greatest risk for overdose and overdose death of any population because of lowered tolerance resulting from recent abstinence; In fact, those who continue to use heroin during 28 day treatment or drop out early are far less at risk than successful graduates of these programs.
It’s time for everyone to wake up and accept that abstinence-based treatment only works in fewer than 10 percent of opioid addicts. All properly designed prospective studies have shown that more than 90 percent of opioid addicts in abstinence-based treatment return to opioid abuse within one year. It is time to acknowledge that abstinence-only treatment is incapable of dealing with the challenges of the opioid epidemic.
Opioid Drug Overdose is the leading Cause of Death of Americans Under the age of 50
- Florida ranks as one of the top 3 states with the highest number of opioid overdose deaths;
- Opioid Addiction is a Lethal Disease that kills over 3,200 Floridians a year. Nearly 300 of our family, friends and neighbors overdose daily and nearly 10 die each day;
- Graduates” of 28 day abstinence- based treatment are 32 times more likely to die of overdose in the first 4 months and 8 times more likely to die in the first year than dependent heroin users who receive no treatment at all;
- Over 90 percent graduating” from 28 Day Abstinence- Based only Opioid Rehab Programs or Detox Programs relapse in the first year;
- Despite its failure, 90 percent of Opioid Addiction Treatment Is Abstinence Based;
- Even after Near Fatal Opioid Overdose, less than 30 percent of overdose victims are prescribed Suboxone; resulting in a very high risk of future death;
- Opioid Overdose is #5 on the “lifetime killer” list for anyone born after 2017.