There is a desperate need in the United States to provide greater access to opioid use disorder treatment. At the end of the day, treating addiction is the only effective way of dealing with the epidemic ravaging families across the country. Experts wholeheartedly concur with each other: The American opioid epidemic is not something that we can arrest our way out of, and solutions are to be found in prevention and recovery efforts.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016, which was approved in both the Congress and Senate, calling for expanding access to substance use disorder treatment centers. It is well known that the vast majority of people battling addiction, never see the inside of a treatment facility, meaning that the likelihood of those people every finding recovery is diminished greatly. Recently, the President asked congress for over a billion dollars to help fund such efforts.
CARA and Buprenorphine
The Drug Policy Alliance points out that the three main takeaways from CARA, include:
- CARA supports the expansion of diversion programs, such as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, that direct people stopped by law enforcement for low-level drug law violations away from the criminal justice system and into evidence-based treatment and other services.
- CARA supports the expanded provision of buprenorphine, methadone and other forms of medication-assisted treatment, including to people involved with the criminal justice system. The vast majority of correctional facilities do not provide medication-assisted treatment despite an overwhelming need among incarcerated people and the strong evidence base supporting medication-assisted therapy to treat opioid dependence.
- CARA supports the expanded use of naloxone by first responders and community members such as family members in a position to administer naloxone to a person experiencing an opioid overdose. Naloxone effectively reverses opioid overdoses and is safe to use but people who are at-risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose often cannot access this lifesaving drug.
Buprenorphine is a drug that help people with opioid withdrawal symptoms. Ideally, after the withdrawal period is over, a patient will be tapered off of buprenorphine, commonly sold under the brand name Suboxone®. A patient or client will then invest all of their energy into working a program of recovery, in order to mitigate the risk of relapse and learn how to live a productive life. Yet, even with a program, relapse is still a real possibility, which is why there has been a call for continuing a Suboxone® regiment after treatment.
There are several problems with that line of thinking, even if it is the lesser of two evils. Buprenorphine is an opioid derivative, which does cause feelings of euphoria and will cause withdrawal symptoms when taken away. People utilizing a buprenorphine maintenance program are essentially trading one opioid for another. At Synergy Group Services, our medical staff is specifically trained and licensed in Suboxone® treatment to help our patients begin the journey of recovery, and we are fully capable of helping our patients wean off of it after detox.
Opioid Use Disorder Recovery
We understand that discontinuing Suboxone® is no easy task, but we will develop a holistic treatment program which will help you be free from Suboxone® during the course of your treatment, so that you can start your program of recovery, without the use of any mind altering substances.