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Suboxone is most effective in treating painkiller addiction
Date:11/7/2011

atment effectiveness and recommended abstinence and self-help participation. Fifty percent of study participants also received additional more intensive individual addiction counseling.

According to Weiss, 49 percent of patients benefitted from Suboxone during a 12-week course of the medication. However, once the medication was discontinued, patients had a high rate of relapse. Monitored in four week increments, individuals showed an increasing rate of relapse the longer they remained off Suboxone. Another interesting finding, noted Weiss was that neither having chronic pain, nor participation in intensive addiction counseling affected the participant's success rate.

"We were surprised by some of these findings because there was an overall assumption that this populationthose who have had little to no exposure to heroinwould do better in terms of not needing long-term medication intervention," said Weiss. "It is clear that given the prescription drug abuse epidemic, we need to continue to look at the viability of longer-term use of Suboxone and whether it can continue to provide sustained recovery from addiction to pain medications."

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 1.9 million people in the United States meet abuse or dependence criteria for prescription pain relievers. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that annually, more people die from prescription painkiller overdoses than from heroin and cocaine combined.


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Contact: Adriana Bobinchock
abobinchock@partners.org
617-855-2110
McLean Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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