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Suboxone & buprenorphine: Addiction treatment with a dark side

from The New York Times

Surpassing well-known medications like Viagra and Adderall, Suboxone generated $1.55 billion in United States sales last year, its success fueled by the embrace of federal officials who helped finance its development and promoted it as a safer, less stigmatized alternative to methadone. But more than a decade after Suboxone went on the market, and with the Affordable Care Act poised to bring many more addicts into treatment, the high hopes have been tempered by a messy reality. Suboxone and its primary ingredient, buprenorphine, have become both medication and dope: a treatment with considerable successes and also failures, as well as a street and prison drug bedeviling local authorities. It has attracted unscrupulous doctors and caused more health complications and deaths than its advocates acknowledge. more

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