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Some Details On The Buprenorphine Use In The Heroin Treatment Program In Idaho

Sep 9, 2008
Since about thirty years, methadone has been the drug of choice for the heroin treatment program in Idaho. However, in recent years, this tendency is slowly changing. About ten years ago, buprenorphine made its first foray on the scene of the heroin treatment program in Idaho. Today, its popularity has become quite widespread because of the FDA approval of two buprenorphine containing drug for heroin treatment. These are Subutex and Suboxone. Today, most centers that have a heroin treatment program in Idaho are switching over from methadone to buprenorphine. The general consumer base, i.e. the heroin addiction victims of Idaho are also generally happy with the drift towards buprenorphine usage because of the simplicity of treatment it offers in comparison to methadone.

Before understanding why buprenorphine has become so popular in the heroin treatment program in Idaho, it is important to see a thing or two about methadone.

The first thing that you should know about methadone is that it is an opioid just like heroin is. When this substance is administered to the patient, it targets the same areas of the brain and the central nervous system as heroin does and it produces a little of the same kind of effect. For that reason, as long as the person is on the methadone treatment program, he or she will not feel any temptation for using heroin. This is the reason methadone has been popularly used in the heroin treatment program in Idaho. As the patient slowly comes out of the tendency of using heroin, the dosage of methadone is gradually reduced.

But herein lies the big problem with the administration of methadone for heroin treatment. Methadone is a highly habit forming drug itself. The whole idea of the treatment of heroin addiction with methadone is to veer the person from a heroin addiction to a methadone addiction. Though it is much simpler to pull the person out of the methadone addiction, it is difficult to do so all at once. If the dosage of methadone is stopped abruptly, the person will experience withdrawal and to counter that, he or she may being taking methadone as an addictive substance and not as a cure, or might even take up the heroin addiction again.

Then there are other problems associated in using methadone for heroin treatment. Methadone reacts adversely with several prescription drugs. Hence, people who have some health complications for which they are undergoing treatment need to be extra careful.

In the heroin treatment program in Idaho, it is insisted upon that methadone be provided only in an inpatient setting through a state approved heroin treatment center. The treatment needs to be provided only through a qualified person on the subject.

Now, it can be seen why buprenorphine has gained much favor. Methadone treatment, though effective, is rife with a large number of problems. Buprenorphine is an opioid too, but it is much less habit-forming than both methadone and heroin. Hence, it can be safely administered for heroin treatment. It is not quite necessary to continuously monitor a buprenorphine treatment either, because the treatment can be provided on an outpatient basis and the substance does not interfere with other prescription drugs that the person might be taking.

The heroin treatment program in Idaho now has the federally approved Subutex and Suboxone, both of which contain buprenorphine. Subutex is a purer form of buprenorphine, while Suboxone contains naloxone in addition with buprenorphine. The purpose of the naloxone is to prevent any kind of addiction that the person might develop towards buprenorphine. Suboxone is the more preferred form of treatment because it eliminates any possibilities of the person getting hooked onto buprenorphine as a form of recreation.

It is quite fair to say that the introduction of buprenorphine in the heroin treatment program in Idaho has made the outpatient treatment program possible for this kind of addiction. People can now be more confident of getting into a heroin recovery process and definitely make a better recovery too. The treatment has been made easier by the entry of buprenorphine, and the federal approval has only consolidated its presence in the state. The federal Buprenorphine Initiative, about which you can read on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website, is a drive to make more and more people aware of this kind of treatment. You can even locate facilities from this website for centers in the state that have an authentic program for buprenorphine treatment.
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