Buprenorphine

There is a very interesting in-depth series in the New York Times on the benefits and dangers of the use of buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/health/in-demand-in-clinics-and-on-the-street-bupe-can-be-savior-or-menace.html

Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid that has become a major treatment option for those who are addicted and dependent on opioids.  At the same time it has itself become a recreational drug, poisoning risk, and a growing problem for law enforcement.  The NYT series does a very nice job of presenting both sides of the issue; from individuals that attribute buprenorphine with saving their lives to law enforcement officers that are seeing buprenorphine on the streets and in prisons as a recreational drug that carries its own addiction and overdose risks.  Wrapped up in all of this is the fact that buprenorphine is major business for the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture it.  All of this continues to highlight the difficulty in finding effective solutions to address the epidemic of addiction and poisonings related to opioids.

Greg

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