Methadone Substitute Helps Individuals Change Lifestyles

With physicians now able to prescribe buprenorphine, an alternative to methadone, from their office, individuals addicted to heroin are finding it much easier to return to a non-drug-dependent life, the New Bedford Standard-Times reported June 16.

“I’ve been on it about four weeks, and I feel like I’ve been let out of jail,” said a sculptor from Provincetown, Mass., who said buprenorphine has enabled her to return to work and renew relationships with her family. “Can you imagine how much this is going to change the world? I think it can really revolutionize the detox field.”

Unlike methadone, which is dispensed in liquid form at a clinic, buprenorphine is a pill that is dispensed through a prescription from a physician. This makes it easier on addicted individuals because they’re not burdened with having to go to a clinic daily to receive treatment.

The prescribed treatment also enables recovering addicts to become contributing members of the community. Sheryl, who asked that her last name not be used, started on buprenorphine six weeks ago. Instead of spending all her money on heroin like before, she was able to get a job and earn money to pay her unpaid excise taxes and get her driver’s license reinstated.