Pimping Out Recovery to the Dealers

by The Discovering Alcoholic on February 16, 2008

Yeah, I know the title is a little hyperbolic, but stories like this one from CitizensVoice.com about so called “progress” using Suboxone in addiction treatment are driving me bonkers.

”Pimping…easing state regulations so operators of outpatient clinics can more easily prescribe Suboxone. Currently, clinic operators who wish to prescribe the drug must apply for a Modified Narcotic Treatment Facility license from the state… Meanwhile, primary care doctors can easily prescribe Suboxone from their offices by taking an eight-hour course to get a license from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency. Clinic operators say the “double standard” makes no sense because they are addiction specialists capable of caring for substance abusers with expertise, counseling and other treatment resources family doctors can’t provide

For those of you not in the know, let me tell you how this circular firing squad works. Patient has pain. Patient gets pills from doctor. Patient gets addicted to pills. Patient has addiction. Patient gets pills from doctor. Rinse, repeat.

Now that sounds awful strange coming from a guy who fully supports methadone, Suboxone, and most medically assisted recovery programs but unfortunately nowhere in the above description is the word recovery. Just like methadone, Suboxone should be considered a very useful tool, part of an expansive recovery program designed to wean opiate addicts off ALL drugs. To hand an addict a bottle of pills, pat him on the rear, and say come back in two weeks, well, as the Spartans would say… this is madness!

I know it may sound a little cynical, but I got a nasty feeling that some of the profiteers and drug companies that are part of the original problem have discovered how to pimp out “treatment” to the dealers- and there are a lot of well intentioned professionals that will be suckered into this non-solution to a very pressing problem.

Update: I have already received e-mail from addicts saying that they are different, can successfully use Suboxone, and come off all drugs without a recovery program. Well (1) my experience would be wait a year and you can tell me a different story at rehab or in a meeting, (2) congratulations, you should play the lottery more often, and (3) why e-mail me guys when there is a comment section?

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