The current Opioid Hysteria was started several years ago with a rippling effect and has become worse over time. A company that has much to gain from this hysteria around opioids is called Reckitt Benckiser. According to this article in “The Daily Beast” from 10-05-16 : https://www.thedailybeast.com/suboxone-creators-shocking-scheme-to-profit-off-of-heroin-addicts , the company was about to lose their patent and came up with a “fake opioid hysteria”. According to this article, “Reckitt Benckiser sought to exploit the nationwide hysteria over the increasing use of opioids to line its own pockets by blocking competition….”.
The drug Suboxone has a Generic name of buprenorphine and naloxone (oral/sublingual). If you visit https://www.drugs.com/suboxone.html you will notice that Bupenorphine is also considered an “opioid medication, sometimes called a narcotic”. Naloxone “blocks the effects of opioid medications”. Naloxone also blocks any pain relief or feelings of well-being, according to this article. The drug, “Suboxone is used to treat narcotic (opiate) addiction”. Suboxone is not to be used for any kind of pain relief or as a pain relieving medication. What I don’t understand are the warnings on Suboxone and these medications associated with it in generic form. The same warning is used on the label as is used for many opioids. The warnings state that if you used Suboxone, Bupenorphrine and/or Naloxone it may be “habit-forming” and can cause addiction, overdose or even death. The company Reckitt Benckiser is trying to get rid of all other opioids so that they can profit off of having a monopoly on their own medications. They claim that all chronic pain patients are suffering from “opioid use disorder” or addiction, in other items that I have read. Other warnings on the labels of these 3 drugs, state that some other medications, if taken simultaneously with Suboxone, Bupenorphrine and/or Naloxone, can cause a serious medical crisis called “Serotonin syndrome”. They state that you should be warned and inform your Dr. If you take any herbal supplements, depression medications (*or if. You have any mental illness), Parkinson’s disease, migraines, serious infections or any medication that helps stop nausea/vomiting. The label states that these medications can cause “life threatening withdrawal symptoms”. Some of the side effects are: weak/shallow breathing, confusion, weakness, blurred vision, slurred speech, liver problems, low cortisol levels (nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite etc). One of the most interesting side effects listed are “opioid withdrawal symptoms” (shivering, increased sweating, runny nose, watery eyes, muscle pain and diarrhea). Tell me again, why this medicine is “better” for chronic pain patients to take than long acting or really any opioids? How are these side effects and warnings any better? Also, as long as a chronic pain patient has been doing well on long term opioid therapy, why switch to something that could be potentially harmful or cause them death? Also, women or men who are still thinking about having or starting a family, do you know that Suboxone can cause infertility (*this article states that long term opioid use can also cause infertility?). Many other medications will affect Suboxone, such as Benzodiazephines, other narcotic medications & cough medicine. It states that Suboxone is used to treat drug/opioid addiction. It does not say that it is for chronic pain in any way, shape or form.
Don’t let anyone tell you that buprenorphine is “different from suboxone” because from my research it is just a generic form of that drug. It is an opioid but has not yet been approved for use with chronic pain. Dr’s are required to take an 8 hour class in order to prescribe these drugs to patients. They are supposed to be prescribed for addiction and/or substance use disorder. The latter is what our friend, Andrew Kolodny has labeled all chronic pain patients who use opioid therapy, as having. When I looked up the classes online, that physicians, nurse practitioners etc. are required to take in order to prescribe the drug “buprenorphine”; it states this is a medication for addiction and opioid use disorder. Physicians must apply for a waiver to prescribe bupreorpnine to their patients with opioid use disorders.
I noticed an article last week that was discussing suboxone, that it is only approved for addiction. The active ingredient in this drug is Called buprenorphine, which is known as an “opioid partial agonist”. This just means that it interacts with the same receptors in the brain, as heroin and oxycodone. The difference they explain, is that people don’t get a “high” or “cravings” for buprenorphine. But then why can’t chronic pain patients who have been doing well on opioid therapy for several or many years be left to the opioid medications that they may have been doing well on for many years? Patients who have been on a steady dose of opioids for possibly multiple chronic pain conditions, do not get cravings or high either? Why introduce these chronically ill people to something new, something else that will cause them new and or worse bad reactions/side effects? I found in this article (www.crchealth.com/addiction/heroin-addiction-treatment/heroin-detox/buprenorphine-suboxone-vs/) that suboxone contains buprenorphrine and naloxone. The naloxone keeps people from abusing the drug. It is an opiate antagonist. But why would anyone give these meds to chronic pain patients who do not use the opioids for any other reason than to have some semblance of a life with lesser pain levels? It states right in this last article above, that “If you take suboxone as directed…..the buprenorphrine will travel to the brain and you will feel relief from withdrawal symptoms. Chronic pain patients should not have to go through withdrawal symptoms. This is what I’m trying to get through to persons who are “pushing” these drugs on the chronic pain population now.
In this article called “The truth about suboxone” (www.thefix.com/content/stigma-maintenance-treatment9216), Maia Szalavitz discusses maintenance therapy for addiction with suboxone, Methadone or Naltrexone. She explains something that I’ve known to be true about opioids as well. If they are taken in irregular time and dosage then you will get a high. But if you take them in a regular reliable schedule and dosage, then “getting high is visually impossible”. Next, I read an article about different people who had been given the “bupenorphrine isn’t suboxone” speech. They were told that it would help them with withdrawals etc. But guess what? The person who told his story first, in this article, stated that withdrawals from the buprenorphrine were much worse than anything he had expected, encountered or had been told. I read his story here: (https://www.medhelp.org/posts/Addiction-Substance-Abuse/Suboxone-Good–Bad–and-Ugly-Truth—168-days-off-SUB/show/1502381) . I have been researching these drugs. In my humble opinion as a non-medical personnel, who has been through hell and back; trying different pain treatments and medications over the past 15 years; that I would not ever take suboxone, or buprenorphrine even if my life depended on it! I finally found something that worked to lessen the chronic pain due to several chronic pain illnesses; I agreed to take it after being pressured “to trust them”(doctors). But now only to have it taken away 15 years later because of some crazy opioid hysteria going on so that “he who shall not be named” can become more rich and have a monopoly on suboxone, bupenorphrine etc. by “getting rid of all opioids”.
We live in America and we should be free to have choices as to what medications we want to take, knowing the risks and benefits. Just as we have freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms and now even freedom to have gender neutral restrooms! We deserve the right to have freedom to choose with our own personal physicians who are trained in pain management etc; the right to take the best medications for our own personal situations. The government needs to step away and stop trying to politicize this opioid hysteria. Stop trying to demonize the organizations that support our freedoms of treatment options! This has turned into a deadly nightmare for many of us and now myself included.
I also want to inform you that each time I tried to look up or research “buprenorphrine” it came up as “suboxone”. Buprenorphrine is a generic form of suboxone. In addition, naloxone is the ingredient that immediately makes you go through withdrawals if you do take another opioid/narcotic while taking suboxone. Hmmm….suppose you were in a car accident, maybe like the one that started all of your chronic pain in the first place? Suppose the EMT’s or an ER Doctor gave you an opioid to help with burn trauma or gunshot trauma wounds or horrible car accident trauma? You would be really “in trouble” would you not? Anyways, just another informative message from me to you. I hope this helps someone. Sending Love and low pain your way.
This is where I got some of this information:
Articles that Explain The Bad effects of suboxone, bupenorphrine etc.
*****Several of the articles used in this blog post were provided to me by my colleague & friend, Jonelle Elgaway *** please visit her website at: CAW Nation