Blog Post by: Andrew Kornfeld, B.A., B.S., Director of New Patient Services at Recovery Without Walls
The title of the article is as follows:
The front page of the Huffington Post is a beautiful acknowledgment of the power of the most effective tool we have in the treatment of Heroin Addiction. The article (more like that of an essay or short book) stands in stark contrast to the somewhat misleading article by Ms. Deborah Sontag in the New York Times last year.
Mr. Jason Cherkis in his eight chapters, interviews those with different perspectives – and easily comes to the conclusion that using Suboxone (a combination of both buprenorphine and naloxone) instead of methadone is more than just replacing one opioid with another. We as the medical community have known for a long time the great potential for the safe use of Suboxone given the drugs pharmacology and effects on our patients. There is little to no risk for overdose.
The replacement theory (that Suboxone does not work) and abstinence only recovery – put forth as the best option by a rural judge in the article, stands anomalous to the evidence and data demonstrated by users. It’s just not what the science says: Suboxone can infact save lives. Heroin addicts who “graduate” from abstinence only programs have nearly a 75% relapse rate – and are put at great risk for overdose upon re-use as their tolerance has decreased. The opioid blocking component of the Suboxone known as naloxone can prevent this.
This is our initial reaction to what is sure to be a bomb-shell article. Our Medical Director, Dr. Howard Kornfeld will have his own commentary in the next few days.