Quantcast

Opiate addiction treatment may soon be available to more people - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Opiate addiction treatment may soon be available to more people in Missoula

Posted: Updated:
20 Montana cities are taking part. (MTN News photo) 20 Montana cities are taking part. (MTN News photo)
MISSOULA -

The Obama administration announced a plan earlier this month to ease restrictions on doctors treating opioid addiction. 

Buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone, is designed to combat dependency to heroin and opioid painkillers -- it's also a very tightly restricted drug.

Prior to the administration's action, licensed doctors were only allowed to treat 100 patients at a time. But under the new rules, doctors can now treat as many as 275 patients with the drug. 

Like methadone, buprenorphine is itself an opiate, though because it's much milder than methadone the risk of overdose is greatly reduced. 

While the announcement is good news for patients in need of treatment, some doctors fear it may also increase the chances of street sales and abuse. 

"A lot of people think physicians are the ones who in this mess in the first place by over prescribing pain pills.  A patient gets it from a doctor, turns around and sells it on the street, so there's a ton of potential for abuse," warned Community Medical Services CEO Nick Stavros.

The U.S. House of Representatives also recently passed a number of bipartisan bills targeting opioid addiction.

RELATED: Morning Rounds: What to know about narcotic pain medications

WEATHER
Powered by Frankly

© KPAX.com 2018, KPAX.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?