Newark, NJ
Informing and Connecting Engaged Citizens
January 19, 2016
More Doctors Advocate for Anti-Addiction Drugs
According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administration, approximately 21.5 million people, or 8% of the national population, have struggled with substance abuse in the past year. Dr. Kelly Eagen, a primary care physician at a public urban health clinic, works with drug addiction every day, especially with the opioids and heroin. Many of her patients are homeless or suffer from mental illnesses, and few have access to anti-addiction drugs such as buprenorphine, which eliminates withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Federal law prohibits most doctors from prescribing buprenorphine and few licensed physicians choose to prescribe the drug. Now, as the opioid endemic continues to plague the US, an increasing numbers of health care professionals are advocating for the greater use of buprenorphine in medications such as Subutex and Suboxone. In California, Medicaid programs will soon begin covering the full range of addiction treatment options, including anti-addiction medications.
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