Kentucky has a Pill Problem

by Rachel Baker on June 22, 2015

Suboxone was designed to help people safely decrease their heroine intake until they didn’t need it anymore. However, the pill effects the same receptors of heroine and other opiates. So, when Kentucky started using it, they didn’t think about how it might find its way to the street trade industry and that patients would doctor shop to get a prescription.

Now, because its a great substitute for heroin, a small amount of greedy doctors in Kentucky started seeing patients on a cash basis and prescribe the maximum amount. There was no therapy or drug testing required this way, so, it was easy to charge up to $300 for the visit – no paperwork.

And apparently, Suboxone or buprenorphine is difficult to wean yourself off; as a drug used to wean someone off heroine, you’d think it wouldn’t also be addictive.

Read More: Drug that was supposed to stem Kentucky’s heroin epidemic creates a whole new problem.

Kentucky doctors have new restrictions for prescribing Suboxone after efforts to curb pill mills created a new cash-for-pills market and a street trade for the drug designed to safely wean addicts from heroin.

“A lot of the pill mills morphed into facilities that dispense these prescriptions” for Suboxone, said Dr. John Langefeld, medical director of the state’s department of Medicaid services.

According to state officials, use of buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone, has increased 241 percent since 2012. And 80 percent of the prescriptions for it were being written by 20 percent of the state’s 470 certified prescribers, said Dr. Allen Brenzel, medical director of the state’s department of behavioral health.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to follow on Twitter; or you can follow her at The Crafty Veteran on Bloglovin. You can also follow her writing about women veteran interests at Shield Sisters

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