10 Very Important Things Every Person Should Know About Addiction
1) Drugs do not cause “drug addiction.” Studies clearly show that emotional trauma and genetics lead to drug dependence. People are just trying to feel better. If you already feel fine, you won’t use drugs.
2) Opiate dependence is a disease just like diabetes, depression, or high blood pressure. Buprenorphine (Suboxone) is the medicine that treats this disease. There isn’t any other disease that we don’t treat with a medication.
3) Studies clearly show that Buprenorphine (Suboxone) does not cause cognitive impairment. People taking Suboxone are not stoned!
4) People prescribed Buprenorphine are protected by Federal Law—you cannot be forced to taper off your medicine.
5) Like diabetes and high blood pressure, most people prescribed Buprenorphine will need to be taking it for the rest of their lives.
6) 80-90% of people forced to stop taking their Buprenorphine will relapse, running the risk of overdose and death.
7) Buprenorphine reduces overdose death rates by 60-80%. If Buprenorphine were widely available and free like it is in Europe, it would cut the overdose death toll by 30-40,000 every year.
8) Pregnant women treated with Buprenorphine during pregnancy do not have any higher risk of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome than those that are tapered off. Tapering dramatically increases the mother’s risk of relapse by up to 80%.
9) Addiction needs to be treated with compassion. No one chooses to have this disease. And if simply being mean to an addict cured addiction there would be no addicts.
10) As human beings, it is our responsibility to use every tool at our disposal to end the deaths and the cycle of dysfunctional families. Buprenorphine is the best tool we have!
- Dr. Vance Shaw, FASAM