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Subutex Abuse

Buprenorphine sold by the brand name Subutex is an opiate that binds to the body and mind. It is used medically to prevent withdrawal in patients under treatment of addiction to narcotic drugs.

It however has the capability to cause dependence on its own. The use of an increased Subutex dose above what the doctor has instructed results in abuse. For good results it should be used strictly according to the doctor’s directions.

Subutex is intended to be used at the initial stages of treatment after which it is substituted with other appropriate medication. Using it beyond this point is tantamount to abuse. The intention of using Subutex is to wash off the effects of narcotics in the body by the gradual reduction of the frequency and dosage. It is not advisable to use it together with other substances. Some people do this to enhance its effect, but this is harmful in the end.

Subutex Abuse

Most of the medication is taken by swallowing, chewing or injecting it into the body. For Subutex, it is different, as none of the above mentioned ways of taking the medication applies to it. It is placed under the tongue where it melts in about 5-10 seconds and begins to take effect. Drug users who mix this drug with other substances and then inject the mixture into their bodies are at the risk of getting medical complications such as limb gangrene, Hepatitis B and C, and HIV. The use of unclean needles can even cause liver failure and other infections.

Medical journals have reported cases of blood clotting in the vessels as well as presence of bacteria that attacks the heart. The used hypodermic needles are not disposed properly and they therefore pose a threat to the public, especially the little children who are oblivious to the dangers of these potential items. Lives have been lost as a result of the use of Subutex with other substances for better effect.

Laxity in the law in some countries has resulted in it being easily available and therefore prone to abuse. An example of such a country is the Czech Republic, where any general practitioner can prescribe the drug without counseling. This has made Subutex the most abused drug in the streets of the capital Prague taking up to 80% share of the narcotics market.

An individual in Prague can acquire many prescriptions by visiting more than one doctor. In Singapore the reality of the abuse of Subutex has already dawned on the authorities. The government there has instituted tough measures to combat the distribution of Subutex though. Such measures include longer prison terms for those convicted and mandatory training of doctors on how to administer the drug.

The Singapore authorities found out that the source of Subutex ending up in the black market was actually very legal. It therefore set up measures to curb the diversion of the drug into the illegal market. The relatively low cost of Subutex compared to drugs like heroin has opened an opportunity of this well intentioned drug to be abused.

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