October 12th, 2010
06:53 PM ET

FDA OKs drug to fight opiate addiction

Doctors who treat drug addicts have a new option at their fingertips, thanks to a decision Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA gave its blessing to an injectable medicine, Vivitrol, as a treatment for opiate addiction. That's addiction to drugs including heroin as well as powerful prescription painkillers such as OxyContin.

Vivitrol is a time-release version of a drug called naltrexone, which blocks brain receptors from responding to opiates. Without that internal reward, the craving for the drug goes away.

The FDA was able to consider only a single controlled study, conducted in Russia, which found that Vivitrol was 50 percent more effective than a placebo in keeping opidate addicts clean for five months. However, some addiction specialists are already familiar with the drug, which was previously approved as a treatment for alcoholism, and thus available “off-label” for other uses.

In practice, the vast majority of addicts don’t get it.  Most insurance companies won’t pay the cost of nearly $1,000 for each monthly shot; treatment often takes a year or more.  Dr. Paul Earley, an addiction specialist at Talbott Recovery Campus, a center near Atlanta, says cost is a big hurdle and predicts the FDA decision will lead to much wider availability: “It’s going to help tremendously.”

The quality of addiction treatment varies widely, often depending on what a patient can afford.  Still, for rich or poor, the basic approaches to opiate addiction are much the same: Group therapy, sometimes a 12-step program, sometimes “replacement” therapy – treatment that replaces the drug of abuse with a different drug, such as methadone, that leaves the user somewhat more clear-headed, but still addicted.

Naltrexone in pill form is another option, but Earley says daily medication is less effective in the long run. “Every day, the person that’s addicted to drugs has to make a decision on whether or not to use that day,” he says. “The majority of narcotic addicts will just stop taking the drug.”

There’s a crying need for better treatment.  Federal statistics show a 12 percent increase in the number of people addicted to these drugs, between 2008 and 2009.  An even more alarming trend: Between 2004 and 2008 the number of emergency room visits linked to painkillers more than doubled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Prescription narcotics are tied to 12 times as many ER visits as heroin.

Vivitrol is no magic bullet.  Doctors say it needs to be part of broader treatment, including counseling.  But as Earley puts it, “if you’re willing to take it, it works very, very well.”

Thomas “TJ” Voller, a 29-year-old recovering addict in Westborough, Massachusetts, who has been clean for nearly a year with the help of Vivitrol, says the drug saved his life. “I really was skeptical.  But within the first day of getting my injection, the cravings literally went away. Now, they're non existent.”

soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. Bob

    What about some controlled studies on IBOGAINE!!

    October 12, 2010 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ben

      Bob, you're right on about the Ibogaine. For those who don't know..Ibogaine is a powerful, long-acting hallucinogen that comes from the root bark of the Iboga tree in W. Africa. It's been used for thousands of years by the Bwiti tribe as an initiation sacrament. In addition to the psychedelic synesthesia that ibogaine induces, this organic compound has the potential to be a miracle "drug" for curing addiction if administered under the right conditions (i.e., you want health care professionals on hand. There are thousands of testimonials to the drug's efficacy. In fact, it was first popularized in the West by Howard Lotsof, a heroin addict who first took ibogaine to get high, but when he emerged from the trip he realized that he no longer had either the need for a fix, or the terrible physiological and psychological side effects that come with narcotic withdrawal. And addict after addict had the same response. The problem is, the plant is illegal due to our misunderstanding of psychedelia and our greed (think about how many methadone clinics and pharm reps would be out of a job!). So naturally, ibogaine went underground– and now it has to be either administered in clandestine conditions, or outsourced to a more lenient country like Costa Rica. At any rate, you're gonna pay $2,000-$10,000 for a treatment.

      If you're an addict, or know and love someone who is, look up ibogaine, check out MAPS (psychedelic research). Lets reclaim our minds.

      October 12, 2010 at 22:36 | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Im an addict who has tried to get off pain killers many many times. I had a terrible allergic reaction to Suboxone-and all my other attempts have failed simply because about day three the withdrawl is so insanely horrific It feels like I am the one person on the planet that it will not end. Although I know this is not true, does anyone know what amount of time is most common for these terrible withdrawls last? And then when you do get to the end of them, do you wake up and realize they are just gone? Im speaking of the physical withdrawl only.

      October 13, 2010 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I have read a little about Ibogaine, and would also like to see controlled studies done. There is a vast uncharted area of possible therapeutic help in psychedelics for PTSD etc. Unfortunately hysteria drummed up in the 60's has clouded the logical progress of this study. The hippy movement really screwed it up for later generations with their childish attitude toward psychedelics.

      October 13, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • wateverpothead

      keep sipping your koolaid guys. i bet thatll solve your problems.. burnouts

      October 13, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      To Will,
      The painful withdrawal is about two weeks. The overall being tired and depressed is about 2-4 months. It's different for everybody. I’ve heard shorter times and longer times. I did use Suboxone for about 3 years but then came off basically cold turkey. So I did experience severe withdrawal, you need a support system. I know everyone says that but it’s true. My husband was an addict as well and came off Suboxone before me. Without his constant support that the pain would subside and it would get better I wouldn’t have made it. I even called an old dealer but lucky they didn’t answer and I told my husband I called then he stepped up the support for a few days. As far as waking up one day not wanting pills, yes that will happen for you it just takes time. I still have times 5 years later when things get hard that I want some pills to cope BUT I KNOW that it will only make my problems worse and won’t solve a thing. It’s life longer you just have to stay strong. I look back and can’t believe how hard I made my own life with pills. I blamed the world at the time but it was me. I have a healthy happy 6 year old today that only because of my hard work will enjoy a normal childhood. Those are the things that will keep you going, gaining respect from friends, family, & coworkers. It’s a hard road sooner than you think will you see the benefits from it. Don’t listen to people saying addicts will always be addicts and don’t deserve this & that, most of them have NO clue we are their family, coworkers, & friends. Most people that say things like that have been hurt by addicts and are understandably upset but people CAN change.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      @wateverpothead Until you have researched what you mock, please keep your infantile comments to yourself. Ignorance should not be the basis of a retort.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Drug will be recalled in... 3... 2... 1...

      October 13, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
    • Tiss

      Absolutely, this is so needed. My son is now opiate free due to Ibogaine.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Whateverpothead is typical of the ill informed people out there who consider ANY addiction as a failure of person, rather than consider other causes.
      Not all of those addicted are voluntarily so, in other words, did not take opiates for pleasure, but were prescribed them to treat pain.
      Chronic pain patients can easily become addicted to narcotic, which tends to render the narcotics ineffective. This happens typically when the attending physician doesn't monitor dosage and titer it to a level of analgesia being just adequate and instead "saves time" and prescribes a more maximal dose.
      Then, kind folks like whateverpothead blame the patient for their disease and suffering.
      I know, as I've watched such things happen around me frequently. I'm a chronic pain patient, I've ENSURED I receive JUST the adequate dose or analgesia and only that, rather than a higher dose. I've had a man say to me that I "should tough it out, pain builds character" upon which I kicked one of his shins and told him to remain still whilst I further enhanced his character. He got the point and he shut up about my taking my medication twice in a day.
      As for being addicted, nope. I've forgotten to refill my medicine a few times and ran out, as I was deployed, it took two weeks to order a refill. No problems. Part of that, again, is compliance, dosage and rotating medications as well as NOT taking them if not necessary.
      Regrettably, many do not have that luxury as their pain is intractable.
      Will, there is also rapid detox, where you go under general anesthesia and this drug is administered after, that might be an option if your symptoms are excessive.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse |
    • Stu

      Will – physical withdrawal symptoms will subside in about a week. It depends on what opiate(s) you are using. If you can get through the first 3-4 days, however, you are through the worst of the physical withdrawal. Yes, you notice that the pain is gone. You notice the absence of pain. You start to feel normal but the difficult part is not using again. You have probably heard it a million times, but 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous work, THEY WORK! They worked for me, they can work for you. My life is joyous and I am free.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
    • Vee

      I am totally with Bob and Ben regarding Ibogaine. I've read little on it, and have heard it has worked very well with heroine addicts. I didnt know that the hallucinations where an issue. Learn something every day! From my understanding, another issue was that there is no available funding for this drug. No Pharma company will take on the heavy costs of taking it to trial, as the patent has expired. Most companies make the most $$$ while they have the sole rights to its 10 yr patent. I dont know the specifics, but thats what i understood. I definetly agree that more research should be done for this, as it seems that it could be something very helpful to our society.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
    • Articles

      Unless wateverpothead is perfectly in shape and at the pinnacle of career excellence, he can STFU because he probably has just as much addictions as anybody else.

      October 13, 2010 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • Tiss

      Ibogaine is the answer I believe for most opiate addicts. Unfortunately it wouldn't be a money maker for the drug companies since it's an herb and of course they won't touch it unless it makes $$$$. It makes me sick to think that so many people could be helped (like my son) and no longer takes an opiates. He went thru the treatment last year (clandestinely) and he's not touched it since and says he has no desire to. I don't know where or how he did this and he will not tell me because he doesn't want to get in trouble (or me either).

      October 13, 2010 at 18:27 | Report abuse |
  2. deja

    As the parent of an addict, I am very excited about this news. My daughter has struggled with opiate addiction for nearly 10 years. Despite rehab,and social and mental health services, she lost her freedom, her daughters (whom I have adopted), and her health. I truly hope the expense doesn't keep those who really need it from getting it. Compared to the cost of broken families, broken lives, and heartbroken children, $1000 a month is a bargain.

    October 12, 2010 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jenngg

      So true!

      markglicken, your statement is just cruel and its doubtful that you've known the pain of having a loved one who is an addict. . .

      October 13, 2010 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
    • Tiss

      Deja, I feel your pain. We've been through hell too. No one can know the anguish of loving a child who is an addict. It's just horrible on everybody. We can only hope and pray that there is some breakthrough for addictions to opiates.

      October 13, 2010 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
  3. clinmang

    There is another option called Suboxone. It contains Naloxone as well as another partial opiate inhibiter. The biggesst problem with this drug is only specially trained Drs can prescrible it, and then only carry 100 patients on it at a time. It is sometimes difficult to find a Dr who can prescribe it and takes your insurance. It however WORKS very well and in conjunction with therapy, either individual or 12 step, it is even better.

    October 12, 2010 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shoo-bee Doobie

      There is very little in this world that will make a person feel so worthless, as addiction. I was so trapped in a hell of my own making that I seriously considered ending my own life. I am now clean for over a year now, for the first time in about ten years. I feel good, I have a sponsor with whom I am doing some good 'inside' work, and I have reclaimed my life. I work, I pay my bills, and no one has to worry about their hydrocodone just because I came over for dinner. There is more to life than a 30-day supply of pain pills. Whew! I'm so relieved to be off that merry-go-round. Oh, thank GOD I don't have to worry about where my next pill is coming from! I thank God every day for my life, and my friends and family have welcomed me back into their lives. Life is good.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:24 | Report abuse |
    • Mandi

      No worries! You can get suboxen on the street pretty easily!

      October 13, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    As a clinical psychologist who specializes in substance abuse treatment with adolescents, I am very much looking forward to see what Vivitrol can do for the people I encounter who have suffered from addiction. While some may argue that this would seemingly endanger my livelihood, I would argue that individuals are getting help that they desperately need and are still going to need therapy and support to prevent relapse. This is definitely exciting news and I look forward to reading about the research from the first initial runs within the US

    @deja : you hit it spot on, the $1000 price tag per month seems incredibly expensive, but it would definitely be worth it to save your loved one from a life of addiction. We can only hope the drug shows extremely positive results and becomes mass produced to help lower the cost so all individuals can afford these shots.

    October 12, 2010 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • markglicken

      Sure Tom, it is worth it as long as you don't have to pay it. Lets lay the tab on the already broke taxpayer. How about we stop giving more drugs to the bums and let them kick the habit on their own. I have known many that have.

      October 13, 2010 at 04:41 | Report abuse |
    • JWins

      Sure, lets let them try to kick the habit on their own. Then, when they get thrown in jail for drug use or the crimes they do to support the drug use, we will wish we had paid the $1000 dollars a month for a year. Instead, we will be paying much more than that a month for years.
      While I don't like paying for other peoples mistakes any more than you do, Mark, you have to to try and minimize your losses and keep the problem from costing any more than it has to.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:19 | Report abuse |
    • Vee

      Whats your take on Ibogaine?

      October 13, 2010 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
  5. maty

    How can these drug companies foist something like Oxycontin on people, pay their doctors to prescribe it, then be completely absolved of all responsibility when a patient gets addicted and goes off the deep end? Big Tobacco is held responsible for their products!

    October 12, 2010 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lorie

      Because Oxycontin helps people with true pain issues. Comparing it to tobacco is ridiculous.

      October 12, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Purdue Pharmacy, who holds the copyright for Oxycontin, also make methadone. Drugs like Suboxone and methadone are NOT INTENDED TO CURE addiction, but rather to keep that addict addicted to a less potent, more taxable drug. (Hooke 'em on the OxyContin, and then maintain them on methadone as long as you can. Suboxone is the new hype, but it's still an opioid. These drugs don't cure addiction unless the patient is really committed to recovery and has the necessary resources to do so. I believe the silver bullet

      October 12, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      I totally agree with this! In fact, it's time we start going after "pain clinics" which are just legalized dope houses and prescribers who keep writing for these addicting meds without any consideration for their patients who may become addicted through no fault of their own.

      October 13, 2010 at 00:34 | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      If you think Big Tobacco is held responsible for their product, you may be the dumbest person on earth. Go watch the Shards-o-glass commercials. Big tobacco should be put out of business. There is no good that comes from tobacco- none! Get a clue homie

      October 13, 2010 at 08:58 | Report abuse |
    • Carol Johnson

      Maty, I so agree with you!! Doctors and pharm companies are as much to blame for our epidemic of prescription drug abuse as the patients! I grew up to trust my doc and take all of my prescribed meds. In 1995, as a young mother of 3, and caring for a disabled husband, my doc put me on Klonopin, an anti-anxiety. I became severely addicted to it, and every time I tried to get off of it, I went through hellish withdrawal! I had never drank, or used street drugs, and couldn't understand what was going on with me. Eventually, got the internet and began to discover what a horrible drug this was, and the addiction process and was devastated that I had become a "drug addict". Went off cold turkey in 2008, and still have some side effects of my 13 year addiction!

      October 13, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
    • Bugsy

      Ben, I don't defend the Corps in anyway, but you should know: I month's worth of average dose of Methadone costs about $1.25. It is cheaper that anything I have every seen. It is definitely not a big money-maker for Pharma.

      October 14, 2010 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
  6. coastybear

    This is interesting that more research is being done into this topic. I worked at a drug and alcohol rehab facility 2 years ago when the wonderdrug was Suboxone. It was very expensive and very difficult to get insurance companies to approve. I believe it has gone generic in the past two years. Is the same drug company putting out Vivitrol as the one that made Suboxone? Just curious if the changed Suboxone slightly after it went generic and re-issued it as a new drug? Also, am curious to see if Doctors will have to get special certifications to be able to prescribe this for opiate addiction. I am quite certain they still have to for Suboxone.

    October 12, 2010 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul Earley, M.D.

      @coastybear: Vivitrol is a very different medications than methadone or Suboxone. It is an opiate blocker, and prevents the opiate addict from responding to the opioid "high." Studies show that it decreases craving for opioids, presumably because of a decrease in "perceived availability" of the drugs. Those who have been treated with injectable naltrexone feel no effect from the drug, unlike methadone or Suboxone. That having been said, it is not for everyone. It MUST be combined with treatment for a positive outcome. The treatment could be therapy, outpatient treatment or residential treatment.

      October 12, 2010 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
  7. Bruce

    Exactly. And users of opiate-receptor blockers should wear identification that they are on such a drug should EMT personnel need to know (ie, they will push IV narcotic, not see response, and possibly overdose the patient).

    October 13, 2010 at 00:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Song

    I am just curious; how long would a person have to take these opiate blockers to be "completely cured" of their addiction?
    Is their addiction/cravings gone forever or would a dose or two on the drug that they have been abusing previously bring back memories and reel the person right back to where they started?

    October 13, 2010 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul Earley, M.D.

      @Song: Addiction is a complex disease with brain biochemistry changes, behavioral and learning issues, family dynamics and spiritual issues. Therefore, "completely cured" is a hard to define term. When someone is placed on naltrexone (Vivitrol and other trade names), the clinical experience is that their brain receptors for opioid drugs appear to return to the pre-addicted state within months. However, the learning, craving and emotional and behavioral changes the brain makes to "learn to be addicted" take many years to unwind. Vivitrol helps with the opioid receptors, but an enormous amount of change needs to occur in other brain circuits.

      October 13, 2010 at 07:27 | Report abuse |
  9. Sam

    How about the other DRUG ADDICT ALCOHOL USERS ????

    October 13, 2010 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. charles s

    Ibocaine should be explored. Maybe it would work for some people.

    The first step is to start treating all drug addictions as a medical problem rather than a crime. Many people in prisons are drug addicts and the drug trade in prison is the most profitable gang activity in prison. It is also the most profitbalbe gang activity outside of prison. Of course it will not change because too much legal and illegal money is to be made from it.

    October 13, 2010 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bob

    markglicken doesn't quite get it. While people are addicted their productivity drops and the crime rate goes up and you pay for more prisons. One way or another the bills get paid. It is much more cost effective to treat a person's disease in order to get them to be productive than to allow them to continue the status quo. As far as wanting to change, again, he doesn't get it. Most of these people want better lives and want to change but due to the nature of how the brain works it is unlikely that they will change without treatment. The comments by markglicken show a lack of scientific education on his part. Our beliefs can be invalidated by science and his beliefs have been invalidated over and over again. Study, my friend, for years and you may understand. If you are not willing to study for years then you risk exposing yourself as a fool for making such comments.

    October 13, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ncgirl

      I totally agree. Some people have the ability to be very ill through withdrawal and then never return to the drug they were addicted to. MOST people however need much more help because the physical withdrawal is so severe – vomiting, severe flu like body pain, hallucinations, and even death. If a medication can assist while the patient receives behavioral therapy then why not try all options. Our prisons are literally overflowing with drug related convicts. This is a tremendous strain on society that is only getting worse. It’s not the “bum” on the street, but adolescents, family members, co-workers (dangerous in many jobs), neighbors, soccer moms, everyone that is affected directly as an addict or indirectly by addicts.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
  12. Mark

    The FDA ok's it after ONE RUSSIAN STUDY. Nothing fishy there. How about we test it some more on the long term effects on the brain before we start shooting everyone up with this weeks wonder drug. Anyone that can't see Pharma's game here is awfully blind.

    Let's get you hooked on powerful narcotics by prescribing them for any reason, rake in billions, then come up with a 'cure' that rakes in $450 million a year BEFORE being ok'd for opioid addiction. Replacing drugs with drugs. Brilliant course of action to get someone off drugs.

    October 13, 2010 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      Mark, what this article doesn't tell you is that this medication has been being used in the same capacity it will be used for opiates for a long time for alcohol, working very well and with very few side effects. The medication that Vivitrol is, Naltrexone, has also long been approved in oral form for opiate use, so there is much more than just one study backing up the approval of this medication.

      October 13, 2010 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
  13. m1sterlurk

    Why is this shot $1,000 a treatment?

    I've seen some of you say that it's worth it compared to the cost of "broken families" or whatever, but it is just sad that you're willing to blow off this kind of blatant exploitation. Is the drug in the syringe really worth more than gold?

    October 13, 2010 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. LDopa

    @m1sterluck: Gold can't save your life...which is why the medication should be free (albeit, in an ideal world). I think the medication should be no more expensive than the cost of your next fix, preferably less. Then the addict is given a choice: Do I spend my money on more heorin? Or, do I spend less money so I won't need the heorin? The choice might seem obvious, if it weren't for the addiction. Still, the likelihood the addict would choose to forgo the spending of $1000 on a medication when he can continue to use for much less, seems considerably greater to me.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. cjygudwin

    Hopefully price will decline and this can offer an alternative to people on Suboxone. I hire employees and I will not hire anyone on Suboxone. Users still appear and behave like active junkies. I cannot have them in front of customers. Beyond this i have found them impossible to train on office systems because of impaired memory.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. cold turkey

    i quit an 11-month daily habit cold turkey, the withdrawals were soul crushing but the absolute worst part that nobody talks about is the long-term withdrawals, or Post-Acute-Withdrawal-Syndrome. Its now October and I still have intermittent pain throughout the day, although it has lessened over time, and my insomnia which originated from my withdrawals now comes and goes – a few nights with sleep followed by a few nights where I cant sleep, repeat.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cold turkey

      forgot to say i quit everything back in march, so its 7 months later and i still feel like crap.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:13 | Report abuse |
    • Fricsaid

      May I ask if you "treated" your addiction?

      October 13, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • cold turkey

      @ Fricsaid – well I won't ever use again because of all the pain it has caused me. I haven't solved the problems that led me to use in the first place (in fact in some ways I feel worse now since I had to get rid of all my friends who are also users, broke up with my girlfriend and am now very socially isolated, but in some ways I feel healthier since I exercise regularly and am in the best shape I've ever been in). I have no inclination to use anymore, but the problems that enticed me to use before are still there, so I'd say the symptom was solved but not the addiction. But this drug in the article would accomplish the same. It won't solve addictions, only change the symptoms.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
    • Fricsaid

      First of all Sir, I commend you. It is hard to give up friends, well....what we thought were friends. Sir, I emplore you, please look into a 12 step program. What do you have to loose from it? You will find the support that you need, as well as treating your illness long term. I promise you from experience, it will change your life. I really had to humble myself to do it, but the rewards are well worth it. Hang in there dude. You and you alone are responsible for your happiness. 🙂

      October 13, 2010 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
    • Commandrea

      Wow- you are definitely something special to be able to quit using on your own. That takes immense will power and not many people are capable of this feat. I think you could help a lot of people and in the end maybe resolve some of the older issues by writing about it more. Start a blog that details your efforts to quit, what led you to start, what you are still battling now. It is so important for others to know they aren't alone and for you to know that you aren't alone. Your story could really help others tackle their own addiction.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse |
    • Commandrea

      Please check out this article on the neurological side of addiction. http://www.medical-online.com/addict.htm
      It explains very clearly what happens to the addicted brain and you seem to be searching for answers to understand what is still going on within. I am very proud of you and your openness to discuss this matter.

      October 13, 2010 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
  17. RG

    I drug that fights off addictions? Sounds like the definition of "irony"

    October 13, 2010 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Commandrea

      Actually, addiction is a disease and should be treated as such, with medical support and compassion.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
  18. ST

    seems like just more legal addiction. Do addicts ever get off of the addiction that is supposed to cure their first addiction?

    October 13, 2010 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • thefreshness

      did you read the article? this new drug generates absolutely no "high" for the user. it simply blocks the opiates which they are addicted to from "working." so taking heroin or oxycontin while on this new drug would be the equivalent of them taking a tic-tac (minus the wonderful breath-freshening aspect). they can't get high from the narcotics anymore, so taking them is totally pointless.... they then stop due to this.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • Fricsaid

      @thefreshness.....so you really think it's going to go away that quick? My choice not to consume alcohol does not mean I'm no longer a alcoholic. The drug and the drink are only a symptom of the real problem. Not indulging does not solve the problem. My father is an alcoholic that has not drank in over 10 years. He also has not treated his disease and he is miserable. I almost wish he would drink again because he will not get the true help he needs.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
  19. wtf America

    What is cheaper? 12k cure or putting someone in jail for 15 years?

    October 13, 2010 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. cje

    Are there any drugs like this for crack cocaine addiction available today and if so approximate the cost.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Fricsaid

    When I first admitted I was an alcoholic, I sought help from doctors. They provided a medication that was supposed to "curb my craving for alcohol.....I would take them with a beer. So much for that. The root of any addiction, as I later learned is not going to be treated with any drug. To become sober was to become happy....bottom line. And to my knowledge, this can only be done with a 12 step program.

    Doctors have tried for decades to treat addiction, but none have been successful. I am almost 8 year's sober today, thank's to my 12 step program. I tackled the root cause. I was sick, mentally, spiritually and a very unhappy person. Today, I face my problems without alcohol. I do what I can to be a better person and I NEVER forget where I came from. I might not be the "greatest" person in the world, but I'm a lot better than what I was.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Nancy

    Many many years ago, I was the first female in the state of Texas to have Naltrexone in tablet form implanted underneath my skin to overcome alcoholism. The implate was effective for about 30 days before dissolving. Really helped and the purpose was that you could just not take a pill that day so as to drink.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 'BamaGrandma

    Sounds like another Big Pharma bonanza. Get the population addicted to prescription drugs then supply the antidote. Big bucks will line a great deal of political pockets.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Fricsaid

    After reading some of these post, it saddens me doctors are so quick to write out that Rx. I've alway's admired Dr. Drew, who is a strong advocate of the 12 step program. Only thing about the 12 step program that Dr.'s seem not to like, there is no money to be made off of it.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. sjumpmasterc

    This is complete BS as a former opiate addict it makes no sense to me. To replace one drug with another does not fix the mental issue at hand. This is just another money maker for a drug company.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Commandrea

      You're right. The medication treats the physical side of addiction, but our brains are so involved in the disease that it will take supplemental therapy to rewire the addicted mind back. It's a two headed beast and you've got to put one to sleep so you can slay the other. Hopefully the drug will be enough to conquer the physical effects of addiction so that the will to battle the mental aspect will be stronger.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      I work in a rehab right now that treats alcohol and opiate addiction using naltrexone and I can attest that while there is no miracle drug that cures addiction, naltrexone and vivitrol and immensely helpful tools that both help curb the impulse to use by taking away the positive reinforcement in a non-addictive way, it also helps to repair the damage to your brain that prolonged opiate abuse does. That is why everyone who stops using opiates feels like hell, it isn't just the physical withdrawl, but your brain is no longer producing natural opiates on its own, therefore causing individuals to feel depressed. Naltrexone helps cause your brain to get back to its normal opiate producing status quicker. Everything needs to be done in conjunction with other treatments (individual, group, 12-step, family counseling) but why so quick to eliminate medication from that list? Vivitrol is not methadone!

      October 13, 2010 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
    • Commandrea

      @Alex, are there other programs offered at the rehab as an alternative to the 12 Steps?

      October 13, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
  26. Tiss

    My son went through an Ibogaine treatment for heroin last year and has been opiate free since. We need studies on this herb because I think it's the answer for opiate addicts. I've nothing against suboxone or methadone for those it works for but my son didn't want to treat his addiction with another drug and become dependent on that. The ibogaine is amazing or so it h as been for my son who has battled addictions a very long time.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kris

      I've heard similar success stories with Ibogaine – you can get treatment in Vernon, BC Canada. Ibogaine is not illegal in Canada. According to several studies, 12 step programs only work for approximately 5% of the population which is the same percentage of success for those who quit on their own. Everyone is different, and will respond differently to different treatment modalities. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another; however, Ibogaine and naltroxene seem to be exceptions to the rule. Ibogaine has also been very successful in treating mental illness – anxiety, bi-polar and even schizophrenia. Persons using abogaine all report a similar experience of having their brain wiring re-arranged, some see filing cabinets be rearranged, others wiring – whatever symbolism speaks to them personally. Low dose naltroxene is being used to treat chronic pain as well, and is especially effective for auto-immune disorders.

      October 14, 2010 at 02:24 | Report abuse |
  27. BG

    Addiction is not a disease, it is a choice. You choose to use or you choose not to. It is as simple as that. It may not be easy but it is simple. All the 12-step programs, drugs, rehab, etc. do is keep the possibility of using again in an addict's mind so that they never really commit to quitting forever. And the only way to recovery is deciding never to use again. Ever. The majority of recovered addicts quit cold turkey and stay off because they made the choice not to use. Anybody who tells you any different is trying to profit off of addiction and/or has never made the choice themselves.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fricsaid

      BG, are you an addict? How can you tell me what I've lived? I wanted to quit drinking so bad, it brought me to tears to think of it. I know people that have quit cold turkey and they are miserable.....they are not happy. The DISEASE has not been treated. The 12 steps changed my life. I think EVERYBODY should work the 12 steps because it's about being a better person. Your ignorance on this subject is a common ignorance. I pray you never have to live it.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse |
    • Commandrea

      Whoa there buddy. You've obviously not had anyone very close to you suffer with the disease of addiction. Or maybe you have and they've hurt you because of their addiction, but you aren't willing to remove your ego from the situation and see addiction for what it is: A DISEASE! Is cancer a choice? Is lupus a choice? Would you approach any victims of other diseases and chastise them with your apathetic views? Is hunger something that we should be able to quit cold turkey? Because that's what addiction is. It's a hunger, primal, physical, mental, that the body and mind crave more than food. The 12 step program is no different than any other 'guide' to sobriety in that it offers a method that the truly willing can follow to quit. It doesn't work for everyone, but even if it is a placebo effect, it works for some and that's a good start.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • wiki1

      Your kind of thinking is what keeps addiction active and shameful. Many don't get help because of people thinking that they are weak – you are ignorant of this disease as many are. Until you walk in an addict's shoes... don't be so quick to judge.
      I am guessing your arogant attitude would be just as hard for you to quit... there is a program for you too!

      October 13, 2010 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Fist tj did not make a profit off of that interview and that addiction cost him a lot of money and his whole family more pain then you can ever imagine. I know tj tried extremely hard because I was there. Oh and I don't know where you got that "the majority of recovered addicts quite cold turkey and stay off..." is a bunch of crap that either you or somebody else made up along the way and studies show the opposite.

      November 10, 2010 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
  28. JG

    I have a family member who is addicted to oxy. She spends from $100-$350 a DAY on drugs. Her boyfriend spends an equal amount. They do not have jobs. I am sure you can guess how they get the money to support such an expensive habit. I agree with deja, $1,000 a month is a true bargain!

    October 13, 2010 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. hawknroll206

    Suboxone is an opiate blocker as well. Patients on the Suboxone program administering the drug properly are unable to feel the effects of opiates, so taking them is essentially pointeless, even for an addict; when on Suboxone. Also Purdue Pharma has paid large fines to the US Govt justice dept. before in excess of $599 million back to taxpayers for the burden that all the people addicted to OCs have put on govt funded rehad facilities and clinics. Just like big tabacco they will pay the fines and keep on moving.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. BG

    Actually, I quit a 20-year alcohol and cigarette addiction this way. Wanting to quit and actually doing it are two different things. And I never said that quitting will make you happy. You start using because you are unhappy. Just because you quit does not mean that problems magically go away. it just means that you can now deal with life and all its problems clearheaded and without the added problem of addiction. And if the 12 steps are so great why does the program have a less than 30% long-term recovery rate? Admit that you don't have a disease and your addiction IS YOUR FAULT. Then, decide NEVER to use again. And then DON'T USE. Admittedly, it does take some work to learn to ignore the part of your brain that wants to use but you CAN do it on your own.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fricsaid

      BG, I agree with some of what you are saying. I did admit that I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had become unmanagable. I admitted it was, "my fault." Regarding your statistic on the 12 step program, I suggest you read this article.....http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html.

      RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are those who cannot or will not give themselves completely to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way.

      BG, my father has been DRY for almost 20 year's and he is miseralbe. I wanted to quit and be happy. I have been SOBER and HAPPY for almost 8 year's, and God willing, as long as I follow the program, I am confident that I will never drink another drop. I take it you are not a happy person by your words. You are right, just quitting will not make you happy. I could never put a price on what I feel inside. The peace, the happiness. It is like nothing I've ever experienced. I wish you luck on your abstinence. There is not a doubt in my mind that it saved my life.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • Commandrea

      Addiction is a disease. If you can't come to terms with that, then you can't ever truly heal. You need to forgive yourself and allow your mind and body to reconnect. You can't blame yourself in hopes of gaining full control of the addiction. Is that why you don't believe it's a disease, because then you wouldn't be in full control of your destiny? I ask because I have a grandfather with a drinking problem (sober for 25+) years now and you kinda remind me of him. He's old school, quit drinking of his own accord, but he's always seemed defeated by the fact that it was something out of his control.

      October 13, 2010 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
    • wiki1

      Great that you were able to stop using... but still sounds like you are just "dry". Most people who acknowledge and treat their addictions through some sort of program usually have a shift of tolerance and judgemental ways of thinking. You sound kind of miserable- spiritually vacant. keep coming back!

      October 13, 2010 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • BG

      I am perfectly happy, thank you very much. And if the 12-steps works for you, that is awesome. It just doesn't work for a lot of people, myself included, and I think that there needs to be a voice for all of us who don't need God to quit. But, 12 steps or not, my main point is still valid. Addiction is NOT a disease. Cancer is a disease. Liver damage due to drinking is a disease. Using drugs is NOT. You cannot get rid of cancer or liver damage by deciding not to have the disease anymore. You CAN get rid of addiction by making the decision to never use again. I took full responsibility for my addictions one day and decided to quit. Forever. It was liberating and a relief. So, if you are an addict reading this, stop making excuses. Admit that YOU are in control of YOUR body and your life and that nobody can help you but YOU. Your decision to use is a DECISION, not a disease. Once you get that, quitting is simple.

      October 13, 2010 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • Fricsaid

      I'm curious to know what credentials you carry to sit there and say, "IT IS NOT A DISEASE." Your opinion, my friend, does not make it so. It's obvious that you know nothing about addiction other than to quit the symptoms of your real problem. I have encountered many like you BG. They claim to be happy, yet, they are miserable. They claim to have their life in order, yet, everyone but them see's it falling apart. It is true that AA will not work for everyone. Some people just do not have it in them to become humble. My words are from experience and from what I've dealt with. There are people, close in my life, that did just what you did. NONE OF THEM ARE HAPPY. To thy own self be true.

      October 13, 2010 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
    • BG

      You are confusing happiness and addiction. Being happy is not the goal of recovery. Getting off drugs is. I am much happier today sober than I was using but I didn't quit with the goal of being happy. I quit because of a multitude of reasons (health, financial, loved ones, etc). But, like most normal people, I have sad days, and frustrated days, and bitchy PMS days. But, overall, I love my family, job, and life and enjoy it much more than I did when I was using. And I still hold that addiction is NOT a disease because nobody can 'cure' an addict against their will. We all know that. It is a CHOICE. All of you who keep claiming it is a disease are just making excuses. Or money.

      October 13, 2010 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
    • Commandrea

      BG- It is GREAT that you were able to quit using on your own but it sounds like you should have enlisted some support to gain a full understanding of addiction. There are physical diseases like cancer and there are mental diseases like schizophrenia and Alzheimers. Then there is addiction, which is both a physical and mental neurological based disease. Yes, people initially choose to put a drug in their body, be it doctor prescribed or not, however, once the user has lost control over the use of any substance, it is then defined as an addiction. The brain literally becomes rewired. Your chemical make up becomes restructured. The notion that addiction is not a disease and can be overcome without external assistance is nothing more than another sinister side effect of addiction. I don't think you are taking your problem seriously enough. Talk to a neurologist about how drugs alter neuropaths and please reconsider your position that addiction is not a disease.

      October 13, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
    • BG

      Also (to Commandrea): It sounds to me like you father took control of his life and quit drinking. I took control of my life and quit drinking and smoking. You always have control when you are using- you just choose to listen to the part of your brain that wants to use. Yes, you have to go through detox and deal with withdrawal but you choose to tough it out. Then, once your body is clear of the drug(s), you choose to ignore the part of you that wants to use. It is all a CHOICE that nobody but the addict can make. I have no idea how you can think that I am not taking my problem seriously enough when I have been sober for years. What else should I be doing? Wallowing is self misery? Relapsing and then throwing my hands up and saying "It's not my fault, I have a disease." I CHOSE to quit using and it wasn't easy but it was simple. I decided not to use EVER again and I haven't. So sorry to be successful on my own and have the nerve to tell other addicts that they can do it too without other drugs, jesus, or excuses. I think all of you are the ones not taking your problems seriously. I will say it one more time: You CHOOSE to be an addict. Addiction is NOT a disease. You CAN quit on your own FOREVER. You just have to commit to NEVER using again. Simple as that. It is not easy, but it is simple.

      October 13, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
    • wiki1

      BG- I don't believe anyone chooses to be come an addict. I believe we choose to pick up drugs and alcohol in the beginning... but there is something more that makes some of us become addicted instead of a casual drinker etc.
      Narrow minds are usually the ones that end up going out.. sometimes you tell yourself that you will never go that way again.. but then because you aren't mentally or spiritually fit... you end up out there again... Tread lightly on believing you have control. Good luck!

      October 13, 2010 at 14:04 | Report abuse |
    • Commandrea

      Okay- we're getting somewhere. What remains of your addiction? What is it that you are still battling today as a result of having dealt with an addiction? That which remains is neurological, "You choose to ignore the part of you that wants to use." See? It's still a part of you, even if minor, but for OTHERS whose brains may have undergone even more severe restructuring than yours, they never get to that moment of clarity that allows them to take the reins and quit using. Or they do quit, but they keep using again and again, not because they don't truly want to quit, but because of a residual electro-chemical neurological brain impulse, such as the one that you still admittedly battle. You can rid yourself further of this only if you desire to really understand what it going on inside of you, mentally and physically. I have been hurt by addicts all of my life, people I've loved, and believe me, it's easier to write them off as selfish than it has been to come to terms with the enormity of their true problems. I still curse them sometimes even as I'm beginning to understand their side of the story, and though it is too late for me to treat them with the compassion that they are due, I have vowed to speak openly with others, even strangers, whether victims of addiction, or victims of addicts, because the stigma of addiction is deadlier than addiction itself. You've taught me something important, which is that even those who have seemingly defeated their addiction through will alone still carry an intrinsic imprint in their brains, which may never be rewritten unless the victim learns to 'reprogram' the physical side of their mental side.

      October 13, 2010 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
    • wiki1

      Bottom line is that overcoming addiction takes a strong person... we start weak- pummeled by our addiction and grow stronger as we work to overcome and want a better life. It's a hard road, but for all who have survived and are surviving...it's totally worth it! love to all!

      October 13, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
  31. blue

    Some studies show naltrexone is effective at curbing alcohol addiction as well.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. himminy

    i would laugh my a$$ off if users of this drug became addicted to this drug. i guess that would be the definition of irony.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      It's not addictive, learn to read.

      October 13, 2010 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
  33. Doug

    had a friend who was addicted to pain meds who was treating it with suboxine. He came to me shaking, crying, and just a total mess begging me to give him $100 to see a doctor to get this suboxine. What exactly is the benefit then? The symtoms are the same with the new drug as the last. Seems like a lateral move, so I don't get what the benefit to having them go on to this equally addicting so called medince really is.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      You are 1000 percent correct! Coming off Suboxone is one of the worst experiences a person can have. Listen up junkballs – if you really want to quit – then suck it up and do it. You are only putting off the sickness by taking drugs that don't even get you high... get sick now or get sick a year from now....

      October 13, 2010 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Both you guys are correct, I had a friend who struggled with opiate addiction and was on suboxone and methadone at various times. Both of these drugs are still just as addictive and he never really got anywhere when he was on these drugs. Suboxone and Methadone are both examples of the drug companies cashing in on the dope trade and the sad part is that most normal people just assume that they are some kind of good thing that cures addicts. For those of us who have witnessed the true effects of these drugs we understand that it is just a sham and addicts that go on them don't really want to quit, which is there choice, but we shouldn't try to act like going on these substitutes is actually on the same level as sobriety.

      October 14, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse |
    • Bugsy

      "Junkballs" Mike? Really? Big compassion thing you have going there. Nice...

      Mike/Dan, Suboxone is extremely effective when the course of treatment is handled by a certified MD (trained in Suboxone therapy). I get the impression your 'friends' were using the street as their clinic.

      October 14, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse |
  34. Bud

    Of course, use of this drug will make you a target for SWAT raids, having your dogs shot and being shotgunned while you sit on the toilet. You don't think cops understand this crap, do you? Just another reason to blow you away.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Doug

    Never heard of or ever seen a pothead shaking and going through withdrawls from their drug of choice, yet that is illegal, and the addictive pain meds are legal, for the life of me I don't get that.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. wait what

    Vivitrol is just Naltrexone, people!...do a little research.. it's an opiate receptor antagonist... this has been around for years and will not cure addicts.. it will make them very, very sick..... this is a non story and no addict would take naltrexone since it is less painful to kick on your own.

    October 13, 2010 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melissa

      Quit spreading inaccurate crap. Yes, it's Naltrexone but why won't addicts take it? And why won't it help anyone? Maybe it didn’t help you or someone you know but it will help a lot of other people. Naltrexone is used in many ways to help kick the habit. Some doctors use it a maintenance & some only use it for detox.
      And just so you know in general it makes people sick in the first day or two as it kicks the opiates off the receptors.

      October 13, 2010 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Naltroxene does not make you sick, you must be getting it mixed up with anitbuse. Naltroxene works very similiarily to Zyban to quit smoking – you just don't get high when you take opiates. You don't get sick, but niether do you get high when one takes opiates on naltroxene.

      October 14, 2010 at 02:31 | Report abuse |
  37. Maxerooonie

    lol I PWN U ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!!! Sniffing Glue FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 13, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Mark McKee

    My wife is one of those extremely rare pain patients that OxyContin was designed to help, so any hope in this area is great news considering that the DEA seems to be doing a bang up job of monitoring legitimate pain doctors & their patients, and apparently not so good a job of monitoring bad doctors and addicts, which, uh, si supposed to be their main job.

    October 13, 2010 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Steve

    Does anyone have any experiences with the Rapid Detox option? Anyone gone through it or know anyone who has? Is it a "real" option?

    October 13, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melissa

      I don't have any experience with rapid detox but have heard from message boards & NA it works.

      October 13, 2010 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      It is a real option if you have $10,000 to spare. Right now only a few clinics are doing it so you'd probably have to travel there (possibly hundreds or thousands of miles) plus the procedure itself is quite pricey. Its a good choice for upper middle class kids who have parents that are willing to shell out big bucks to get their kid clean, but for those of us with lesser means, it really isn't an option. The good part about it is you don't have to go through weeks of withdrawl as it is condensed into a short amount of time. With opiates more so than other drugs the physical dependence may be the biggest hurdle to getting clean as opiate withdrawl is pure hell and rapid detox erases this, which would probably make the psychological aspect of getting clean easier to deal with. I don't have any personal experience with this method nor do I know anyone who has since it is so rare and expensive, but I have a psychology degree and studied it and seems like it works.

      October 14, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  40. john

    BULL!! They easily apend 1000 a month on the drugs and cigs and booze, they can buy the drug. Why should others pay for their problem.....only in bizarro obama world...

    October 13, 2010 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dan

      many of them pay for their drugs by committing illegal acts. If they were doing burglaries and retail theft to pay for rehab then it would kind of defeat the purpose of it.

      October 14, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
  41. Sunnysmom

    I think doctors are as careful as they should be in handing out opiate prescriptions. I went to the ER with my dad last week after he'd had a simple cataract surgery and they doled out 10 Percocet to him like it was nothing. He wasn't really even in that much pain so I told him not to take it. I don't go to the doctor much but it just seemed like overkill to hand him that type of drug for some pain associated with eye surgery.

    October 13, 2010 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sunnysmom

      I mean to say the are NOT careful

      October 13, 2010 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
  42. Lawrence

    Interesting point: “replacement” therapy – treatment that replaces the drug of abuse with a different drug, such as methadone, that leaves the user somewhat more clear-headed, but still addicted" In other words, replace an illegal drug with a legal one. Notice the 2 drugs mentioned are OPIATES and ALCOHOL, both legal yet both extremely dangerous. No wonder they want to keep pot illegal, it's neither harmful nor dangerous.

    For the fellow recommending Ibogaine: the drug has been used in a multitude of studies with incredible results. Sometimes I wonder if the powers that be want people hooked on legal western substances to keep them dumbed down. I also wonder why all the native tribes in Africa and South America which have easy access to natural pharmacopia, including God's psychedelics never had a problem with substance abuse. (please differentiate between substance USE and substance ABUSE. You need to look no further than the Native American and their battle with the white man's devil alcohol. They never had a problem with God's herb nor any psychedelia. Take that wateverpothead!

    October 13, 2010 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Laurie

    I wish this had happened sooner. In two weeks I'm facing the two year anniversary of my oldest son's death from overdose of methadone and morphine. He had been injecting heroin and completed a juvenile rehab, but it wasn't enough for him. He was only 18 when he died, and his younger brother found him. Hopefully these new treatments will save others the pain we've been through.

    October 13, 2010 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Lawrence

    Can anyone comment on the interesting outcome of the Swiss Study of heroin maintenance? Instead of switching an addict from an illegal drug to a legal one, the Swiss decided to give the addicts their "fix" in a clinical setting. One thing that was noticed was that the addict responded similarly to a "social drinker" type person. They would get their "fix" in the morning, be productive all day, and receive their "fix" at night. It is cheaper, crime decreases and the addicts get to live their life. Although in our puritanical and money hungry society this might not work since even needle exchange programs are gutted, but the Swiss are way ahead on their game as usual.

    October 13, 2010 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dan

      This a growing trend in European countries and now Canada as statistical studies show that it is cheaper for a society to give addicts free heroin than it is to have it illegal, which obviously does not stop use. Heroin may prove a better option than methadone as it is the drug they actually want and it is being administered in a safe way. At this time I find it doubtful that America will embrace this idea because of all the cultural bs in this country that would find it morally objectionable to give heroin to addicts even if it does help society overall. But as time goes on if the programs in countries like Switzerland prove to be the most effective way of dealing with this problem then I think people in America would have no choice but to embrace them since it wouldn't make sense to stick with an innefective system when there are other better options. But at this time these programs are in their infancy and while the early results look promising it might be many years before enough data can pile up that their true effectiveness can be measured.

      October 14, 2010 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
  45. Lawrence

    An excerpt from a German Study: "The central result of the German model project shows a significant superiority of heroin over methadone treatment for both primary outcome measures. Heroin treatment has significantly higher response rates both in the field of health and the reduction of illicit drug use. According to the study protocol, evidence of the greater efficacy of heroin treatment compared to methadone maintenance treatment has thus been produced. Heroin treatment is also clearly superior to methadone treatment when focusing on patients, who fulfill the two primary outcome measures."

    Source: Naber, Dieter, and Haasen, Christian, Centre for Interdisciplinary Addiction Research of Hamburg University,

    October 13, 2010 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Amos

    PROBUPHINE is the answer to cure opiate addiction not a weekly shot, come on. Probuphine is in the final Phase III confirmatory trials now. Is mostly funded by the NIH because they recognize how effective it is. A 6 month slow release implant that can't be abused will be the standard practice for all opiate addiction treatment, not pills that can be abused or weekly shots where appointments will clearly be missed. As soon as these weekly shot patients deviate from the schedule they will be right back on their drug of choice.

    October 14, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. j....


    October 14, 2010 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. j....

    yah... so my comment yesurday didnt get posted... anyhow, the ganja munchies have been addressed by chemists in a land far from usa...

    October 14, 2010 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Bugsy

    I'd like to correct some misstated "facts" :
    Suboxone (a combo drug which includes Naloxone) and Methadone are not comparable. Sub is both agonist/antagonist, and helps ween of the 'badder' opiates by hogging the opiate receptors in the brain. Methadone is simply another strong opiate that has a different way of ramping up into your system and because of that, is easier to remain functional on when addicted to it. It works well for many folks. One big drawback to Methadone, is that getting off of it is hellish... average 6 weeks withdrawl vs 1 to 1.5 for heroin, but with +- similar intensity. I have tried cold-turkeying off of Methadone. I don't recommend it. I was finally successful by going through Suboxone therapy. I was transferred off of Methadone onto Suboxone in 1 day, then phased off of Suboxone -with no withdrawl effects – in a two week period. The doc wanted me to remain on it for longer, but I quit the treatment within 2 weeks with no misery.
    The person who said that Suboxone is to be avoided is doing folks a real disservice... you should be careful of your baseless 'facts' sometimes. These newer treatments could be extremely helpful to many folks.

    October 14, 2010 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Mike

    I'm a recovering Opiate addict and got clean thru the use of Suboxone a drug made by the same company that makes vivitrol. It saved my life! Now I'm a successful member of society again. I took a survey about vivitrol given to me from Rekkit, and I think it would be very helpful tool to fight addiction.

    October 15, 2010 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
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