Buprenorphine, also known as Subutex, is intended for use as a cure of opium related addiction. It is intended to be used in the initial stages of addiction treatment. It is used because it adheres to the opiate receptors in the brain more than other narcotics, thus reducing the urge and craving to take those drugs. It adheres to the brain in such a way that the use of other hard drugs, such as heroin, will have minimal effect. However, its continued use can cause the user to be dependent on it.
The effects of Subutex are not as noticeable as those of other drugs. Such side effects include mood swings, change in the color of the eyes, respiratory difficulties, digestive system problems, change in color of urine and more. The sudden discontinuation of Subutex may cause a return to the use of hard drugs, or may lead to Subutex Addiction. It is not used as needed; instead, it is used on a daily basis and the sudden stoppage of it may have adverse effects. Subutex is placed under the tongue where it releases medication by melting. Using it in other ways can lead to abuse.
Since it is intended to be used as a cure, the blame of being dependent on Subutex cannot be heaped on the user who only uses it to avert the use of narcotics. It should strictly be used only for the purpose intended by the manufacturer. Using it for any other purpose is considered Subutex Addiction.
Abuse of Subutex can cause respiratory problems and eventual death. It is dangerous to use it with other drugs as some people do in order to enhance the drug’s effect. If any other medication should be used with alongside Subutex, an individual should consult a physician. Combining it with other drugs may lead to death, especially when patients inject it into their bodies.
Though Subutex should be strictly available by a doctor’s prescription, it is available in the black market. Despite measures being taken to avoid diversion into the black market, misuse of the drug is available on the back streets particularly in the Northeastern region of the U.S. It is illegal to trade in it and those dealing in it unlawfully can be prosecuted.
It is argued in some quarters that the drugs made available by prescription eventually find their way into the black market. Another reason for its availability in the black market is that it is less restricted compared to other drugs.
In the USA, it is a Schedule III drug, thus allowing physicians who receive specialized training to dispense it. It is also cheaper in comparison to other narcotics, hence placing within the reach of many drug users. This has added greatly to the number of its addiction cases. The world is taking notice of the effects of Subutex Addiction.
The United Nations International Narcotics Board reported a marked increase in the use of Subutex between 2000 and 2004. The same board reported in 2005 that Subutex was in preference edging out other drugs, such as heroin, in some areas.