Sunday, February 03, 2008

Bupe - The Cure or the Disease?

Addiction is a tricky business to treat - seems most of the cures cause as many problems as the disease. Methadone, frontline treatment for heroin and other opioid dependence, is a favored substance of abuse across the nation. And now buprenorphine, aka Bupe, is on the rise. Also used to treat that nasty smack habit, bupe is selling on the streets at 2 - 5 bucks a pop, respectable for a pharmaceutical with an opioid antagonist (naltrexone) component that acts as a supposed deterrent to intravenous use.

Problem is, the naltrexone isn't very effective at doing its job. Street use of bupe, primarily to ward off withdrawal from other opioids, is increasingly the opioid of choice for getting high.

What makes bupe different from methadone and other similar treatments? It's the only pharmacologic remedy available from a doc. Yep, trained and licensed office physicians can prescribe bupe for any patient. Dissolved under the tongue, bupe is taken in the privacy of one's home. In other words, no daily trek to a stigma-inducing meth clinic. As a result, thousands more individuals are in treatment. Thousands who might not otherwise have sought help.

Methadone, bupe, and a myriad of other 'treatments' illustrate the difficult conundrum of curing the afflicted without feeding the demand for new and novel substances to snort, huff, swallow, lick, and inject. Wish there was an obvious solution, but short of throwing more dollars to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, providing incentives to Big Pharma to develope non-abusable remedies, and boosting proven prevention strategies, there is no easy fix.

Take on even one of these barefaced solutions? In an election year? Come on...


On writing... February is off with a bang, who cares whether the damn groundhog saw his shadow? Chrys memoirist extraordinaire, has a fabulous piece on parties, published in (ta-da!) - The Sun. Woo-hoo, Go Girl!!!

Kelley sometimes-they-call-me- has a piece up this week at Flash Me - Bike Riding in Intensive Care.

Jenn Haddock, member of my Cedarhurst Unitarian Universalist writing group, gave birth to her first 6S - all you writers out there will especially resonate.

And yours truly has another ditty in the same - Perfect Day.

Perfect week.

Go forth and conquer this, the longest month of the year... Peace, Linda


  1. OK February-Write-a-Holic, I'm back from book two writing hiatus and passing on my latest inspiration about writing to fuel your already burning fire. Hemmingway. A Moveable Feast. "When I was writing, it was necessary for me to read after I had written. If you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing that you were writing before you could go on with it the next day. It was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved." Cheers to answering the call of writing.

  2. Sarah!!!!! You're back!!!! I missed you!!!! And yoo-hoo to you on book number 2 (that has a nice swingy meter to it). I adore Hemingway, finished FAREWELL TO ARMS a couple of months ago, and will heed his (and your) advice to exercise and make mad love to those I love. Do the same, girl! Can't wait to see what your gifted pen has composed. Peace...