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Subutex (sublingual tablets) is a brand-name medication that is generically known as buprenorphine.

 In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for use in the treatment of opiate addiction. Opiates are drugs there are derived from the opium poppy plant. There are legal opiates that are used to help alleviate severe pain (e.g., hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, etc.) and illegal opiates (e.g., heroin). Opiates work by affecting certain neurotransmitters in one’s brain. In 2011, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc., the manufacturer of Subutex, chose to discontinue the drug in the United States after developing new formulations that were less likely to be abused. Generic forms of sublingual buprenorphine remain available in the United States. Buprenorphine is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, which according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are defined as “drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” Buprenorphine is usually used as the first defense and is the initial medication prescribed to individuals struggling with opiate abuse. 

How It Works

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid antagonist that binds with opioid receptors in the brain that causes reduced pain and feelings of wellbeing. As a partial opioid antagonist, buprenorphine binds to one’s opioid receptors in the brain. Although it is not a full opioid, it does act similarly to one, but it lacks the ability to cause an individual to experience feelings of euphoria when taken as directed. This medication can provide relief for opioid cravings, minimize withdrawal symptoms, and prevent overdose.

Finding A Subutex Doctor

Because Subutex has been discontinued, it will be impossible to find a Subutex doctor near you. Doctors that can prescribe buprenorphine, however, are everywhere. Other types of medical professionals are also able to prescribe buprenorphine. In 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) permitted nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to obtain a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder. Furthermore, recent shifts in addiction medicine now allow nearly all doctors the ability to prescribe buprenorphine regardless of training. Prior to this change, most physicians were required to obtain a special waiver along with the completion of an eight-hour training to be approved to prescribe buprenorphine. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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