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The National Alliance of Advocates
for Buprenorphine Treatment

Buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®3, Zubsolv®4, Bunavail™5, Probuphine®6) is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction in the privacy of a physician's office.1 Buprenorphine can be dispensed for take-home use, by prescription.1 This, in addition to the pharmacological and safety profile of buprenorphine, makes it an attractive treatment for patients addicted to opioids.2

Educational Essays – Introduction

To gain a thorough understanding of how Buprenorphine treatment can help people addicted to opioids, you must have an understanding of opioids, addiction, stereotypes, existing treatments, and some basic pharmacology. The text contained in this section is a collection of articles meant to give an overview and to aid in understanding these issues so that you can completely understand the scope of today's opioid addiction problems. Here you will learn the definitions of opioids and opiates, what opioid addiction is and what it is like, and the difference between physical dependence and addiction. A brief history of opioids and addiction will help you understand why opium and substances derived from it became a "drug" while tobacco did not. It covers the stereotypes of the drug addicted and explains the events that help shape our image of the addicted. This website offers information on the most up to date, scientific approach to the treatment of Opioid addiction.

Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone) received approval by the FDA on October 8, 2002. It is state-of-the-art medication to treat the medical condition of Opioid addiction. It is improving the quality of life for patients in recovery and giving them hope, dignity, and the ability to have a normal life again.

There has been much damage done by the negative stereotype of addiction. Even the medical profession has held a negative stereotype causing resistance to getting involved in helping people with this brain disease. Until recently, the image of a weak morally depraved person has encouraged a punitive perspective and slowed science and research of this medical condition.

The following is a thorough explanation of physical dependence and addiction and how buprenorphine works to treat it. Finally, there is a day-by-day and week-to-month description of what to expect when starting Buprenorphine treatment.

The key to solving the problem of addiction is in understanding and education.


Opioids are a family of drugs consisting of those derived from opium and of those synthesized in a lab to emulate the effects of opium.

Opioid Addiction

This is a physical condition; not caused by lack of morals, nor controlled by willpower, nor cured by good advice. It is a disease as is diabetes or cancer.

Brief History of Opioid Addiction

Every American has been touched by addiction in some way, whether it was an addicted parent or child or in the form of higher health costs, insurance, or taxes. Addiction costs this country in excess of $400 billion a year...

Breaking the Stereotype

The stereotypical view of a drug user is a morally weak person with no willpower or sense of responsibility, a dishonest self- centered, entitled parasite, worthless to society. This view is expected;

Buprenorphine Treatment

Opioid receptor is empty – As someone becomes tolerant to opioids, they become less sensitive and require more opioids to produce the same effect.

Technical Explanation of Buprenorphine

Most of the information contained in this section is excerpts from the TIP 40 publication (treatment improvement protocol) issued by the U.S. Department of HHS, SAMHSA, CSAT.

Behavior Modification and the Brain

In 2000, the BBC published a news story on the brains of the famed London taxi drivers. Taxi drivers in London must memorize an incredible amount of information in order to get their livery licenses...


Opiates are drugs derived from opium. At one time "opioids" referred to synthetic opiates only (drugs created to emulate opium, however different chemically). Now the term Opioid is used for the entire family of opiates including natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic.

What it is Like to be Addicted

Opiate addiction is a brain disease characterized by increased tolerance leading to more and more substance needed to achieve the same effect. Also, there is continued use of substance despite negative consequences...

The Birth of a Stereotype

For thousands of years opium was used as a medicine and relieved the suffering of many people for many aliments. There were few cures so relieving suffering until the inevitable end was welcome treatment.

Treatment Law

A significant breakthrough in the treatment of opioid addiction occurred with the introduction of methadone in the 1960s.

Modern Addicted Treatment

Jose was running low on his substance of choice (S.O.C.) one day; soon he would exhaust his supplies. He began to plot and scheme as to how to obtain more.

Pharmacology of Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is a thebaine derivative that is legally classified as a narcotic. It is available in numerous countries for use as an analgesic.

What is Buprenorphine Treatment Like?

From preparation to staying drug free, the following is an in-depth look at what to expect from Buprenorphine Treatment.

The Purpose of Buprenorphine Treatment:

To suppress the debilitating symptoms of cravings and withdrawal, enabling the patient to engage in therapy, counseling and support, so they can implement positive long-term changes in their lives which develops into the new healthy patterns of behavior necessary to achieve sustained addiction remission. - explain -

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment is a non-profit organization charged with the mission to:

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA Talk Paper, T0238, October 8, 2002, Subutex and Suboxone approved to treat opiate dependence.
  2. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 40. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 04-3939. Rockville, Md: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004.
  3. Subutex Discontinued in the US market in late 2011.
  4. Zubsolv (bup/nx sublingual tablet) FDA approved 7/3/2013 see buprenorphine pipeline graphic -in pharmacies now.
  5. Bunavail (bup/nx bucal film) FDA approved 6/6/2014 see buprenorphine pipeline graphic -in pharmacies now.
  6. Probuphine FDA approved 5/26/2016 - FDA Probuphine press release