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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Psychiatry

Abstract

Abstract

As the opioid epidemic has continued to grow since the late 1990’s, more persons have been diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Opioid Use Disorder, a chronic and lifelong disorder accompanied by mental and physical disability facilitated by habitual opioid use, has quickly become one of the nations most pressing public health concerns. Currently, it is estimated 130 American adults die each day from opioid overdose, and countless other individuals suffer non-fatal overdoses. In addition, the opioid crisis creates incredible economic burden on the both the private and public healthcare sectors.

With so many negative outcomes associated with OUD, better understanding of treatment modalities is crucial for the mitigation of withdrawal symptoms, improved patient outcomes and reduction in opioid-related deaths. Suboxone® is a promising treatment for individuals with OUD as this drug allows for improvements in pain management, with a reduction in the likelihood that this drug can be abused recreationally or if taken intravenously. Additionally, unlike Methadone®, Suboxone® is more easily obtainable for patients which may improve the efficacy of this treatment long-term.

Research indicates that Suboxone® be considered for use within overall treatment modalities, especially during the initial stages of withdrawal symptoms associated with OUD. Suboxone® may be especially useful if taken as part of treatment with counseling. Future research should be done on the use of Suboxone® within different age cohorts and amongst different genders, ethnicities and socioeconomic status to better understand the efficacy of this drug in treatment for different forms of OUD.

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