Kentucky Doc Spring 2016 - Page 15

doc Spring 2016 • Kentucky medication with abuse potential, diversion is likely to follow, making it unsurprising that buprenorphine diversion has been documented.”2 They stressed that despite the documented diversion, Buprenorphine products were clinically effective and safe for the treatment of opioid dependence. Buprenorphine’s safety profile, ceiling effect at high doses, and its ability to be co-formulated with naloxone to limit injection abuse and lower abuse potential compared to full opioid agonists make it a suitable medication for office-based treatment of opioid dependency. The authors recommended, “Strong consideration should also be given to the medical, social, public health, and economic benefits that arise when opioid-dependent individuals use buprenorphine in a therapeutic manner to self-treat addiction and withdrawal symptoms or as a harm reduction approach to manage the risks associated with drug dependence.”2 The key driver of the overdose epidemic is the underlying substance-use disorder (SUD). SUD is a chronic disease and similar to other chronic diseases (i.e., diabetes, hypertension), SUD is generally refractory to cure; but, effective treatment and functional recovery are possible. As the evidence-based medicine studies demonstrated, medicationassisted therapies (MAT) are available; but, these modal ]Y\