Suboxone Maintenance Barriers

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Barriers to addiction treatment and recovery through the use of Suboxone include for the limited amount of addiction specialists. Increasing the number of patients an addition specialist may treat will improve treatment outcomes and reduce risks associated with the illicit use of opioids. Suboxone maintenance is a proven intervention successful to reducing the risks associated with drug addiction. However, the accessibility to this intervention is severely limited due to availability of addiction specialists and the regulation that limits the number of patients a physician may carry on their caseload.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2012), of the nearly 872,615 potential providers registered with the Drug Enforcement
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In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration initially approved physicians to treat 30 patients for the treatment of opioid dependence. In 2006, the regulation was amended and provided addiction specialists to treat 100 patients with suboxone for opioid dependence. The increase in 2006 improved patient accessibility, but statistics continue to support primary barriers for suboxone maintenance treatment are associated with locating an available treating specialist (The Food and Drug Administration, …show more content…
According to Scanlon (2010), the long-term use of suboxone to treat opioid dependence is flawed because one addiction is traded for another. This author recognizes the misuse of suboxone and aligns misuse with physicians prescribing the medication without proper training and a failure to provide appropriate counseling services. Many professionals in the field of addiction view this as a lucrative business for the prescribing physician, citing cases in which many addiction specialists charge $200 to $300 monthly for one monthly prescription. This perspective fails to consider the fact that many insurance plans will cover the cost of partial, and in some cases all costs associated with suboxone maintenance. Evidence-based research supports many facilities prescribing suboxone do in fact, offer addictions treatment with suboxone. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (2015), there is no "one size fits all," with regard to counseling needs associated with suboxone treatment. Current research supports not all patients benefit from counseling services beyond what high quality medical management and suboxone treatment provide. Varied addiction professionals agree the most beneficial treatment needs to implement counseling services with medication management and in many cases, because the American Society of Addiction describes addiction as a disease that requires