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New Drug a Major Step Forward in Treating Opiate Addiction
Oregon Magazine ^ | October 1, 2003 | Jerry Gjesvold

Posted on 10/01/2003 1:26:30 PM PDT by WaterDragon

The word's out on the street. People addicted to heroin or prescription painkillers are passing the word. There's a new treatment where you don't have to go through such a miserable withdrawal. It sounds too good to be true. Some are calling it a "miracle drug."...(snip)

"The vast majority of patients - especially if they've been through withdrawal before - expect four days of hell," says Dr. Rick Caesar, Serenity Lane's medical co-director.

Over the last two months, he has treated close to 30 patients using the new drug. After going through withdrawal with it, he says, most "can't believe the experience - how much less painful the withdrawal is."...(snip)

Click HERE For Complete Article!

(Excerpt) Read more at oregonmag.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: California; US: Oregon; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: addiction; buprenorphine; miracledrug; opiate; treatment; wodlist

1 posted on 10/01/2003 1:26:30 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
You have to wonder if this is a good thing or not. It could be argued that easier withdrawal will increase the number of 'part-time' users, who know they can use freely without worrying about withdrawal during the dry spells.

Maybe an analogy is the false sense of security condoms give to people worried about STDs.

2 posted on 10/01/2003 1:41:29 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell (Hillary walks into a bar. Let's hope it leaves a nice bump on her forehead.)
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
You may be right. Also there are a lot of addicts who dread the withdrawal who might now be more willing to get off drugs.
3 posted on 10/01/2003 1:48:43 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
Also there are a lot of addicts who dread the withdrawal who might now be more willing to get off drugs.

True. It's perhaps inevitable, though, that some of them will be tempted again later on, and have less of a fear of using again because it wasn't as big of a deal to wean themselves. It will be interesting to see the net benefit of the drug, though. Maybe it ultimately will be an overall good thing. I've tried opiates in the past, and fortunately, didn't use them long enough to crave them enough to resume using them. But I still remember how good they made me feel. So perhaps in some sense, once you try them, you're an addict for life, whether or not you actively use. Kind of like being an alcoholic for life.

Whether you believe in evolution or not, it seems like there is SOME reason people were not born to feel good all the time. The obvious reason is that if people felt good all the time nothing would ever get done, and people would die off. There was an episode of "The Simpsons" where a self-help guru came to town and told the citizens of Springfield that the key to happiness was to "Do what you feel like". Predictably, chaos ensued. Some bleachers collapsed because the guy responsible for maintaining them didn't feel like fixing them.

4 posted on 10/01/2003 1:59:42 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell (Hillary walks into a bar. Let's hope it leaves a nice bump on her forehead.)
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell; *Wod_list; jmc813
It could be argued that easier withdrawal will increase the number of 'part-time' users

Are part-time users of opiates any more objectionable than part-time users of alcohol?

5 posted on 10/01/2003 2:12:18 PM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: Wolfie; vin-one; WindMinstrel; philman_36; Beach_Babe; jenny65; AUgrad; Xenalyte; Bill D. Berger; ..
WOD Ping
6 posted on 10/01/2003 2:16:00 PM PDT by jmc813 (How ironic is it that Arnold turned out to be the spoiler?)
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
"It could be argued that easier withdrawal will increase the number of 'part-time' users, who know they can use freely without worrying about withdrawal during the dry spells."

The two classical symptoms of drug addiction are: (1). withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not present in the system (2). the need for more and more of the drug to accomplish what a small amount used to do.

By eliminating or diminishing the withdrawal symptoms you cannot do otherwise but help the addict break his habit. If an addict should withdraw using this new medication and later return to the drug, at least he will have spent some time "clean", which is good for him/her and for society. It is far better to get them clean, even for a period, than to let them perpetually languish on drugs in a chronic state of dependence. This new drug sounds good.

7 posted on 10/01/2003 2:23:15 PM PDT by TheCrusader
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To: TheCrusader
You make good points. I'm just playing Devil's Advocate, I guess. I suppose social Darwinists would submit that it's ulitmately better for addicts to remove themselves from the gene pool. I think that's a harsh view, but some hold it. I think maybe an even larger issue is the 'fix-the-symptom' mentality, rather than fixing the situation that causes the disease. By that I mean it's ultimately more helpful to prevent addiction in the first place than it is to treat it later. In much the same way as it's easier to never plant bamboo or kudzu in your yard than it is to control it.

That's a philosophical debate for another time, though.

8 posted on 10/01/2003 2:32:24 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell (Hillary walks into a bar. Let's hope it leaves a nice bump on her forehead.)
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
Gee, will it help me stop smoking?
9 posted on 10/01/2003 2:40:31 PM PDT by Not gonna take it anymore
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
Another thing about withdrawal....it's dangerous. It actually can kill. I knew a woman on prescribed opiates (from a dozen different doctors) who stopped the drugs on her own. Turned out, also, that the drugs had for years been masking a serious medical condition. The withdrawal trauma exacerbated that condition and she died.

Also, many addicts start very young when they have little sense of the potential destruction. Anything at all that helps them get off the drugs has to be a plus.
10 posted on 10/01/2003 3:52:20 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
Also, many addicts start very young when they have little sense of the potential destruction. Anything at all that helps them get off the drugs has to be a plus

Good point, but as often with drugs, it's not the people that get valid prescriptions that are the problem, but those who abuse them through street purchase or overseas pharmacies. Maybe street dealers will start selling 'the cure' along with the opiates (heroin, morphine, whatever). Anything to entice the next sale. Or maybe they'll only sell them to one-time users, knowing that the hard-core users are more likely to stay hard-core if they NEED the heroin.

The abusers shouldn't spoil it for everyone else, of course. It's terrible that drugs like OxyContin have to be so rarely prescribed and tightly controlled because of those who choose to abuse it.

Not trying to be a wet blanket, only mulling over some issues that occur to me. Could be a very good drug in the long run, if used judiciously.

11 posted on 10/01/2003 4:01:18 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell (Hillary walks into a bar. Let's hope it leaves a nice bump on her forehead.)
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
No, no...your points are good ones. But why would a drug dealer want to sell this new drug? I don't understand.
12 posted on 10/01/2003 4:08:27 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
But why would a drug dealer want to sell this new drug? I don't understand.

You're right, the same dealer selling opiates probably wouldn't not sell this new drug, at least not to a regular customer (gotta keep those customers hooked). But other dealers might emerge that would (helping people get around the embarrassing trip to the doctor or detox center). Certainly overseas pharmacies will find a way to get their hands on it. You can get all sorts of proscribed meds from them without a prescription.

I don't know that this is a big deal, or even that it could be prevented even if it is.

13 posted on 10/01/2003 4:19:47 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell (Hillary walks into a bar. Let's hope it leaves a nice bump on her forehead.)
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
Even if the new drug were obtained in such a round-about way, still, an addict's only interest in taking it is to get clean. And as has been noted, each period of cleanness from drugs is a plus, for the addict and for the rest of us.

We should get the message spread around as much as possible that this drug is available.
14 posted on 10/01/2003 4:45:55 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
We should get the message spread around as much as possible that this drug is available.

Indeed, and I personally know of a couple of people that might benefit from this. I plan to share this with them. It was fun debating with you. Don't you wish all discourse on FR could be so civil? Especially a DRUG thread! Those are usually the worst. Of course, the day is young, and the extremists may simply not have read this yet.

15 posted on 10/01/2003 4:48:31 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell (Hillary walks into a bar. Let's hope it leaves a nice bump on her forehead.)
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
LOL! After the calm, must the storm arrive! I don't actually mind the hot disagreements on the board. Anyway, why would those who want drugs legalized be against a drug that makes withdrawal safer and easier!

Yes, I've also enjoyed the discussion!
16 posted on 10/01/2003 5:17:07 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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