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What is suboxone? Prescription opiate on Winona streets (07/21/2013)
By Chris Rogers

Last week, several police reports involved the prescription narcotic suboxone. Several people were arrested after being found in possession of the drug without a prescription, and another man with a legal prescription reported 80 doses were stolen from his residence.

Suboxone is a brand name for a combination of buprenorphine, an opiate, and naloxone, a drug that protects from opiate overdose. Like methadone, the drug that caused the death of a Goodview man last summer, suboxone is prescribed to help wean opiate addicts off drugs such as heroin. However, like methadone, it sometimes ends up being used as an illicit street drug itself.

Suboxone is frequently consumed as a sublingual film — like melt-in-your-mouth Listerine Breath Strips, but with synthetic opiates.

Like methadone, suboxone patients start out by taking the drug in a clinic and can eventually receive permission for take-home prescriptions. However, suboxone is “less tightly controlled than methadone because it has a lower potential for abuse and is less dangerous in an overdose,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  

 

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