Buprenorphine/Suboxone is a medication that can be given to people with heroin dependence who are seeking recovery for active drug addiction. It is administered as a tablet, often 3 times weekly on an ongoing basis. Buprenorphine/Suboxone has been used successfully to treat heroin and opiate addicts in France for years.
In October, 2002, the prescription drug manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market Buprenorphine/Suboxone and buprenorphine/naloxone products used to treat addiction to opiates such as heroin or prescription analgesics such as Oxycontin. With the approval of these medications for outpatient treatment, individuals now have another potentially valuable treatment modality at their disposal. Buprenorphine/Suboxone has been used for both long-term maintenance and for medically supervised withdrawal from opioids. It has been shown to be safe and effective in suppressing withdrawal symptoms and in blocking the effects of illicit opioids.
Until now, addicts had few options available to them. They could try to quit on their own and go through withdrawal. They could try detoxification or rehabilitation, or they could seek methadone therapy.