Use of Buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction on the rise
Every day, more tjhan 130 people in the U.S. die after overdosing on opioids according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Now, new research suggests one of the drugs that can treat the addiction is being used more often but not enough people are receiving it.
Buprenorphine is one of three medications approved by the FDA to treat opioid addiction. Its use more than doubled between 2009 and 2018 according to the American Medical Association.
Buprenorphine use increased substantially for adults aged 35 to 44 during that time period but the rate of use dropped slightly for those ages 15 to 24.
The authors wrote that this drop is use highlighted a "widening treatment gap for young people" and underscores "the importance of improving Buprenorphine treatment services for this age group."
While an increase in use suggests more people are accessing treatment, these rates are below the national estimates of the combined rates of prescription opioid addiction and heroin use.
It's estimated between 8 and 12% of people who use opioids will develop an opioid addiction.