The facts about methadone and Suboxone

As Maine continues to struggle with opioid addiction, there is a great deal of community dialogue about what to do about it. It is generally believed that it takes multiple approaches, which include prevention, treatment and interdiction (law enforcement).

Oftentimes, treatment comes in the form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which can be either methadone or Suboxone (buprenorphine). There are strong opinions expressed, both in support of and in opposition to, MAT. We feel that an opinion is best developed when considering the facts around the subject.

In November 2015, Acadia Hospital psychiatrist Vijay Amarendran gave a presentation as part of Acadia’s Open Mind series. It was titled, “The Facts About Methadone and Suboxone.”

Acadia Hospital Psychiatrist Dr. Vijay Amarendran.

Dr. Amarendran is the medical director of outpatient services at Acadia Hospital and is also an expert in substance use disorders. In his presentation he comments that, “The safety and efficacy of these medications (methadone and Suboxone) are very well established.” But, “Access to treatment continues to be an issue.”

In fact, Methadone and Suboxone have both been studied extensively, and have been shown to be quite effective for many people, but access is hindered due to the existing programs being capped, a lack of primary care physicians willing to prescribe Suboxone, stigma and adequate reimbursement.

Check out his full talk: