Opioid and heroin addiction can be treated with methadone, buprenorphine and Vivitrol, drugs "that have proven more effective at keeping people from abusing drugs than abstinence and 12-step therapies that don’t include the medications," Vestal writes. But not everyone is in favor of using medication to treat addiction, which has led some to turn to spiritual-based recovery programs.
Becker said that of the state's 300 physicians with a license to prescribe buprenorphine about 100 serve Medicaid patients, Vestal writes. He said that while most doctors who prescribe buprenorphine, typically sold as Suboxone, "do a good job of providing counseling, group classes and drug screenings to ensure patients are using it as prescribed and staying in recovery" the state has a number of cash clinics that "provide little counseling and fail to adhere to national protocols requiring drug screenings . . . These practices require a monthly cash payment of $300 or more in advance and usually give patients more medication than they need. That allows many of them to end up selling their extra doses on the street." (Read more)