The Obama administration sees the threat of painkiller addiction on the rise and it intends to spend billions to combat the issue, mainly by making anti-addiction medications more available. In the past, methadone was the main anti-addiction drug given to recovering drug addicts, but this medication poses problems due its dangerous side effects and strict regulation requiring the user to go to a regulated clinic every day to obtain a new dose. Another anti-addiction drug, buprenorphine, is now entering mainstream use as it does not have the same dangerous side effects and can be prescribed monthly through a drugstore like normal medications. The issue with this medication is that doctor's must attend an intensive training course in order to become licensed to write prescriptions for it. Additionally, federal laws limit the number of drug addict patients each doctor can treat and prescribe this medication to. Research is clear that opiod addiction medications greatly increase the chance of recovery as it relieves drug cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms. Concerns by some about increasing the use of buprenorphine include the fact that drug abusers on the streets use it to tide them over until they can get their next drug fix and worry that it will be abused. Yet for drug addicts who truly need help, this medication may be the difference between life and death.
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