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Doctor wonders why access to Suboxone is still restricted

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Suboxone is available to doctors to treat opioid addiction, but physicians need special permission to dole it out.

Doctor wants to make it easier for doctors to prescribe Suboxone.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s been a few months since doctors have been allowed to directly prescribe a new medication to treat opioid addiction, but there are still some hiccups.

Suboxone is safer than methadone and is worthless on the street.

The drug also allows people with addictions to treat themselves at home rather than visit a pharmacy for a daily dose of methadone.

But regulations still lump Suboxone into the same category as methadone. Doctors have to apply to be given permission to prescribe Suboxone, which is the same protocol for its more dangerous sister methadone. But physicians don’t need that special permission for more harmful drugs like Oxycontin.

“There’s just an irony that doesn’t make sense that we can have physicians prescribing opioids that have the potential to be so toxic and yet they can’t provide treatments without a pretty big loop-hole to jump through,” says Dr. Evan Wood, a UBC medical professor and the Medical Director for Addictions Services for Vancouver Coastal Health.

He argues treating addiction is particularly important right now, given the sheer numbers of fentanyl overdoses occurring in BC over the past year.