Our facility is always on the cutting edge of addiction treatment. We welcome the development of medications that have built in mechanisms to reduce the likelihood of abuse.
EMBEDA is a More Responsible Painkiller but Will Still be Abused
There has been much written on our blog about the high frequency of OxyContin abusers gravitating to heroin use (for cost and availability reasons) and then overdosing tragically. Painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin may have their place in the world, but are also very sinister because of their likelihood to foster physical and mental dependence in some users. We’ve even pondered the question “Should OxyContin Even be Legal?” and written about positive developments like “tamper proof” sticky OxyContin.
A positive development in the pharmaceutical industry is EMBEDA which mixes morphine with the antagonist Naltrexone to reduce the ability for users to abuse it. However, the potential for a user to take a high dose of EMBEDA or for other drugs (and alcohol) to be taken in addition to the EMBEDA make the drug’s potential for abuse inevitable.
EMBEDA is a New Drug With a Novel Combination of Ingredients
EMBEDA is the brand name for a drug created by King Pharmaceuticals that is a mixture of morphine sulfate and naltrexone hydrochloride. EMBEDA provides a continuous release of morphine via pellets that are embedded in the tablet. The naltrexone is in the released if the pellets are altered and will block the intake of the morphine to the user who has altered the pellets. This combination of medications ensures a steady release of the morphine to increase the comfort of the person who is detoxing from opiates (like OxyContin, Vicodin, and heroin).
While we welcome the development of drugs like EMBEDA, we have no doubt that it will be abused and will not really reduce the instance of opiate addiction in society.
New developments in tamper proof painkiller drugs like EMBEDA will allow the person who is in pain to receive the comfort of morphine “as an analgesic” (steadily over a period of time) but without being able to abuse the drug by imbibing it rapidly (via crushing and snorting or injecting).
Unfortunately, there is nothing preventing the user from taking an increased dose of EMBEDA or mixing with other drugs. So what we have in effect is a new party pill for opiate abusers to add to their arsenal. While we welcome the development of drugs like EMBEDA, and clearly it is a more responsible painkiller than the highly abused OxyContin which has ruined so many lives, we have no doubt that it will be abused and will not really reduce the instance of opiate addiction in society.
Treating Opiate Addiction
Our treatment facility has been successful for 25 years primarily for its ability to provide a setting that is structured and also very enjoyable. When men and women who have been addicted to drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Heroin come to our facility they will receive a balanced treatment program of:
- Therapeutic Activities
- Educational Workshops
- Support Groups
- Fun Outdoors Physical and Social Activities
Opiate addicted men and women are more common in our rehab center than ever due to the “silent epidemic” of prescription drug addiction that is ravaging our society. Young people enter our treatment center for help overcoming OxyContin, Vicodin, and heroin addiction in great numbers.
We have found that opiate-addicted individuals struggle mightily with cravings and the urge to relapse. During detoxification and in early recovery we might prescribe drugs to increase comfort and reduce cravings like Suboxone, Subutex, and Vivitrol.
Our staff feels strongly that medications to increase comfort in early sobriety like Suboxone and Vivitrol are merely tools that can make an individual more receptive to the new lifestyle of sobriety we help them learn to live. Still, we are dedicated to using whatever tool we possibly can to increase the likelihood of a long-term successful outcome for our clients. We have had great success using medications like Subutex and Suboxone in the past. You can read one of our clinicians positive and negative thoughts about Suboxone in his blog entries.