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What is Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT). As with all medications used in MAT, a buprenorphine treatment should be prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and other behavioral therapies to provide patients with a whole-person approach.
MYTH: Taking methadone or buprenorphine is replacing one addiction with another.
There is a difference between addiction and physical dependence. Medications like methadone and buprenorphine help stabilize people who are addicted to opioids, which improves their ability to maintain jobs and relationships.
MYTH: Taking methadone or buprenorphine isn’t real recovery.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.” Medications like methadone and buprenorphine help people discover the recovery that best fits their lives.
MYTH: People use methadone and buprenorphine because it makes them high.
At the right dose, methadone and buprenorphine do not make people with opioid addiction high. They help people feel stable and reduce their cravings to use.
People who buy it off the streets typically do so to try to treat themselves when they cannot access treatment.
MYTH: Buprenorphine and methadone are short-term solutions, and people should stop taking them as soon as possible.
There is no set amount of time that people should take buprenorphine or methadone. Because addiction is a long-term condition, treatment can last for years and should be continued for as long as people and their medical providers decide is necessary.