If you or someone you care about are living in Texas and currently struggling with opioid addiction, you may have access to a new medication resources to combat cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The state’s Medicaid program has announced that it will be approving the anti-opioid drug Bunavail starting January 1, 2017. A product of North Carolina-based BioDelivery Sciences International, Bunavail is a combination buprenorphine and naloxone. It comes in the form of a citrus-flavored sublingual film. Similar to Suboxone, the drug has been increasingly effective in treating the perils and rigors of long-term opioid withdrawal. The drug should be taken only when prescribed by a qualified physician.
Since August, when federal regulators increased the number of patients to which one doctor could administer buprenorphine-based drugs from 100 to 275, nearly 1700 physicians have applied for these increases. The problem of opioid addiction is real and affects Texas residents of all ages. Elderly residents often start off taking prescription painkillers for a legitimate condition, but they wind up getting hooked because their regimen is not closely supervised by their doctors. Senior citizens are fast becoming a leading group for substance abuse and addiction; so much so, that drastic changes in state Medicaid programs, like this one, are needed more and more.
As prescription opioid abuse continues to ravage practically every population within the country, sufferers deserve every clinical resource at their disposal to help them get their lives back on track. Medicaid approval of proactive, effective and viable medication resources is a step in the right direction. While it’s still unclear as to what other state Medicaid programs will be open to approving these drugs, Texas residents suffering from the disease of addiction now have a further layer of insulation from the rigors of withdrawal and the crushing setback of relapse.