Buprenorphine OTC: A Solution or Menace?
During the past few years, several experts have proposed the possibility of OTC buprenorphine. In case you didn’t know, OTC stands for Over The Counter. An OTC medication is one that anybody can buy without a prescription. It just sits on the shelf of the pharmacy or grocery store. In fact, all you have to do is put it in your cart and pay at the front register. OTC means that you don’t have to get approval from your doctor or your pharmacist. Could buprenorphine OTC be a solution to saving more lives from opioid addiction?
The problem with OTC.
There is one major issue with this proposition. Buprenorphine is a controlled drug. This means that the government has determined that it is possible that people might abuse or misuse it. While it is less likely for opioid addicted people to abuse buprenorphine than many other opiates and opioids, it is still possible. Our government is very protective of its citizens when it comes to drugs of abuse. They want to be certain that people will not abuse buprenorphine. Already, our leaders are fighting to stop the abuse of street drugs that people think will help with opioid addiction, such as smoking kratom.
What if buprenorphine OTC did exist?
Let us imagine that it is possible to buy buprenorphine over the counter. First, patients could bypass seeing a doctor. Additionally, they would not even have to see a pharmacist or pharmacy tech. Hence, anyone who wanted to get off of opioids could discretely buy their treatment medication and take it home. It is already possible to get free buprenorphine. What about freely available buprenorphine?
Why it is really a bad idea.
The real problem goes beyond government control or misuse of OTC drugs. In order for a person to recover from opioid addiction successfully, they should engage in a full program of recovery. Just taking buprenorphine to stave off opioid cravings without seeing a doctor or therapist, while it may help for a short time, will usually not work as a solid program of recovery. There are many aspects to the ways in which you will stay clean from drugs. Your doctor and therapist will listen to you and your unique issues. They will provide you with information to educate you and to motivate you. Just as a stool with only one or two legs will soon topple over, your recovery will topple if it does not include all of the necessary components.
Can you think of other reasons?
I am certain that readers will have other ideas of why buprenorphine OTC is a bad idea. Please let us know in the comments below. Thank you!