Profits Trumping Humanity: Use of Suboxone in the Opioid Crisis

The United States is still struggling with the profound consequences of the opioid crisis that emerged in the early 1990s.

As synthetic opioids like fentanyl infiltrate illicit supplies, mortality rates climb higher, leaving grieving families and communities desperate for solutions.

The problem of drug use is crippling US society. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 65 percent of incarcerated individuals in the United States are afflicted with a substance use disorder (SUD).

 Profits Trumping Humanity: Use of Suboxone in the Opioid Crisis
Profits Trumping Humanity: Use of Suboxone in the Opioid Crisis

To top that, opioids constituted more than 75% of the 100,000 drug overdose fatalities in 2021. 

Traditional detox methods, abstinence-focused programs, and psychological therapies have shown limited success in treating substance use disorders.

Recognizing this, the FDA now advocates for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as a more effective approach. 

For opioid use disorder, the FDA approves the use of Suboxone, which is available in both strip and tablet forms. The drug is administered under the tongue or on the inner cheek linings.

Its high efficacy in curbing opioid addiction has been marred by constant complaints from a section of its users. According to them, Suboxone induces severe dental wounds because of its acidic nature.

In this blog post, we aim to address the significant concerns associated with the utilization of Suboxone.

Moreover, we will also dive deep into how, as a sufferer, you can hold the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals accountable for their negligent behavior by filing a Suboxone lawsuit

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The Rise of Suboxone

Suboxone consists of buprenorphine, which acts as a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, which serves as an opioid antagonist.

Approved by the FDA in 2002, it is an essential element of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD).

MAT combines medications with behavioral therapy to reduce cravings, prevent relapse, and improve overall health outcomes for people with OUD. Listed below are a few benefits of using the drug. 

  • Reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms: Although buprenorphine stimulates opioid receptors in the brain, it does so to a significantly lessened degree than a full agonist. This facilitates some degree of abstinence and also manages withdrawal symptoms for those with OUD.
  • Increases retention in treatment: Individuals utilizing Suboxone as a component of MAT are more likely to adhere to treatment than those undergoing alternative treatment modalities or receiving no treatment.
  • Improves health outcomes: MAT in conjunction with Suboxone has been linked to favorable health outcomes, including decreased engagement in hazardous behaviors such as syringe sharing, enhanced psychological well-being, and expanded employment prospects.

Issues With Suboxone: A Double-Edged Sword

Suboxone formulations (strips or tablets) need to dissolve in the mouth for them to work. In most cases, the prescribed frequency for Suboxone medication is around 1-3 times a day.

This brings the oral tissues in direct contact with the drug ingredients multiple times a day. 

Suboxone contains Buprenorphine that can cause your enamel to erode because of its acidic nature. This risks exposing your enamel to pathogens and decay.  

TruLaw reports that scientific investigations have established a direct correlation between the use of Suboxone and heightened susceptibility to tooth decay and dental damage. 

Individuals impacted by Suboxone usage frequently necessitate comprehensive dental interventions, such as fillings, crowns, root canals, and dental implants.

With time, the drug-induced dental problems became so serious that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated the issue publicly.

Suboxone manufacturing companies have been subject to federal lawsuits as a result of deceptive advertising and unlawful business practices employed to suppress competition in the market.

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Legal Landscape For Your Concerns

Patients suffering from bone loss, bleeding gums, tooth decay, and chronic pain claim that manufacturers provided inadequate warnings about proper oral administration techniques. 

Moreover, the victims also blame the pharma companies for not informing them about the extent of irreversible injury sustained from poor dental hygiene—despite company knowledge of these risks. 

Suboxone manufacturers like Indivior face escalating legal and financial liability due to understated risks of dental damage associated with improper medication adherence. 

Indivior Inc. had to pay a settlement of $30 million to state health plans in August 2023. Moreover, the same company resolved the final Suboxone monopoly litigation by making a payment of $385 million in October of the same year. 

You can file a Suboxone lawsuit if you are experiencing dental complications after being prescribed the branded drug Suboxone.

Tips to Mitigate Your Dental Issues

The dental issues associated with Suboxone mostly arise from its effect on saliva production. The drug may cause xerostomia, a condition of the mouth staying dry for long periods.

However, you can be proactive and undertake measures to avoid these risks and promote optimal dental health. 

  • At a minimum of every 6 months, you should arrange periodic dental appointments for the timely diagnosis of dental problems.
  • It is safe to rinse your mouth once you know that the strip or pill has dissolved. A quick swish can normalize the pH levels in your mouth and also remove the leftover medication. 
  • Drink ample amounts of water. This step cannot be stressed enough.  You need to increase your water intake to ensure your mouth is moist and in ideal condition for the production of saliva.
  • A sugary mouth is a breeding ground for cavity-inducing bacteria. Opt for sugar-free edibles.

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In conclusion, it is crucial to acknowledge that addressing addiction requires a comprehensive approach. It is imperative to prioritize evidence-based care and support for individuals struggling with dependence. 

The mitigation procedures must ensure that addicts who want to change receive the necessary resources and treatment.

By learning from past mistakes, we can pave a healthier road by implementing effective policies that truly make a difference in combating addiction. 



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