Subuxone, subbies, Temgesic, temmies
Buprenorphine is an opioid analgesic or pain killer used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. It is also licensed for use as a substitute for heroin or morphine and is prescribed to people wanting to come off these drugs. It is different from other opioids in that it is a partial opioid agonist. This means that there is less euphoria and physical dependence and a relatively mild withdrawal syndrome.
The aim of buprenorphine treatment is to:
- Suppress symptoms of opioid withdrawal
- Decrease cravings for opioids and hence illicit opioid use
- Block some of the effects of other opioids
- Change risky behaviour such as injecting and sharing needles
- Stop the need to commit crimes to fund the heroin habit
- Help patients stay in treatment
Trade names for buprenorphine include, Subutex, Suboxone and Temgesic. Subutex comes in tablet form and these are usually taken orally -dissolved under the tongue.
See also the DrugSearch page on methadone which is another substitute drug that may be prescribed to help people come off heroin.