A groundbreaking new British drug offers hope to opioid addicts

A drug user prepares heroin before injecting inside of a Safe Consumption van on September 25, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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A groundbreaking new drug is the latest development in the fight against opioid addiction offering new hope to drug users. 

Buvidal, an injectable form of Buprenorphine, acts as a slow-release drug and blocks the opioid receptors in the brain which stops the patients from having withdrawal symptoms. 

It only has to be administered once a week or once a month, making it a good alternative to methadone which is often prescribed to wean users off of heroin and other opioids.

Methadone users frequently have to visit the pharmacy on a daily basis which can be difficult for addicts with a job, those living in rural areas, or people whose local pharmacies do not provide support. 

Dr Arun Dhandayudham, Medical Director for Westminster Drug Project, told Insider: “Buvidal completely steadies blood levels and blocks any highs from of heroin so those who stop using gain a sense of stability and a new lease for life. 

“It is of most benefit to those who are working because they no longer need to visit the pharmacy every day but it generally helps by completely unhooking the system so people are not meeting other users who they can be tempted by. 

The scheme was first introduced to the UK through a partnership between London’s Redbridge Council, Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group, Camrus, P&S Chemist, and the Westminster Drug Project last year.

“Around 10% of the caseload in Redbridge are on Buvidal or have used it in the past and its success has meant that there are plans to roll out the program across 30-40% of London,” said Dr Dhandayudham.

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A pilot program for Buvidal was also launched in Glasgow last year with 14 patients, all of whom remained engaged in recovery six months after the trial had finished, according to the BBC. 

Scotland’s drug fatality rate is three times higher than …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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