In SW Virginia, Some Say Drug ‘Cure’ Feeds the Problem

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Photo by Nicholas Nova Via Flickr

Photo by Nicholas Nova Via Flickr

Photo by Nicholas Nova Via Flickr

Suboxone, a mixture of the synthetic opioid buprenorphine and the overdose reversal drug naloxone, has become the go-to drug in the U.S. for helping wean people off painkillers or heroin. But recovering addicts, elected officials and law enforcement agents in southwestern Virginia say the drug is more menace than miracle, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. It’s the most-abused, most-sought-after street drug across this region, which has been flooded with the drug like nowhere else in the state.

Federal funding for drug courts requires localities to offer Suboxone in their treatment programs. Some judges have said they’d rather do without the funding — or even close their courts — rather than agree to using Suboxone. “For maybe the rest of the country, Suboxone is a savior, but it’s actually been a plague in our county,” said Brian Patton, commonwealth’s attorney in Russell County.

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