A life-saving drug to treat drug addiction is being denied at some pharmacies, according to a new study, and researchers say more awareness and training is needed to administer the federally-approved medication.

Researchers in the college of pharmacy at Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon State University called more than 900 pharmacies across the country. They discovered that 1 in 5 pharmacies refused to dispense Suboxone.

Suboxone is generically known as buprenorphine, and used to curb the cravings of an opioid addiction. The medication has been approved by the FDA and is administered by a doctor or health professional.

Buprenorphine is a form of medication-assisted treatment, which utilizes medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to treat substance use disorders and have been known to curb the cravings of an opioid, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explained.

“It works for me and I’m proud of it,” said Courday Rose, a Portland man who is 19 months clean, at the time this story was published.

Rose takes Suboxone, as prescribed by a treatment clinic, to help fight his substance use disorder. Rose told KATU prior to getting clean, he was living life as a transient in the Gresham area and battling an addiction to heroin.

“I tried to get sober a few times before without it. It just wasn’t working. I couldn’t hold a clean date for more than a couple days. I always ended up going back and relapsing,” Rose said.

The study is showing that the medication-assisted treatment, though approved at a federal level, was denied by some chains and independent pharmacies.

Read the rest of Evan Schreiber’s story here. 

Photo Credit to Beau-Foto