Suboxone Prescribing Availability in Orange County, NY
Open Journal of Anesthesiology
The opioid epidemic is a major threat to public health in the United States of America. Orange County, New York has been chosen for this study of Suboxone, a prescription medicine that is used to treat addiction to opioid analgesics. This drug is underutilized throughout Orange County because of several impediments, including insurance coverage, social stigmas, and a non-compliant patient population. Objective: The objective is to analyze the accessibility and utilization of Suboxone to treat
... ioid dependence in Orange County, New York. Method: Two survey instruments have been created for this research project, one for Suboxone providers and one for non-Suboxone providers. Each is 10 questions long, and includes multiple choice and open-response questions. Participants were contacted by means of email and telephone. Results: The results displayed that many Suboxone providers prefer not treating this patient population for the following reasons: insurance coverage problems, lack of time to see these demanding patients, and a non-compliant patient population. Almost all of the doctors surveyed believed that there is a social stigma among physicians to prescribe as well as among patients to use Suboxone. The non-Suboxone providers did not want to prescribe Suboxone because of a non-compliant patient population, and not having enough time in their practice. Almost all of the non-Suboxone providers prescribed other opiates. For most of the doctors, having more ancillary staff (psychologists, physical therapists, mid level providers) would motivate them to prescribe Suboxone. Discussion and Conclusion: Recommendations made by the local physicians for treating the current opioid epidemic include the following: more police enforcement of street drug dealers, patient education of narcotic misuse, physician education of both the opioid epidemic and patient treatment, and expanding access to rehabilitation and care for these patients.