[Ibogaine] Buprenorphine (Tks Patrick)

Beatriz Brasil beatrizbrasil at netvigator.com
Mon Jan 31 12:04:16 EST 2005

So sorry all. Here you are in the old copy and paste style. Should have
stick to it in the first place. There are two articles, the first
introducing Bupre, the second is my son's interview.
With love, Beatriz

South China Morning Post
Monday, January 31, 2005New drug may help heroin addicts Combined with
counselling it can work better than methadone, says scientist
MARY ANN BENITEZ	  Prev. Story | Next Story

  	Hong Kong should consider using a newer drug to treat heroin addicts
instead of relying on methadone which seldom helps people get on with their
lives, according to a visiting scientist. Heroin is the most commonly abused
drug in Hong Kong, making up almost three-quarters of registered cases,
according to government statistics.
Mahmud Mazland, a research scientist at Yale University and a consultant in
addiction psychiatry, said a one-year study found that buphrenorphine, a
synthetic opiate, lowered the risk of overdose. It also proved easier for
addicts to give up compared with methadone. Dr Mahmud gave a lecture
yesterday on recent advances in treating opiate dependence at a seminar
involving the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists and Schering-Plough, the
manufacturer of the drug. Buphrenorphine works by blocking brain cell
receptors, decreasing the craving for heroin, opium, painkillers and other
opiates, Dr Mahmud said. A four-year study started in 2001 is being
conducted to look at the efficacy of buphrenorphine - also known as Subutex
in Asia. "It is not a miracle drug. It is a very important tool that helps
those who want to recover to do so in their own community without having the
stigma of being labelled as a drug addict," Dr Mahmud said. "With long-term
care and a community-based treatment, they are able to work and able to have
a family." Dr Mahmud said a buphrenorphine programme in Malaysia showed that
after a year of treating 79 heroin addicts, 43 were clean of heroin. Of
these, 35 were holding down jobs compared with 25 before the treatment
started. Treatment with buphrenorphine costs about $2,000 a month, including
psychotherapy, at private clinics in Hong Kong. By contrast, patients pay $1
a visit at the 20 methadone clinics subsidised by the government, costing
the taxpayer $20 million a year. Psychiatrist Stephen Ng Wai-man, who also
spoke at the seminar, said buphrenorphine was not commonly used in public
hospitals because it is expensive and needs experienced doctors to provide
counselling support. He explained that, "a lot of patients who take
methadone cannot work because of the sedating effect. After taking Subutex,
patients can work". Dr Mahmud said the true extent of heroin addiction might
be two to three times more than the government figures suggest. "Once
treatment is easily accessible and efficacious, people will start to come.
They are a hidden population. "It is a terrible condition. A study has shown
that within the space of 20 years, two-thirds of heroin addicts will be dead
or missing [from treatment programmes] and presumed dead."

South China Morning Post
Monday, January 31, 2005'I started snorting, then injecting ... things got
pretty bad' John used heroin to escape from reality, but his life has now
taken a turn for the better
MARY ANN BENITEZ	  Prev. Story | Next Story

  	 	   John with psychiatrist Stephen Ng at a counselling session. Picture
by Antony Dickson
John was 13 when he started using heroin, just a year after his family moved
to Hong Kong from Brazil. "I am a drug addict. I was introduced by some
friends to heroin and it spiralled out of control from there," said the 25
year old. "In my first year in Hong Kong, I realised that people leave all
the time, people are constantly moving, and I found that very hard. Like
many other things, it just made it difficult for me to adjust. "Then I moved
to another school and I was going through a major depression. A friend said:
`You are pretty stressed-out. I think you should try some smack'. I did not
even know what it was. "I started snorting heroin, but two years later I was
injecting it. I dropped out of school when I was 15 or 16, because my
reputation [from another school] followed me there. I went from job to job.
When I was 17, I was working part-time in a trading company doing
translation and that paid really well. "I had all this money and I did not
know what to do with it. I ended up spending it on drugs and parties, and by
the eighth month I was falling asleep on the job. Things got pretty bad.
"After that I ended up going to a rehabilitation clinic for the first time,
in Ireland, spending six weeks there. "I was doing it more for my mum
because she was having a nervous breakdown from the whole thing. "I managed
to stay clean for about two months. But it is very hard in Hong Kong. Drugs
are easily available. The government covers up how it is. It is easy to get
drugs in Hong Kong. You can walk to any district and get heroin. "It is
cheap and because it is so strong I do not need to do a whole bag a day.
"Eventually your resistance goes up so you start doing a lot more. "I have
tried all sorts of treatment methods: psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors,
psychoanalysts. "I was doing methadone in government clinics. I had periods
of sobriety, but eventually I would relapse. "I ended up on methadone, but
it was making me feel even more ill than the heroin did. I would be sleeping
for 20 hours a day, I had no energy, I could not work. I just wanted a way
out. "When you are a drug addict you need to realise that you are in a bad
place. It took me a long time to understand that. "Heroin for me was an
escape from a reality that I despise. I do not like the way the world is and
I find it very hard to adapt to a society that is so tuned in to money. "Dr
Stephen Ng and I came to an agreement that [buprenorphrine] is the drug for
me. Since I started doing it, the improvement has been incredible. I started
losing weight. "I go to the gym, I go out with my friends, I am working
part-time again. "To youngsters, rather than turn to drugs they should just
start talking to teach other. We live in a culture where we do not speak
about our feelings or voice our opinions. "I do not think so much about
blame. I come to think of it as a disease. I do not think so much about the
drugs, it is more about the way I feel, and the drugs are the solution. "My
main goal in life is to open an orphanage in Brazil."

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