What New FDA-Approved Medications Can Treat Opioid Addiction?

What New FDA-Approved Medications Can Treat Opioid Addiction?

The most recent addition to medical technology designed to curb the use of the opioid substance is a response to the massive death spike the United States has seen in the last decade. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014, a record number of people died from drug overdoses, and as of that number six out of ten, involved an opioid. Heroin and other prescription overdoses have practically quadrupled since that time and the need for immediate action was declared by the medical and healthcare establishment. New innovation in the field of technology would be essential if the country is to have any chance of leveling the playing field against the oppressive monster that is the opiate and opioid epidemic.

It is also of the utmost importance not to lose sight of the issue that addiction is a complex multifaceted disease that has many underlying components.  If the desire and motivation of the individual are not there then it is unlikely that any treatment will work in the long run.  Treatment and recovery must address the mind, body and spirit approach in order to have the best chances of success.  Regular counseling sessions and peer support go a long way by themselves.  If scientific discoveries can be realistically incorporated into a regimen that encompasses all these factors than chances at recovery improve significantly.

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States has recently approved some medications for the treatment of opioid addiction. Here is a comprehensive list of the drugs and medication.

  1. PROBUPHINE: The first buprenorphine implant has been approved by the FDA for the maintenance and treatment of opioid dependence. Probuphine is designed to provide a constant low-level dose of buprenorphine for six months in patients who are already stable on low-to-moderate doses of other forms of buprenorphine as a complementary part of the treatment program. The implant, Probuphine, is a long-acting version of the opioid dependence medication from buprenorphine. It is implanted under the skin of the upper arm. This procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes in a doctor’s office. It remains in place for months, six months to be precise. Probuphine is a logical outgrowth of that movement within the medical industry and it has been met with mixed reviews and its own fair share detractors. The traditional school of thought among the treatment and recovery community has been an outright total-sobriety approach that has little room or tolerance for any other modality treating addiction. The ultimate goal is to always have the individual completely refrain from ever relapsing back into the substance abuse. If radically, novel approaches come along that can trigger the process perhaps that could give the establishment the edge in winning the overall war on drugs.


  1. ZUBSOLV: This drug is similar to Subutex and Suboxone. The drug is manufactured by a Swedish drug maker, Orexo. It is prepared to dissole under the tongue and comes in a menthol flavor. Zubsolv is indicated for use as a maintenance treatment for people suffering from opioid dependence and should be used as a part of the complete treatment plan to include counseling and psychological support. The company that produces the drug states that compared with the current opioid drug treatment, patients are required to take less of the new drug in order to achieve the same effect.



  1. http://drugfree.org/learn/drug-and-alcohol-news/fda-approves-new-opioid-addiction-treatment-combining-buprenorphine-and-naloxone/
  2. http://addictionhopeline.com/new-fda-approved-arm-implant-to-treat-opioid-addiction/
  3. https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm503719.htm

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