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Fighting Opioid Addiction: Bunavail

PHILADELPHIA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Addiction to painkillers and heroin is growing at an alarming rate. And for the first time, more Americans die from an opioid overdose than a car crash. But a new drug can help addicts stay on the road to recovery.

Drew Shaw told Ivanhoe, “I came very close to ending it all.”

As Drew contemplates his life, he has many regrets about all the drugs he’s done.

Shaw explained, “I would snort Adderall, snort cocaine and mix the two with OxyContin, painkillers, Percocet, Vicodin; anything you can get your hands on.”

One thing he will never regret is finding an addiction specialist to help him stay clean.

Michael Frost, MD, Addiction Medicine Physician at The Frost Medical Group LLC in Philadelphia told Ivanhoe, “In addiction medicine we always struggle to see success with patients. It’s a very tough disease; it’s a very complicated disease.”

Dr. Frost prescribed two medications in the past to cut Drew’s cravings — but now he’s trying a new drug called Bunavail. It’s a film that patients put on the inside of the cheek instead of under the tongue — that cuts down on side effects such as ulcers and constipation.

“When we switched them over, the Bunavail really helped alleviate those negative aspects that can help them get more out of treatment,” Dr. Frost said.

Shaw told Ivanhoe, “If I didn’t have the drugs that I have, I would have no will to live. Today I’m stable, I’m doing well, just living one day at a time, I’m very happy.”

After years of addiction, Drew is just happy to see another day.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is giving waivers for qualified doctors to prescribe Bunavail for recovering addicts in out-patient therapy. Since getting clean, Drew has gotten married, and is now a new father.