A Drug used to Treat Addiction to Heroin and Prescription Pain Pills

What is Bupe?

Buprenorphine (often referred to as "Bupe") is a prescription drug made under the brand names of Suboxone® and Subutex®. Bupe helps people to stop using heroin or other opioid drugs in prescription pain pills like oxycodone and hydrocodone that are found in drugs named Percocet®, OxyContin®, Lortab® and Vicodin®. Bupe is a pill that you put under your tongue until it dissolves completely. It can be used for detox or for a longer period of time to help someone who is addicted to these drugs and wants to quit.

  • Additional Facts
    • You can go to a doctor's office to get a prescription
    • You take the prescription to a drug store to get the pills, just like other medicine
    • You can take the pill at home, so you don't have to go to a clinic every day to get it (like you would if you were taking methadone to treat an addiction)

How does Bupe work?

  • It stops cravings.
  • It blocks withdrawal symptoms so that you don't feel dope-sick.
  • It blocks the high from heroin and other opioids.

Why should I think about using it?

Using heroin or other opioids can overwhelm your life and put you at risk of an overdose and getting arrested. If you share needles, it increases your chances of getting hepatitis C or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). People who are in withdrawal and feeling sick are more likely to share needles and have unprotected sex. Bupe helps with withdrawal and cravings, so it can help to protect you from taking these risks. It can also lower your chances of having an overdose.

Is Bupe for me?

If you are dependent on opioids, such as heroin or prescription drugs, Bupe may be an appropriate treatment for you.

What if I am on methadone?

If you are on methadone, you may be able to switch to Bupe. However, methadone is the best choice for some people. If you think you want to switch, talk to your doctor, counselor or methadone clinic.

How do I pay for Bupe?

Medicaid, ADAP and private insurance pay for Bupe.

How do I find out more information?

To find out more information about Bupe or to find a doctor who prescribes Bupe, call 1-866-287-2728 or visit the SAMHSA Buprenorphine Physician and Treatment Program Locator web site.