Non-addictive prescription painkiller

Tuesday, January 15th 2008, 5:53 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

Nearly 90,000 Oklahomans are addicted to prescription painkillers and now there's new hope for those who want to kick the dangerous habit. Doctors are prescribing a new painkiller called Soboxone that isn't as addictive as current prescription painkiller drugs.

Angela's in withdrawal. She's says it's hard to breathe, her back hurts, she's hot. And all she's thinking about is getting her hands on Loritab.

"Yeah, it's the only thing going through my mind," Angela said. "What's going through your mind? I just feel like this wasn't the right time for me. I don't know."

The pill that's she's going to take instead is called Suboxone. It's also a pain pill, but it works differently in the brain.

"Because it stays on the receptor so strongly, yet it doesn't stimulate that receptor as strongly as what heroine would, or morphine, or Oxycontin, it doesn't cause that high feeling or that euphoric feeling that goes along with those medicines," said Dr. Blake Kelly.

Soboxone is not addictive. It's FDA approved, and came on the market in 2004.

We checked in with Angela about an hour after she was given the Suboxone.

"I feel great," Angela said. "I don't feel any withdrawal symptoms pretty much at all."

This makes the first day in three years Angel has not taken Loritab. She's hopeful that she'll never take it again.

"In my mind, all I'm thinking about is of course the pills, but I'm also thinking that this is a good thing," Angela said. "It's a new start for me."

We are going to follow up with Angela and let you know if the Suboxone is still working down the road.

Jordan Shepherd says he wasn't an addict, but he has severe carpel tunnel. He's on the computer all day at work, and then when he gets home. Suboxone has changed his life.

"It's a lot less medication to take," Shepherd said. "It kinda takes away a lot of the side effects as far as taking the high amount of pain pills. The haze or depression."

If you'd like to know more about Suboxone, or if you need help, go to