A pill to curb addiction

Tuesday, February 5th 2008, 6:05 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

Nearly 90,000 people in Oklahoma are addicted to prescription painkillers. Now, there's a new drug on the market to help break the addictions.

You may remember Angela, the woman we met with in the doctor's office who was addicted to Loritab. Here, she was shaky, hot and irritable from withdrawals.

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

That day she was given a new pill called Suboxone, a pill designed to manage pain, without giving patients a high.

Dr. Blake Kelly prescribed it for Angela, to stop her cravings, while still treating her arthritis.

Now she's back at the doctor to check in nearly one month later. And we checked in with her too.

"I'm just happier," Angela said. "I'm way happier than I've ever been, well, since three years ago."

Angela's cravings have disappeared, after a difficult first week.

"I was still thinking about the Loritab. It was one of my main thoughts, and now I don't think about them at all, never," Angela said.

"She is still taking pain medication, but she's in control and that's really the main benefit to patients is the control issue," Dr. Blake Kelly said. "Soboxone, while it binds to the pain receptor, it doesn't stimulate that pain receptor to give you that high feeling, or that buzz effect. And, that is really what is the addictive part, and what the body can begin to crave."

Angela is surrounded by a supportive family, helping her make it through the rough times. And now she hopes telling her story about the drug Soboxone, that's changed her life for the better, will help others too.

"This is a personal part of my life and everything," Angela said. "And, if I can help one person, if this helps one person, it's all worth it."