Over the past decade, opioid addictions have run rampant across the world (particularly within the United States). And in that time, researchers, scientists and medical professionals have all struggled to find an easy answer to help curb the crisis. Interestingly, one new option in the fight may be that game changer, at least according to a high profile article published by The BBC. Dubbed Buvidal, this “miracle medication” has shown some encouraging results for people suffering with severe painkiller addictions.
The trials for Buvidal have been happening in Scotland, where the opioid epidemic has been particularly damaging. An injectable drug that is usually applied to the stomach once a month, Buvidal reportedly blocks opioid receptors in the brain. The idea is that it can help to halt withdrawal symptoms and allow patients to recover in comfort.
Dr. Jennifer Kelly, who has been leading the Buvidal research, spoke with the BBC about the progress of the drug.
“For our patients it has truly been a game changer,” she explained. “Their lives have improved in many ways, less drug use, better interaction with their families, with their children.”
The trials for Buvidal began last year, with 14 patients from the city of Glasgow. Six months in, it was discovered that every one of them were able to remain clean and keep with their recovery regimens.
One other benefit of this medication is that it is very much temporary. As Dr. Kelly explained, people use it for a given amount of time and then are able to ween off of it and live normal, healthy lives. It also carries less risk than other remedies, such as methadone, as it has not shown itself to be addictive and has a much shorter lifespan with patients.
One of the patients who agreed to be interviewed for the piece, anonymously named “Dougie,” shared just how much Buvidal has changed his life.
“I tried this new Buvidal drug and it managed to get me clean off methadone and clean off heroin,” he explained. “It really changed the way I’m ticking. I’ve got a better relationship with my mom and dad, whereas when I was doing drugs they wouldn’t open the door.”
So far there are some very positive results to come out of these trials. And the BBC piece itself has gotten a lot of exposure from leading recovery news outlets. Time will still tell whether this medication is ready for America, but we are certainly hopeful that it will lead to more progress in overcoming the deadly opioid crisis.