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Defense Department Health Plan Will Cover Buprenorphine and Methadone


The Defense Department’s healthcare plan will cover the opioid addiction medications buprenorphine and methadone starting next month, according to the Air Force Times.

Until now the plan, Tricare, has covered the medications only for short-term, intense detoxification or pain management, the article notes.

“Medication-assisted treatment, to include drug maintenance involving substitution of a therapeutic drug with addiction potential, for a drug of addiction, is now generally accepted … and thus appropriate for inclusion as a component in the Tricare-authorized substance use disorder treatment,” according to the new rule, published in the Federal Register.

In a 2012 report, the Institute of Medicine urged the Pentagon to change its restrictions on opioid addiction treatment. Substance abuse among members of the U.S. military and their families has become a public health crisis, according to the report. The Defense Department’s approaches to preventing and treating substance abuse are outdated, the report stated. It found the rate of prescription drug abuse is on the rise.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of paul hart
    paul hart / November 7, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Great…methadone…harder to kick than heroin, but pharma makes the profit and the tax payer pays…now that’s a racket.
    Oh- and how say the family of the two road workers in St. Louis County who were killed by methadone heads who ran them over after picking up their free methadone and snorting it on the way home.


  2. Brenda / February 21, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Sorry Paul Hart but this shows how ignorant of the drug methadone. You can not snort methadone and no where is it free. It has been proven to help many addicts to stop using illegal drugs. The accident with the road workers was a terrible thing but I am sure there were other factors involved, methadone takes over an hour and a half to get into your system. There is a few bad apples in every center that makes everyone else look bad. I have managed to live a productive life on methadone after being in prison. I have gotten 40 hours of college in and have my own house and car now and raised my children being there for them. You can not take some of the worst people on a program and compare all the rest to be just like them.

  3. Avatar of Robert Hauser
    Robert Hauser / March 31, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Don’t mean to be rude, but you really should find out more about methadone. You – like a lot of people – seem to have a lot of ideas that are based on prejudice. You can’t snort methadone, and if someone is going to a clinic and on maintenance and has tolerance, it has no effect on your ability to drive or do anything else. Look it up. Its really a shame, because actually methadone is the only treatment that really works for serious opiate addiction. Rehab fails about 90 percent of the time. It is a deadly disease that kills people. Methadone works, but the system they have to administer it is so convoluted that a lot of people don’t get treatment. It is an old drug, so I don’t see why pharma would make any more money than say, Oxycodone which they make a ton of $ on. Don’t mean to be hostile, its just frustrating to be catorgorized as a “methadone head” It is the only treatment that has worked for me, and without it I’d probably be dead. I work 40 hours a week, make 16 grand a year, and pay over $440 a month for my treatment. Medicaid doesn’t pay for it. Insurance doesn’t pay for it. I get no financial help at all for this treatment for a drug that probably costs the clinic pennys a dose. The rest is administration and profit for the private companies that run those clinics. My republican friends have this idea that they just give it out for free or something and that it is nothing but “legal heroin.” its not. If you are on methodone, heroin and oxys and everything else wont’ work because it blocks the receptors. Its not a good drug for getting “high.” After 10 years on it, I feel absolutely nothing from it at all. It just keeps me from relapsing and keeps me from being sick. Which sucks, but that is my life. Its not fun. It eats a quarter of my income. I’ve quit several times, once in a rehab, and every time I end up have some kind of relapse that just ruins my life. So I’m stuck with this. I can’t take off work long enough to go through a month long detox that probably won’t work anyway. The methadone keeps me straight enough to work my low paying restaurant job and be a law abiding citizen. Did Obamacare help? No. I’m just saying, find out more before you get so judgemental. Its not like we don’t have plenty of “alcohol heads” running people over in cars, but in this culture it is considered cute and humorous to talk about how fucked up you got from drinking the other night. Don’t get me wrong. I think methadone should be a last resort after you have failed at other treatments. I hate seeing young people getting on liquid handcuffs for life. But us old junkies who are just hanging on, for some of us it is the only hope. I don’t care what they tell you, “treatment” is hard to get. Anyway, thats my rant. Sorry.

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