Vice Squad
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sun Sets on Bupe

Just a quick note from Baltimore, where the Baltimore Sun recently has featured an investigative series of articles (first installment here) on the opioid agonist buprenorphine, a drug frequently used to treat heroin addicts. Sometimes buprenorphine itself is abused, and it is this possibility that garners the bulk of the Sun's attention. The Sun's Public Editor explains the coverage, and some of the fallout, here, without offering much of an assessment beyond a sort of tepid endorsement. A letter from a medical professional (with experience in the area) that appeared in today's issue of the Sun is illuminating:

It is telling that despite months of reporting and thousands of words, The Sun
did not find a single person in Baltimore whose life has been ruined by

Yet just walk the streets in East or West Baltimore and you
can find scores of people whose lives are being ravaged by the condition that
buprenorphine treats effectively.

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