What are the major limitations and concerns with each of the following therapies used to treat opioid dependence: opioid antagonists, methadone maintenance, buprenophine, and rapid opioid detoxification
Critics claim that rapid opioid detoxification lacks long term efficacy and can be detrimental to a patient's long term recovery. There are also ethical concerns and safety concerns after several deaths have been reported to be the result of rapid detox procedure.
One of the limitations and concerns with buprenorphineis when used for treating opioid addiction is that it can trigger, or precipitate, opiate withdrawal symptoms, which can endanger the user of buprenorphine.
The use of opioid antagonists in the treatment of opioid addiction can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms that are very difficult to bear for the drug users and it usually leads to their continuing to consume the drugs. To make de-addiction easier, opioid agonists are used but here the possibility of the addict becoming addicted to the medication is quite high. This makes it essential that they are administered in an appropriate manner and the dosage is reduced as fast as the patient can withstand it.
In addition, each of these treatments have their own side effects and these need to be taken into consideration. Of course, none of these side effects outweights the damange caused by dependence on a drug as serious as heroine, but they do need to be remmebered.
The main concerns I would have with any of the therapies used to treat opioid dependence would be additional dependencies to the new medications/treatments. If a patient were to develop a new addiction to the drug, it would not be useful (instead it would simply be "swapping" one addiction for another). The main limitation of treatments like these are that they have been misused by the patient/addict.