"ADDICTION'S MAGIC PILL"
A Crain's NY Business article reporting on buprenorphine appeared on 16 April, headlined "Addiction's magic pill." Those of us who are old enough may recall another headline that appeared in a weekly magazine called The Mirror which also referred to a magic potion - in that case methadone, which it described as a "Cinderella medication."
Any and all medications or other treatment interventions that offer the promise of helping those with drug dependence are welcome, and that definitely applies to buprenorphine. But raising expectations that are clearly not realistic - i.e., the prospect of "curing" addiction - will in the long run be strongly counter-productive. In addition, there are references to buprenorphine leaving patients more "level-headed" and less "befuddled" than methadone - a claim that is often heard but as far as we know absolutely without scientific support.
Finally, there is out-and-out misinformation, such as the statement that methadone must be "dispensed in controlled settings in daily doses." For many years now it has been perfectly legal to provide stable, long-term patients with up to a full month supply of methadone for unsupervised consumption.