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Stuart Kloda, MD – NYC Suboxone – Huffington Post Response to NY Times Article – “Addiction Treatment with a Dark Side”

ID-10015731The Huffington Post responded to the New York Times article on Suboxone – “Addiction Treatment with a Dark Side” with this article:

New York Times Misses Mark on Buprenorphine Drug

“In a lengthy front page story called: “Addiction Treatment with a Dark Side,” The New York Times recently drew attention to buprenorphine, a medication used to treat addiction to heroin and prescription opioids. As physicians and researchers studying addiction and its treatment, we were glad to see attention brought to the issue, but disheartened that the piece focused on patients and doctors involved in the misuse and diversion of buprenorphine, rather than on the lives saved and the harms averted by the appropriate use of this medication. The problem is not with buprenorphine, but with our failure to provide people struggling with opioid addiction appropriate support and access to treatment.

The use of all opioids — including buprenorphine — has been dramatically increasing over the past decade. Misuse and overdose are far greater with full opioid agonists (hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, heroin etc.) than with buprenorphine. The New York Times article focused on the 420 unfortunate deaths from buprenorphine since 2003, but overall, there are more than 15,500 deaths from opioid overdose annually. In fact, opioid overdose deaths now surpass deaths from motor vehicle accidents. Buprenorphine, along with methadone, remain the most effective treatments for those struggling with addiction to opioids.

Diversion and street use of buprenorphine occur, but much of this illicit use is likely related to lack of access to treatment. Studies report that people are self-treating their withdrawal symptoms or opioid addiction, rather than seeking to get high. Less than 20 percent of those in need of opioid addiction treatment in the U.S. actually receive it, and we know that illicit buprenorphine use is associated with poor treatment access. Additionally, the uninsured, heroin-users, and predominantly people of color, are less likely to receive buprenorphine treatment than those with insurance for opioid painkiller addiction, whom are predominantly white. So poor treatment access affects some groups more than others. With our research, we are studying ways to facilitate entrance into opioid addiction treatment, so we worry that the fear and stigma that is stoked by articles like the one in theTimes will only make entering treatment more difficult.

The science is clear — medication-assisted treatment with an opioid agonist — like buprenorphine — is the most effective treatment available for opioid addiction. The benefits for both individuals and communities are well-established and wide-ranging (reduced opioid abuse, reduced behaviors that put people at risk for HIV or Hepatitis C, and even reduced incarceration). Unfortunately, we cannot seem to free ourselves from our beliefs that addiction is rooted in moral failing or lack of willpower, and that those who use medications, like methadone or buprenorphine, are not truly “clean.” The stigma surrounding addiction prevents many from seeking treatment and may drive many more to seek abstinence-based treatments instead of more efficacious medication-assisted treatments, because of societal pressure to be “drug free.” To treat opioid addiction, we need options that include both behavioral psychosocial counseling and medications. Buprenorphine is not a miracle drug, but it does allow many people to gain control over their addiction.

So what can we do to address the opioid addiction problem? We can increase access to treatment and reduce stigma by ensuring that primary care physicians receive the training and support they need to identify and treat addiction. Primary care physicians are ideally suited to intervene on the opioid epidemic through safer prescribing practices in regards to opioid painkillers, better screening for addiction, and by treating opioid addiction with medications like buprenorphine. Many successful buprenorphine treatment programs have been implemented in primary care settings, and this approach may reduce the stigma of seeking addiction treatment; however, currently, most primary care physicians lack knowledge and confidence about addiction treatment and are often under time pressures. Therefore, addiction is often unidentified and untreated. With improved training during medical school, and continuing medical education and support for primary care practices to integrate addiction treatment, providers could play a meaningful role in addressing the problem.

We may call addiction a disease, but we are a long way from treating it like one. Rather than disparaging buprenorphine and those who prescribe and use it, we should be embracing this medication and ensuring access to and appropriate use of it.”– From The Huffington Post 11-22-13

For information on addictions and treatment contact NYC addiction specialist Stuart Kloda, M.D. at 646-713-6578 or visit www.stuartklodamd.com Dr. Kloda maintains offices at Columbus Circle with a second office located on Wall St. to open January 2014.


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    Anthony M

  • I can’t say enough about Dr. Kloda. I have been on Suboxone for a little under two years. I’ve always wanted to taper off, but my previous doctor did not seem interested in doing so. Instead, I think that she was just trying to keep me on it indefinitely so that she could get more office visits. I switched to Dr. Kloda, and the difference has been phenomenal. I have a very demanding and high pressure job. Dr. Kloda has been able to successfully start tapering me off, while allowing me to continue working without feeling sick. He takes his time, listens, is patient, and does not make you feel bad about yourself or judge you. I wish that I would have started Suboxone with him to begin with.

    J Greenspan

  • I feel fortunate that I found Dr. Kloda, and especially right before the holidays. He is the one that was finally able to help me stop drinking. I have been drinking my entire adult life. My drinking was getting more out of control the older that I was getting. Finally, at the age of 53yo, I have stopped drinking. It has now been one year since my last drink. Dr. Kloda prescribed baclofen for me. The baclofen actually takes away my cravings for alcohol. It even makes me feel indifferent to it. I have gone to rehab and detox a couple of times, and nothing has ever worked for any extended period of time. It is amazing that with just one presciption, along with counseling by Dr. Kloda, my life has really turned around.

    I enjoy working with Dr. Kloda. He is not formal or stuffy. I have never felt judged by him, and I think that he genuinely cares about his patients. His approach to addiction treatment is very open minded. I think that he is an unconventional guy, which I believe makes him very good at what he does.

    Mike C

  • Smart, intuitive, and actually cares about you. Highly recommended!

    Joseph B

  • I started seeing Dr. Kloda for alcohol abuse six months ago. I can only say I wish I’d started seeing him sooner. He is extraordinarily thorough in assessing a diagnosis and was able to start me on a course of action that has kept me away from alcohol from the moment I went to his office. And, for me, the process has been surprisingly easy. This will likely not be the same result for everyone, but for those it works for, my goodness, it works well. I have actually not wanted alcohol since I started the treatment.

    I’ve seen comments about cost but I can only ask you to do a cost benefit analysis. The immediate savings I’ve seen from not buying alcohol combined with the longterm savings of reclaiming my health more than make up for the cost of seeing Dr. Kloda. In addition, there are the unseen future costs – court costs, hospital bills, loss of income, etc. – that are too often part of the equation with alcohol addiction. I feel like this was an investment that provide immediate and longterm returns.

    I thank Dr. Kloda every time I see him and I do it publicly here as I am truly thankful for the help he has given me. I have my life back and I owe it to him.

    Paul N, New York NY

  • Dr. Kloda is an experienced and well versed doctor. He is very empathetic with his patients and understands their needs. He has helped me a great deal with a slow Valium taper. He constantly monitors your progress. He is available by phone anytime and a great doctor.

    Chris H, New York NY

  • Dr. Kloda has been treating me with Suboxone for the past six months. My addiction to Percocet was getting worse, and I was becoming scared. I tried 12-step AA and NA meetings, but they were definitely not for me. I was eventually referred to Dr. Kloda by a co-worker, who is also a current patient of his. He came highly recommended, and I have been delighted with my treatment. Most importantly, I have found him to be extremely competent. He is also a nice guy who seems to genuinely care about me. When he says that he is available by phone seven days per week, he really means it! I have zero complaints – praises only!

    M Pryce, New York NY

  • Ok so some of the reviews are still skeptic and yes it is not cheap. But Dr Kloda is helping my wife. Her original dr who put her on the Rx drug did not know how to fix it and another Dr who had years of experience wanted to up her dose and give her more addictive drugs. Then there was the rehab places that wanted to take her out of state without her family. So that wasn’t working for us. We had serious trust issues with every Dr that we talked to.

    With lots of internet research she found Dr Kloda. After a few conversations with him she studied the Ashton method and found she wanted to go down this road.

    We find Dr Kloda to be extremely knowledgable about this method and about the chemical interactions on the various drugs that replaced her addictive drug. She has been doing well with his help and is almost done with the addictive drugs. Each session is an analyst of her well being and if she can reduce that week. Scripts are written and med boxes are filled. Outside of the sessions Dr Kloda is always available by phone for emergencies or if we have questions big or small. Other reviewers stated he only cares about the money and the TV fame. We found Dr Kloda cares a great deal about the person. He totally understands what we both are going through and is always there for my wife and I.

    Jeffrey R, Brooklyn NY

  • As much as I tried to quit cigarette smoking on my own, I had always gone back to it. It’s a horrible habit and I know it has terrible health consequences so I finally decided to get some professional help from someone who knows how to deal with all sorts of addictions from both the medical and psychological standpoint. Dr. Kloda helped me finally kick the cigarette habit; without him, I would have still being smoking myself to death. I really liked the fact that he spends a lot of time with you during his visits; I never felt rushed.

    Helen A, New York NY

  • I do not usually write many online reviews but on occasion I find a retailer or service provider that really is exceptional or is horrible enough that I feel I need to write a review.

    The reason I am writing this particular review is because Dr. Kloda is an exceptional Doctor.

    My background as an addict is extensive , and for these reasons I feel that I have a certain level of authority when if comes to Doctors and recovery. I’ve been in recovery in one form or another on and off for almost 20 years and I have been on Suboxone for about five years, I spent most of this time in recovery directed by two other doctors that prescribe Suboxone.

    Thomas V, Fulton NY

  • I was surprised to see a two star review for Dr. Kloda, so I am writing a five star review in response. Dr. Kloda was recommended to me by another patient of his, and he has been treating me for the past two years. I have found him to be extremely competent, genuinely caring, and available for questions and concerns.

    His office charges are in line with many other physicians in Manhattan, and you definitely get your money’s worth. He does not just write prescriptions. In addition to meds, He talks to you and does addiction counseling, as well as give you general advice and support.

    Joseph B, New York NY

  • As a patient, I can attest to Dr. Kloda’s expertise and practice and excellence. He is a remarkable physician. He is attentive, supportive, and is at the cutting edge of addiction medicine. He is broad minded in his approach and treats each of his patients with understanding and concern. He is extremely thorough and appreciates differences, both physiological and psychological. I found him remarkably intuitive and he means it when he says he is available by phone–and boy sometimes you need that. I found out recently that he is sometimes called on to speak to other doctors and psychiatrists about all kinds of addictive treatments and meds, including benzo’s–which so few doctors know about. I was fortunate to find him. I highly recommend him. And no, I have no affiliation with him or his practice other than as a patient.

    Jon F, Manhattan NY