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Police: Suboxone Abuse Is A Growing Trend In Halifax Co. - abc27 WHTM

Police: Suboxone Abuse Is A Growing Trend In Halifax Co.

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Halifax Co., VA - A new drug is growing in popularity on the streets of Halifax County and it's making its way into the county jail.

The narcotic Suboxone is commonly used to ween people who are addicted to drugs off other narcotics from heroin to oxycodone.

Narcotics officers in Halifax County say the arrest of Tamara Rowland and Dwayne Cash was just the tip of the iceberg.

"It's a fairly new drug, it's only been out since '06, '07. It's kind of like a band-aid for a heroin or opiate addiction. Suboxone curves that crave so you're not going out buying the illegal drug off the street, " said one task force officer.

Suboxone comes in tiny strips that dissolve on the tongue. This inconspicuous form makes it easy for drug dealers and family members to send it to drug addicted inmates.

"They're taking the strips and hiding the strips under the stamps, within like greeting cards, any of the letters, anything like that, " the officer said.

Experts say Suboxone should be taken only under a physician's care as part of a overall treatment plan, but on the street, it's also being used to get high.

"A lot of people who have those addictions get locked up and they have a fear of going through withdrawals which can be pretty violent," he said.

Inmates that come into the Blue Ridge Regional Jail addicted to drugs are placed in a medical unit if they show signs of withdrawal. If they need additional help, administrators say they are transported to the hospital, but they say they won't tolerate this form of self-treatment.

"You obviously can't feed that addiction and encourage it and allow it to go on," he said.

Not every physician is licensed to prescribe Suboxone. Only doctors registered with the DEA can write a script for the drug.

The Halifax County jail staff is inspecting all incoming mail extra carefully to make sure that drug stays out.

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