Getting on board with bupe: Why a crucial addiction treatment drug can be hard to get

Buprenorphine and other medication-assisted treatments could be crucial to treating those suffering from opioid addiction in Philadelphia. So why can it be so hard to get?

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Dr. Ben Cocchiaro and Louis Morano chat in Prevention Point's

Dr. Ben Cocchiaro and Louis Morano chat in Prevention Point's "bupe bus" on the corner of Kensington and Allegheny in Philadelphia. (Brad Larrison for WHYY)

More than 1,100 people overdosed from opioids in Philadelphia last year, the highest rate of any major city in America. One step the city is taking is supporting medication-assisted treatments or MATs, including buprenorphine or “bupe,” which helps wean those suffering from addiction off harsher opioids. The city launched a big ad campaign, so more people will know buprenorphine is available and it works. So why can it so difficult to come by? WHYY reporter Nina Feldman explains on this episode of The Why.

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