Drug for opiate withdrawal seeing abuse

A drug prescribed to treat the symptoms of opiate withdrawal has started showing up in court reports as being abused. In two separate incidents late last month, Homer Police and Alaska State Troopers charged two people with crimes suspected to be related to abuse of Suboxone, the brand name of buprenorphine. Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said Suboxone has been around for awhile, but abuse in Alaska has been relatively new. 

In a May 28 incident, Homer Police Officer Jim Knott arrested Riley Millspaugh, 20, on an outstanding warrant and said she possessed Suboxone without a prescription. Police charged her with fifth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, a felony.

On May 29, Alaska State Trooper Peter Frederick stopped Clayton Nelson, 20, of Kasilof, near Deep Creek after receiving a “report every dangerous driver immediately” call. Frederick alleged Nelson failed field sobriety tests, but had a 0.00 breath-alcohol test. Nelson also smelled of marijuana and had an empty pill bottle for a Suboxone prescription. Warnings on the bottle said it can cause dizziness and warned about driving while using it.

Frederick got a search warrant to take Nelson’s blood, but results are pending. Troopers charged Nelson with driving under the influence, drugs.