Twice a day, Angela and Nate Turner of Greenwood, Ind., put tiny strips that look like tinted tape under their tongues.
"They taste disgusting," Angela says.
But the taste is worth it to her. The dissolvable strips are actually a drug called Suboxone, which helps control an opioid user's cravings for the drug. The married couple both got addicted to prescription painkillers following injuries several years ago, and they decided to go into recovery this year. With Suboxone, they don't have to worry about how they'll get drugs, or how sick they'll feel if they don't.
"You can function, but you're not high," Angela says. "It's like a miracle drug. It really is."
A body of evidence now shows that medications such as Suboxone are effective in putting the brakes on opioid use disorder, when used in conjunction with counseling. For Angela, the treatment means she can take care of their 3-year-old, and Nate can keep a job.
But because of some companies' insurance rules, getting started on Suboxone — and staying on it — can be difficult.