No– You are switching an addiction for a physical dependence. A physical dependence is not a medical condition that requires treatment, addiction is. Addiction is damaging dependence is an inconvenience, and is normal physiology for anyone taking large doses of opioids for an extended period of time. It is the direct result of the body's increased tolerance to the opioid.
To understand why, you must be clear on the definition of addiction and know how it differs from physical dependence or tolerance.
The American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Pain Society, and American Society of Addiction Medicine, recognizes these definitions below as the current accepted definitions.
Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.
II. Physical Dependence:
Physical dependence is a state of adaptation that is manifested by a drug class specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug, and/or administration of an antagonist.
Tolerance is a state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug induces changes that result in a diminution of one or more of the drug’s effects over time.
Physical dependence and tolerance are normal physiology. Addiction is a disorder that is damaging and requires treatment.
When a patient switches from an addictive opioid to buprenorphine, the addictive behavior often stops. In part to the long half-life, patients do not have physical cravings prior to taking their daily dose. The drug seeking behavior ends. Patients; regain control over drug use, compulsive use ends, they are no longer using despite harm, and many patients report no cravings. Thus all of the hallmarks of addiction disappear with buprenorphine treatment.
Therefore, one is not trading one addiction for another. They have traded a life risking situation (addiction) for a daily inconvenience of needing to take a pill (physical dependence), as some would a vitamin. Yes they still have a physical dependence, but that is vast improvement over addiction and it can be managed medically. Buprenorphine treatment is only the beginning, the patient should seek psychosocial care as well.
(excerpt from NAABT.org)