Suboxone is a medication that is used to help treat opioid addiction. Suboxone has actually been discovered to be an efficient medication for those in a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program designed to treat those with OUD. Unfortunately, in some cases of opioid dependence, certain people may attempt to abuse Suboxone in an attempt to get high. Because Suboxone acts similarly to opioids, there are added risks of addiction and dependence, especially with those who have previously struggled with OUD.
We hope to assist if you or a loved one struggle with opioid dependence (OUD). If you have any questions regarding Suboxone use or have concerns about this medication, feel free to contact us to learn more about our treatment options and programs. In this post, we intend to address the common concerns and questions regarding Suboxone use and how it is used to treat opioid addiction.
Suboxone is a medication. Suboxone is made of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means that as an agonist, it triggers opioid receptors in the brain. Buprenorphine reacts in the brain similarly to complete agonists – such as another commonly prescribed drug: methadone or the narcotic heroin. However, Suboxone does not activate the receptors as highly. Because the effects are weaker, buprenorphine does not have a severe effect on the cognitive, respiratory, or motor abilities of the user as would a stronger drug like methadone. Buprenorphine tricks the brain thinking it is receiving a stronger dose, which helps level potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. An opioid addict may feel relatively normal once a certain dose of buprenorphine has been administered.
Conversely, Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. An opioid antagonist shuts down the brain’s opioid receptors. If Naloxone has been administered, the addict will no longer have a euphoric response to opioid ingestion. However, because of the strong adverse effect Naloxone has on the body, if not administered properly, serious side-effects can ensue. The purpose of combining both buprenorphine and naloxone allows for a more controlled reduction of the effects of opioid cessation. The purpose of utilizing Suboxone is to decrease withdrawal symptoms and limit abuse.
Suboxone can be administered in one or two ways. Many prescriptions for Suboxone come as a sublingual film which is dissolved under the tongue once a day. At times, a doctor may recommend a general prescription for buprenorphine before recommending Suboxone. Depending on the severity of the addiction and which type of opioid the person had been abusing, oftentimes Suboxone is prescribed immediately. Regardless of when Suboxone is prescribed and administered, it is always best to do so as directed by your medical professional.
MAT programs and pharmacists may recommend Suboxone as part of treatment for opioid dependence. Suboxone has shown immense success in treating heroin addiction, along with any dependency to opiates such as OxyContin, Xanax, Percocet, or OxyCodone. However, medication is not the only source of treatment for OUD. Suboxone, together with counseling, has actually been proven to be highly effective in treating OUD with long-lasting results.
Suboxone is most commonly used in MAT programs designed to only administer Suboxone one element toward complete recovery. MAT with Suboxone has shown successful results in improving the patient’s quality of life, increased the survival rate among OUD patients, increases the chances of long-term treatment options, as well as increases the chances for those exiting treatment to find and maintain a job. Suboxone treatment along with mental-health counseling has shown more success than only the use of behavioral therapy options alone.
Suboxone is never meant to replace opioid use with an alternative dependence on additional substances. It is crucial for the sake of the patient’s continued stability to take part in a medication management program alongside his or her use of Suboxone. Suboxone is only meant to be used for the time allotted by a medical professional. It helps stabilize the patient so that true healing and recovery may begin.
Suboxone’s immediate effects upon a patient are relatively tame. It enters the bloodstream relatively quickly and begins stabilizing the patient in order to prevent possible opioid withdrawal. It can help give the patient a sense of normalcy as they begin intensive treatment. Although it is possible to get high on Suboxone, being under monitored care and only taking the prescription as directed by your doctor can help limit the negative effects it may have on your body.
Suboxone is never prescribed as the be-all-end-all treatment for opioid dependence. Someone may take Suboxone for an extended period of time or may find that it is only necessary as a part of the short-term detox before intensive treatment begins. It is important that whoever may be prescribed the drug understand that Suboxone is used as a part of rehabilitation and that the use of the drug will cease when it is no longer necessary in further treatment.
However, there are times when those using Suboxone as a part of their treatment may feel as if they are never reaching the next step. Recovery is difficult and there is a long road ahead toward full-recovery. In some cases it may feel as if Suboxone no longer reaps benefits but becomes a hindrance to recovery. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend talking with your doctor about additional treatment options to help in your recovery. We at Freedom Now desire to help you recover with the best treatment option for you. If you feel you may be prone to a relapse with continued Suboxone use, we want to help find the right solution for you.
Like any other drug, there are some negative effects Suboxone may have on your body. Below we will begin to discuss the adverse side-effects of Suboxone and what you can be looking out for during your treatment.
As mentioned above, in taking any drug there is the chance you may respond negatively to the medication. Below we list a few of the most common side-effects and issues people may face while taking Suboxone. However, the list below is not a complete list of all potential side-effects.
If you desire more information regarding Suboxone side-effects, contact your doctor, physician, or pharmacist to learn more.
Yes, one of the side-effects of Suboxone is drowsiness. It is recommended that you avoid driving or doing any activities that may require your full attention.
Furthermore, some of the most common side effects of Suboxone/buprenorphine use include:
Oftentimes, the side-effects of Suboxone wear off within a few days. If your symptoms continue for a week or more, contact your pharmacist or physician. This may be a sign of an allergy or a more severe issue.
At times, there may be serious aversions to the drug. Although highly uncommon, there is still the possibility for severe side-effects. If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms or feel you may be experiencing a medical emergency, contact your medical professional or call an ambulance right away.
A serious allergic reaction to Suboxone may include anaphylaxis. Various signs of an allergic reaction to Suboxone may include:
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately or your local poison control and rush to the nearest hospital.
Suboxone is frequently utilized long-lasting for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Long-term use of Suboxone might increase the risk of specific adverse effects, such as:
Taking any opioid medication for extended periods of time, including Suboxone, can trigger physical dependence. Long-lasting use of Suboxone can make it much easier to stop abusing other opioids by decreasing extreme withdrawal and drug cravings.
Your medical professional will have you slowly taper off the medication to prevent withdrawal when it comes time to stop taking Suboxone.
Opioid addiction is heartbreaking, for both suffering from opioid dependency their loved ones. If you or a loved one is battling an opioid dependency, reach out to us at Freedom Now. At Freedom now, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care for those with an addiction to opioids. We have treatment options throughout Boynton Beach, FL. For more details, contact us today to find a treatment center near you.