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FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE

The opioid crisis has grown to an epidemic, with more than 90 Americans dying from opioid overdose every day. One way medical professionals are treating opioid addiction is through medication-assisted treatment, using certain medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings as an individual slowly tapers down their opioid use.

For many years, Methadone has been the primary means for treating opioid dependency. However, an alternative medication called Suboxone has been steadily growing in popularity due to its effectiveness in preventing relapse during treatment as well as its significantly lower risk of possible misuse.

As such, it’s unsurprising that the National Institute on Drug Abuse is calling Suboxone the number one recommended medication for treating patients with an opioid addiction.

WHAT IS SUBOXONE?

Approved for clinical use in 2002, Suboxone is actually a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone.

Buprenorphine is what’s called a “partial opioid antagonist.” Buprenorphine can produce some of the same effects as heroin or oxycodone, but on a much smaller scale that is enough to trick the brain’s opioid receptors into suppressing withdrawal symptoms, but not produce a “high” or create a physical dependency.

Naloxone, on the other hand, is a “pure opioid antagonist,” meaning it completely negates the effects of pure opioid agonists like heroin, shutting off the brain’s opioid receptors. Because of this, if someone is given naloxone, there is a high risk of triggering sudden and potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms, making it too dangerous to prescribe on its own.

When combined as Suboxone, these two drugs work together to provide effective assistance in opioid treatment without the addictive dangers of methadone.

TREATMENT GUIDES

It’s not easy to find the right drug treatment center, especially when there are thousands of them available and minimal information on how to narrow the possibilities down to the best fit. Choosing the right rehab requires lots of information and answers to tricky questions many people have of the recovery process, such as the difference between inpatient and outpatient programs and how to pay for rehab.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?

Although buprenorphine has the properties of an opioid, it is important to keep in mind that it is not a pure opioid and will therefore not produce the same pleasurable feelings that someone abusing opioids has become dependent on.

Suboxone is not intended to serve as a replacement or substitute for opioids but instead as a way to help suppress cravings and withdrawal symptoms as opioid use is reduced in order to make the process more manageable and the patient less likely to relapse due to pain or discomfort.

Suboxone does have some common side effects that you can expect to experience, including:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Some muscle pain
  • Coughing or hoarseness

Suboxone is an effective and safe treatment when taken under the careful supervision of a medical professional. However, even though it is only a partial opioid, if a patient or someone who is currently not addicted to opioids begins to abuse it regularly, there is a chance of developing a dependency. This is why it is vital that patients only take as much Suboxone as their doctor has prescribed.

BENEFITS OF SUBOXONE TREATMENT

There are many benefits to undergoing Suboxone treatment, the most obvious being that you are far more likely to be able to successfully recover from opioid dependency when Suboxone treatment is included with therapy and other rehabilitation programs.

Suboxone is widely considered to be one of the safest drugs for medication-assisted treatment due to the low potential for misuse and significantly less risk of physical dependency, which means that the possible withdrawal effects are typically minimal.

Suboxone also has the benefit of what is known as the “ceiling effect,” which means that even if someone suffering from opioid dependency takes more Suboxone than prescribed, it will not result in a full opioid effect. In other words, unlike taking more than the prescribed dosage of methadone, it will not get them high.

HOW DO I KNOW IF SUBOXONE TREATMENT IS RIGHT FOR ME?

In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died as a result of opioid overdose. Recovering from an opioid addiction can feel almost impossible, but with the help of Suboxone and a comprehensive drug addiction treatment plan, you can take the necessary steps to get on the path to sobriety and save your life.

There are thousands of drug treatment centers across the country that offer Suboxone treatment as part of their services. Let Drug Treatment Center Finder help you explore your options and find the one that’s best for you. Call now at 855-619-8070.

DRUG WITHDRAWAL

There are many different drugs available that have varying effects on the mind and body. We've collected the most common drugs and analyzed their effects, statistics, dangers, and withdrawal symptoms. If you are using any of these substances, we are here to help.

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