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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Temazepam is a sedative-hypnotic that is used to treat insomnia. As a benzodiazepine, the drug helps insomniacs fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. However, users can easily develop a physical dependence and addiction to Temazepam.
Xanax (known generically as alprazolam) is a fast-acting prescription medication used to treat panic attacks and other anxiety disorders. Part of the benzodiazepine class of drugs, Xanax is intended as a short-term treatment because extended use can lead to addiction.
Heroin is an illegal opioid drug derived from morphine that is often mixed with other substances. More than 500,000 Americans are addicted to heroin, many of whom have turned to the street drug after becoming addicted to prescription opioid medications, such as Percocet and oxycodone.
An inexpensive street drug rising in popularity, flakka (also known as gravel) is a synthetic version of amphetamine-like drugs called cathinones. This emerging street drug has unpredictable psychological side-effects, making Flakka users a danger to themselves and others.
Methamphetamine–also known as meth, crystal, chalk and ice–is a powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Used as an illegal drug to elevate mood and increase energy, meth is extremely addictive and can have profound physical and psychological effects on heavy users.
Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome is a condition that affects people suffering from alcoholism who are either detoxing from the drug or have greatly reduced their alcoholic intake. If untreated, 6 percent of alcohol-dependent patients develop symptoms of withdrawal.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate medication used to treat severe pain. Sold pharmaceutically in a patch or lozenge form, the drug is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Doctors typically prescribe this narcotic to treat acute and chronic pain.
Oxazepam (also sold under the brand name Serax) is a prescription medication used to treat a number of disorders, including insomnia, anxiety, and acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome. As a benzodiazepine, oxazepam acts as a sedative, suppressing brain functions and relieving anxiety.
About 50 to 70 million people in the United States suffer from a sleeping disorder. And in its 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 18.6 million people in the U.S. were recorded using prescription sedatives, which include zaleplon and Sonata products.
Ambien is a type of sleeping pill that can put people into Ambien withdrawal if they grow addicted to the substance and decide to suddenly quit. Symptoms can include chronic depression, seizures, and other life-threatening health risks, especially if left untreated.
MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is an illegal psychoactive drug commonly associated with rave culture and electronic dance music. Also known as molly and ecstasy, MDMA produces euphoria and increased empathy in users, but it can have adverse, sometimes deadly, health effects.
Estazolam, marketed under the brand names ProSom and Eurodin, is a benzodiazepine medication commonly prescribed as a short-term sleeping pill. Some users abuse estazolam at high doses to achieve a high, which can lead to addiction.
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