Suboxone is a prescription medicine often prescribed by doctors as an opioid use disorder treatment and aid in opioid withdrawal. It’s one of the medications used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Doctors have used this approach for decades. The help of prescription medicines like Suboxone helps wean patients off of addictive substances like opioids. Suboxone received FDA approval in 2002 as an opioid use disorder treatment. It not only works to decrease opioid cravings, but it also suppresses withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone is a crucial player in curbing the present opioid epidemic, however, since it does contain an opioid-like ingredient (Buprenorphine), it’s frequently abused, leading to Suboxone addiction.
How Suboxone Works
Suboxone is designed to treat an addiction to opioids. It contains two ingredients: Buprenorphine and Naloxone. These two ingredients combined help to decrease cravings and withdrawals from addictive opioids like:
Suboxone activates a pain-blocking brain receptor. This releases endorphins that mimic pleasure and alters pain perception. It’s referred to as the “opioid effect.” When Suboxone becomes part of your or your loved one’s recovery plan, it negates the opioid’s effects by keeping them from activating the pain receptor and helping reduce withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings.
How Suboxone is Used
Suboxone is used for two different phases of addiction recovery. It’s used during the withdrawal phase where you experience both uncomfortable and possibly dangerous symptoms. It helps ease and potentially eliminate symptoms of opioid withdrawal. After the withdrawal phase and under a doctor’s supervision, you’re moved to the maintenance phase, where you continue taking Suboxone. Once treatment is complete, the doctor will start to reduce the doses until you no longer require the medication. Suboxone provides a long-term recovery solution for opioid addiction management. Combined with a comprehensive recovery plan, this medicine helps to eliminate opioid cravings altogether. Because it is a depressant, it will slow you down instead of speed you up like stimulants do. When taking Suboxone, you might experience:
- Overall well-being and calmness
- Pain relief
- Reduced stress levels and perceived fewer worries
When you take this medication properly, you’ll have no withdrawals, no cravings and you’ll feel “normal”, which is why it’s an effective medication.
Is Suboxone Addictive?
Now, while Suboxone is effective in aiding opiate dependence recovery, it’s often a medication that patients take long-term after they’ve stopped taking opioids. However, even though it is effective, it can also be addictive itself. It can produce similar withdrawal symptoms as other opioids if you were to quit taking it “cold turkey.” Symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal can last up to a month long and might include:
- Body/Muscle aches
- Digestive distress
- Drug cravings
- Concentration difficulties
The symptoms of Suboxone withdraw can vary in duration and severity, depending on how long you or your loved one have been taking it. The dosage of this medication also plays a role in this.
How Can an Opiate Addict Detox Off Suboxone Safely?
Again, Suboxone is a very useful medicine, but you must use it responsibly. It’s dangerous to take this medication without a prescription, too frequently or in excessively large doses. It’s unfortunate that a medicine that’s intended to help eliminate an addiction can be addictive itself. The good news is, once you detox and overcome a dependence on Suboxone, you can reclaim your life free of opioids. But, it’s not safe to try and detox alone. Just like with an opioid addiction, if you’re addicted to Suboxone, it’s highly recommended you undergo professional treatment.
You’ll initially need to undergo detoxification, regardless of whether it’s outpatient treatment or residential treatment. You can experience an intense withdrawal process, therefore, it’s highly encouraged you undergo a medically supervised detoxification process. It’s essential to use your doctor’s guidance to avoid withdrawal problems and potential relapse. A treatment program with medically based detox can help you or your loved one wean off of Suboxone and work towards a healthy recovery. If you or your loved one are ready to get started on your journey to addiction recovery, we can help. Give us a call at 772-266-5320. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day.