The desire to get off opiates is sometimes not enough to help you end your addiction alone. Prescription pain killers, heroin and other forms of opiates create strong withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit without help that can cause your efforts to get sober by yourself to fail. Suboxone is a form of medically assisted treatment that gives you a better chance of success with getting sober. You’ll find that using Suboxone along with other forms of addiction therapy helps you to feel stronger as you begin to take your first steps toward sobriety. Your exploration of the benefits of using this drug may have you wondering if Suboxone clinics offer medication on a long-term basis. Fortunately, they do tend to recommend that people use this medication for a long period of time. However, there is far more that goes into deciding how much and how long you need to use it during your addiction treatment.
Suboxone is typically given to you by mouth as a dissolvable film. Since this medication is viewed as safer than others, you may be able to take it home and use it independently once you progress through the detox stage of your recovery. Although it can have side effects such as headaches or constipation, most people find these to be minimal and much easier to manage than their withdrawal symptoms. When you are on the right dosage schedule, you should not feel any major effects from the medication other than a reduced sense of cravings for opiates.
How Suboxone Helps With Addiction
Suboxone contains two main active ingredients, and these are buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist, which is a fancy way of saying that it binds to the same receptors as opioids in the brain. This action helps to reduce your withdrawal symptoms so that you experience fewer and weaker cravings for drugs. Naloxone is mostly inactive when you take the medication as it is prescribed. If someone tries to abuse the medication or use opiates, then it can kick in and block you from feeling high. The combination of these medications has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to manage an opiate addiction safely.
You do need to remember that Suboxone is only one component of your treatment plan. You may also need to undergo counseling to help you deal with the reasons behind why you developed an opiate addiction. You will also need to continue to work with your treatment team to make sure that the medication works properly over the long term period that you use it.
Factors That Influence How Long You Need the Medication
Some people need to use Suboxone for the rest of their life. Others are able to wean off of it after several months or years. As a general rule, it is usually recommended for people to use the medication for six months or more since longer treatments have been shown to prevent a relapse. If you’ve used large amounts of opiates for a long period of time, then you may need long-term treatment with the mediation. The same is true if you struggle with a mental health condition that requires intensive treatment.
When you visit a Suboxone clinic, you will first be given an exam that assesses your habits surrounding opiate use along with general facts about your height, weight and general health. Your treatment team uses all of this information to help you find the right dose to take and to develop a plan that outlines around how long you should initially plan to use the medication. Once you begin using the medication, you will then return to the clinic regularly so that adjustments can be made to your dosing schedule. Once you find out how your body responds to the medication, it is easier to determine if you will need to use it long-term.
What Happens When You Are Ready to Get Off Suboxone
One of the benefits of using Suboxone is that it is possible to get off the medication. You should not try to do so alone since quitting Suboxone without assistance can lead to withdrawal symptoms that could cause you to relapse. Instead, your medical team will help you wean off of the drug slowly while providing you with the care and support that you need to continue with your sobriety.
Medically assisted treatment for opiates requires a personal assessment to get you on the right plan that includes a specific length of time for taking Suboxone. We can help you find out how long you can take the medication so that you have a clear idea of the kinds of support you can enjoy in sobriety. Give us a call today at 302-842-2390 to start your treatment.