Suboxone Treatment for Addiction to Opiates

Suboxone Treatment for Addiction to Opiates

Do you know someone who is the victim of opiate abuse or addiction? If you answered “yes”, then you should know that help is available.

Drug abuse interventions come in many different forms. Each one is specific to a person and the substance he or she has abused. For opiates, addiction interventions are available. A crucial part of the interventions for opiates is suboxone treatment.

Physicians have prescribed Suboxone for opiate addiction for years. It is a medication used to address withdrawal symptoms, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness.

Suboxone is a combination of two drugs — buprenorphine and naloxone. Together, these drugs allow opioid addicts to get through withdrawal and recover.

If you want to know more about Suboxone treatment, read on!

How Does Suboxone Work?

Buprenorphine and naloxone comprise Suboxone. These two medications contribute to the management of withdrawal symptoms and narcotic cravings.

Buprenorphine is a drug that tricks an opioid addict’s mind into thinking that it is still receiving an opioid agent. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) identifies the following as the most commonly abused opioid agents:

  • Fentanyl
  • Heroin
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine

These are just some opioid agents. There are more. Buprenorphine mimics their actions, except for one major difference — its low addiction threshold. Buprenorphine mimics the effects of opioid agents, but does not produce the “high” opioid agents do. For this reason, withdrawal effects are not as pronounced as they would be had an addict undergone rehab without it.

Naloxone is what blocks or neutralizes the effects of the remaining opioids in the body. Over time, the effect of naloxone clears reduces the amount of opioids in the bloodstream.

Does Suboxone Have Any Side Effects?

Like any drug, Suboxone has side effects. The most common side effects patients complain about during suboxone treatment are:

  • Tingling or numbness
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia (in some cases)
  • Inability to focus
  • Impaired coordination

These are common side effects that do not normally require serious medical intervention. On the other hand, the following can require immediate medical attention:

  • Jaundice
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Weak respiration
  • Nausea or other gastric discomforts

These severe side effects are signs of problems in the nervous system as a result of Suboxone use. Weak respirations are a sign of respiratory depression and can be life-threatening if not addressed immediately. Nausea and gastric discomfort are indicators of problems in the liver.

Is Recovery Possible Through Suboxone Alone?

Although Suboxone is critical for addiction recovery, it is only a part. More specifically, it is part of a much more comprehensive treatment pathway that includes:

  • Counseling
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Family support

Unfortunately, the family and health professionals cannot rely on the drug alone.

Suboxone Therapy is Available for Opioid Addicts Looking to Recover

Suboxone therapy for opioid addiction maximizes the chances of lasting recovery after therapy is complete. However, once again, Suboxone therapy is only a part of addiction interventions for opioid abuse.

Nevertheless, by adding Suboxone to therapy and counseling, healthcare professionals can help an opioid addict towards full recovery.

Cited sources:

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/Mental-Health-Medications/Types-of-Medication/Buprenorphine/Buprenorphine-Naloxone-(Suboxone)

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids#:~:text=Opioids%20are%20a%20class%20of,%2C%20morphine%2C%20and%20many%20others.

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