Opioid dependence is a current and extremely challenging problem in many nations, especially in the United States. As efforts are made to combat this crisis, the next step is countering the withdrawal phase. One of the medications used in treating opioid withdrawal symptoms is Suboxone.
Many physicians prescribe suboxone treatment and psychological counseling for their rehabilitation program. Less than 25% of opioid-addicted patients are successful in going cold turkey when they quit. Suboxone treatment enables patients to succeed in completely stopping their substance abuse because this medication stops later cravings and withdrawal side effects.
How Suboxone Works
Suboxone is a combination of an incomplete opioid, an opioid blocker (naloxone), and buprenorphine. A partial or an incomplete opioid is like a true opioid, which affects the brain’s opioid receptors. Buprenorphine does not provide a euphoric sensation associated with the proverbial “high”. This prevents the physical side effects brought about by the opioid withdrawal without the known feelings of pleasure caused by the substance. On the other hand, naloxone results in severe adverse symptoms of withdrawal when the patient crushes or snorts it. Naloxone is usually combined with buprenorphine to keep the patient from abusing the treatment.
Dispensing the Suboxone Treatment
As a long-acting prescription medication, suboxone should just be taken once daily as a 2-milligram or 8-milligram film strip placed under the tongue, or a 2-milligram or 8-milligram tablet. The film strips dissolve quickly under the tongue. Each strip is given a serial number to avoid medication diversion. Within half an hour of taking the strip, the patient should not smoke, drink, or eat. These activities can prevent the medication’s absorption. Film strips are not ideal for patients who dip or chew tobacco.
Known Side Effects
Here are the adverse effects of suboxone:
o A feeling of relaxation and calm
• Shakes or jitters
• Long-term use:
o Gastrointestinal problems
Though naloxone is mixed in to prevent abuse, suboxone can still be addictive if used without a physician’s supervision. Because of this, suboxone treatment should be gradually stopped after the symptoms of withdrawal subside. Much like opioid addiction, addiction to the suboxone treatment can result in relationship, work, and financial problems.
How Suboxone Treatment Leads to Recovery
To be completely free of the opioid addiction is the aim of people who want the drug out of their lives. Returning to an opioid-free life is referred to as the recovery stage. Even if suboxone treatment is potent, it is now effective on its own. Counseling should always accompany it so the patient can understand the behavioral and psychological aspects of opioid addiction.
Outpatient and inpatient therapy exist in a lot of forms. They aim to relieve the psychological workings that gave way to opioid addiction. These therapies treat the mental health issues that either contributed to or caused by opioid abuse.
If you think that you are, or someone close to you is dependent on opioids, please see a physician who specializes in drug addiction. This way, you can discuss the suboxone treatment and its undeniable benefits.