How It Works and Is It Safe?
Suboxone, a partial opioid agonist, is a medication that contains both naloxone and buprenorphine.
Working as a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine stimulates the same brain receptors that are triggered when opioids are abused, however a high is not produced. As buprenorphine locks onto these receptors in the brain, an individual will begin to experience alleviation from withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings that would have otherwise physically plagued them as they began detoxing.
Naloxone is classified as an opioid agonist, which is also known as an opioid blocker. It works by stopping the upsetting and dangerous effects of opioids on the body. Therefore, when an individual takes Suboxone, he or she benefits, as cravings and withdrawal symptoms are decreased (if not eliminated).
Extensive research has shown that Suboxone is effective and safe for use when taken as prescribed and through a medication assisted treatment program geared towards treating opioid addiction.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Studies upon studies have proven that Suboxone is highly effective in treating opioid addiction. Those who have utilized Suboxone within their recovery state that it lessens the effects of withdrawal, as well as decreases the intense cravings to keep using. Suboxone also does not create a sense of being high, which means that it is unlikely to be abused. Should an individual attempt abuse Suboxone, he or she will be unsuccessful in achieving a high like they would if they abused other opioids like OxyContin or Vicodin.
It is up to you and your physician to decide if you are an appropriate candidate for Suboxone treatment. However, keep in mind that studies have proven that when Suboxone is incorporated into a comprehensive treatment program, individuals are more likely to achieve lasting recovery.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Pushing past an opioid addiction can be enormously trying. As soon as an individual has developed an addiction to opioids, it becomes inevitable that he or she will experience a period of withdrawal if their use ceases quickly. Knowing that withdrawal is ahead is one of the primary factors that keeps individuals using. However, utilizing Suboxone in a treatment setting can help prevent this notoriously painful effect of opioid addiction, as it can help stop withdrawal symptoms and cravings to use.
Suboxone is a priceless tool to utilize while in recovery from opioid addiction, however it is just one of many aspects of care that make up a comprehensive program. Including additional treatments, such as individual and group therapy, can allow individuals to be more successful in recovery. Participating in group therapy allows individuals to learn from others and their experiences, as well as recognize that they are not alone. This can be critical throughout the process of recovery, as patients start developing more confidence and increased self-esteem. In addition, individual therapy can also be a benefit. Conducted in a one-on-one setting, patients work with a counselor to help talk through any issues that are bothering them while in treatment. Within this setting, patients begin to feel heard and respected.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: While addiction obviously impacts the individual who is struggling with dependency, it also affects his or her loved ones, too. If someone you love is battling an opioid addiction and has decided to accept help via a medication assisted treatment program, the most effective ways that you can support him or her can be by doing the following:
- Educate yourself about Suboxone, as well as medication assisted treatment so you can understand what your loved one is going through.
- Continually inspire your loved one to keep attending all appointments.
- Show your support by frequently checking in with your loved one by asking about how his or her therapy is going, how they feel on the medication, and so on.
- Celebrate your loved one’s small successes.
- Know that recovery can take time and patience. Keep your faith alive and share it with your loved one, especially when he or she seems to need it most.
- Obtain support for yourself.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Participating in a medication assisted treatment program can be one step of many towards a successful recovery from opioid addiction. It is critical that when you join a medication assisted treatment program, that you remain actively engaged in your treatment and all of its aspects. Not only must you commit to your recovery, but you also can do a number of things to help encourage your own personal success. Consider the following:
- Adhere to directions and/or recommendations provided to you by your physicians with regards to your treatment program.
- Always show up for all appointments to obtain the Suboxone.
- Follow the guidelines that are encouraged, such as avoiding alcohol while using Suboxone.
- Actively participate in group therapy, as doing so can allow you to obtain the most out of your care.
- Remain honest and open with your counselor so that he or she can offer the best guidance for you.
- Speak up if you have any concerns or questions that develop while using Suboxone so that your physician can adjust your dosage if needed.
- Steer clear from using other opioids while on Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
When taking any medication, it is important to be aware of the side effects that can occur. Suboxone is no different, as it can cause a number of side effects, including the following:
- Attention disturbances
- Back and abdominal pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Coordination problems
- Runny nose
- Blurred vision
- Painful tongue
- Numb mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Generalized pain
If you experience any of these side effects, report them to your physician so he or she can provide improved adjustments to your dosage.
At Inland Empire Comprehensive Treatment Centers, our staff is devoted to offering understanding and personalized treatment to all of our patients. We are obliged to talk through all of our methods of care, and will always do everything we can to answer all questions you or a loved one might have about Suboxone. Please contact us right now.