How It Works and Is It Safe?
Subutex is a partial opioid agonist-antagonist, and is used to help treat opioid addiction in those individuals whose lives have been taken over by their dependence on such substances. This prescription medication contains buprenorphine hydrochloride, and is taken on a daily basis. Used in medication assisted treatment, Subutex works to decrease the painful withdrawal symptoms that individuals experience when they suddenly stop using opioids, such as prescription painkillers, morphine, or heroin. Subutex is also effective in stopping drug cravings, which affords individuals the opportunity to focus fully on their recovery without distraction.
Having received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, Subutex has since been viewed as one of the safest forms of opioid addiction treatment. Extensive research has shown that using Subutex is much safer than continuing to abuse opioids, and that using this medication does not lead to vital organ damage. In addition, when an individual takes Subutex, he or she will not obtain a high as they would with other opioids. Instead, their mental state will remain clear, allowing them to continue on in their everyday lives and continue to uphold personal responsibilities.
Like other medications, Subutex can cause side effects to occur. It is safe to use when being monitored by a medical professional, however prior to beginning a Subutex regimen, individuals should speak with their physicians to become educated on this medication, as well as ask questions about Subutex.
The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment
Numerous studies have shown that Subutex is highly effective in treating opioid addiction. Individuals that have utilized Subutex in their treatment have reported that their desire to continue to use opioids like heroin, morphine, or prescription pain pills was dramatically decreased, and that withdrawal symptoms were lessened.
In general, when Subutex is included into the treatment for an opioid addiction, individuals can obtain success when it comes to healing from their challenges.
The Benefits of Subutex Plus Counseling
When individuals obtain treatment for opioid addiction and utilize Subutex, they typically experience three separate phases. The phases that individuals will experience include:
Induction: This is the first phase of treatment, where Subutex is introduced as opioid abuse is stopped. At this time, individuals are starting to go through withdrawal.
Stabilization: Stabilization occurs when patients are no longer in withdrawal or struggling with cravings. At this time, an individual’s dosage can be adjusted if needed.
Maintenance: Within the maintenance phase, individuals are stable and can begin either tapering off Subutex or begin taking a medication better suited for their needs.
While each phase occurs, it can be beneficial that a patient simultaneously participates in counseling services. Both individual and group therapy can help an individual work through the emotions that surround the growth and change they make throughout treatment, adopt new skills for coping, express successes and setbacks, and obtain support from both professionals and others in the program. Research has proven that those who participate in counseling while obtaining medication assisted treatment are less likely to experience a relapse.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Loved ones of an individual who is obtaining Subutex through a medication assisted treatment program can be extremely effective in providing support for their loved one. If you have a loved one who is in treatment for opioid addiction, it is always smart to receive your own support, as it is likely that your life has been negatively impacted by your loved one’s addiction, too. If possible, commit to engaging in your loved one’s care so that you can be supportive, obtain a strong understanding of what your loved one is experiencing, and work to improve your relationship with him or her.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: If you or someone you care for is looking into a medication assisted treatment program and the use of Subutex to aid in recovery, there are various things that you can do to be successful:
- Stay true to all recommendations given to you by your physician in regards to Subutex.
- Go to all therapy sessions and be prepared to actively engage while there.
- Discuss any concerns while on Subutex, as your physician can make adjustments to your medication as needed.
- Refrain from using other opioids while taking Subutex.
- Talk with your provider should you begin developing concerns about your addiction while in treatment. He or she can help connect you to the appropriate people who can provide you with the support you need.
The Side Effects of Subutex
Prior to taking any prescription medication, it is always a good idea to discuss possible side effects with a physician to avoid any negative consequences. Speak with your physician about possible food interactions, health conditions, and other possible drug interactions that could occur if Subutex enters the body. This includes disclosing all over-the-counter medications that you are taking, too. If you decide to include Subutex into your treatment, please remain aware of the possible side effects, as they can appear when a dosage is increased. These side effects can include:
Most common side effects:
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Back pain
Fairly common side effects:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Runny eyes
Less common side effects:
- Upset stomach
- Accidental injury
At Inland Empire Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we are more than happy to talk about our methods of care, as well as answer any and all questions you or your loved ones might have about Subutex. Do not wait another day, call us toda