What is Suboxone Treatment and What is its Basis of Working?
Suboxone is basically a combination of medications, which contains naloxone and buprenorphine. This is the main medication that is used for opiate addiction treatment therapy (medication-assisted therapy or MAT). MAT has shown to successfully lower the risks of fatal overdose by almost 50%. Suboxone works by binding tightly to the same receptors as other opiates in the brain of the addict. Opiates can be heroin, oxycodone and/or morphine. This Suboxone treatment blunts the intoxications with the other drugs; that is, it typically prevents the cravings and allows many of the addicted people to transition back to a relatively normal and safe life.
Many advocates make it their key goals to make Suboxone more accessible and more widely available so that anyone who is addicted to opiates can easily and readily access it to get their normal and happy life back. Majority of doctors, physicians, advocates, and addiction experts agree that Suboxone saves many lives! Thus, it should be made widely available everywhere.
Suboxone Abuse and Suboxone Side-effects
Every good thing comes with a flaw, so does Suboxone! If a person gets addicted to this safe drug, Suboxone, the symptoms would be similar to those of the other opiates, like heroin, etc. as the Suboxone also contains buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid and not fully an agonist like heroin. The symptoms are milder yet catastrophic for a person’s life on a long-term basis. The symptoms may include-
- Compulsively taking the Suboxone medicine and not having the ability to stop taking it, even if the person wants to stop.
- Vomiting and/or nausea
- Lack of emotional and physical pain
- Sedation and drowsiness
- Depression and decreased rate of breathing
- Constipation at the extreme level.
- Impaired cognition
- Hiding the fact that he/she is taking the medication from their respective family members and friends.
Naloxone prevents the person from taking Suboxone in overdose, so if the person begins to abuse Suboxone, it is more likely that they will suffer withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone abuse will not really make that much of a difference because it is only a partial agonist and thus will create very mild euphoria.
There are some Suboxone side effects as well, which include mouth numbness, mouth redness, and pain, headache, and dizziness, drowsiness, and insomnia.
Is it Easy to Overdose on Suboxone?
It is actually very difficult (almost extreme limits) to overdose on the Suboxone medication alone. Suboxone addiction is basically more difficult to incorporate than the other opiates, which it typically treats, because Suboxone is only a partial receptor agonist, so basically there is a ceiling effect, which means that there is a limiting value as to how much the opioid receptors have the ability to be activated by this Suboxone medication. Thus, there is no great risk as compared to other opiates. If they are doing an overdose of this medicine, it is generally because they are mixing it with other types of sedatives like benzodiazepines, which also slow down the breathing rate. You can also read Professional Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.
Using Suboxone as an Addiction Treatment
The abstinence-based models, which have dominated the addiction care in the past century give a much modern concept of recovery, which typically encompasses the use of treatment medications like Suboxone, whose main purpose is to regulate the chemistry of your brain cells. In medical conditions, the addiction is viewed as a highly medical condition, and Suboxone to be the medication for this chronic condition. For example, if a person has diabetes, he needs to take insulin no matter what, likewise, if a person is addicted to opiates, he just has to take Suboxone in order to recover from that chronic addiction of his. It is stigmatic to say that you are not in recovery if you are taking Suboxone, but it is not a very effective addiction treatment as well.
Do we Need a Therapy along with Suboxone Treatment?
It would be absolutely perfect if you go for therapy, housing assistance, employment support, and support groups along with the MAT. But it is not that if you don’t go for the therapy sessions, your medications will not work for you. It’s just that it adds on to the treatment process and better and quicker recovery. It is not realistic to expect everyone with a problem of addiction to receive every aspect of the treatment that they require, especially without access to insurance, regular healthcare or even both.
Suboxone Treatment Duration
Suboxone is that drug, which should be taken for a longer period of time so as to promote the recovery from opioid addiction. Since Suboxone is a partial agonist, it allows the people having it to form a particular opioid dependence. When such addicted people try to stop taking the Suboxone medication, they have to taper their dosage as per a medical professional’s advice.
Those addicts who take this medication for a smaller period of time, like a month or so, generally end up in relapse and return to their existent opioid abuse. Therefore, Suboxone should always be taken for a long and extended period of time. It is normal to take medicine from 6 months to a year, or even longer. Every patient is different, and so is his or her addiction level. Suboxone should always be taken under the guidance of a medical professional, so that he can monitor the patient’s progress and thus give the patient advice on how long is the Suboxone treatment going to be.
It is preferred that you take Suboxone under some guidance like that of a professional treatment program or a healthcare professional rehab clinicians or maybe a doctor. They can administer the perfect dosage as per your addiction, and you will recover quickly.
It is absolutely possible to give people a new happy drug-free life with Suboxone treatment, but it is equally possible that for other people, it is lifelong maintenance as the best option. The only thing fixed and known about Suboxone is that the taper should be slow and probably be around 4 to 6 months for giving the best results. People have unrealistic expectations about Suboxone medication, but it is just a normal backlash against this theory. Although, it has definitely saved many lives and it is definitely a great drug, but not a miracle drug! It allows many opioid addicted people to get their lives back for sure.