How It Works and Is It Safe?
Classified as a partial opioid agonist, the prescription medication Suboxone is made up of buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist antagonist, which means that it is capable of stimulating the same receptors in the brain that opioids do, but without causing an individual to suffer from the physical and psychological effects opioids are known to cause. As a result, an individual can be relieved from his or her withdrawal symptoms and cravings for continued use that would have otherwise bogged him or her down once the abuse of opioids stopped.
Naloxone, the other ingredient in Suboxone, is an opioid agonist. An opioid agonist works by reversing the damaging effects of opioids on the body. Therefore, when an individual ingests this medication, he is she is no longer going to experience the upsetting symptoms linked to the cessation of opioid use. Additionally, he or she will also be alleviated of cravings for the substance of choice.
Detailed research has proven that Suboxone is effective and safe when used appropriately within a medication assisted treatment program for opioid addiction.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Thorough research has shown that Suboxone is highly effective when used for treating opioid dependency. Those who have included Suboxone into their medication assisted treatment have reported a decrease in withdrawal symptoms and less cravings for continued use. When using Suboxone, individuals will not develop feelings of euphoria as they would through using other illicit substances, making it highly unlikely to be abused. In addition, if an individual tries to abuse Suboxone by taking more than is prescribed, he or she will be unable to get high like he or she would if he or she was abusing other substances like OxyContin or Vicodin.
Whether Suboxone is the best medication option for you will be determined by you and your provider. However, keep in mind that studies show that when this medication is included into an individual’s treatment plan, he or she is often able to remain clearheaded in ways that allow him or her to focus on recovery.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Defeating an opioid addiction can be tremendously trying. As soon as an individual has developed an opioid addiction, he or she will go through withdrawal once he or she stops using. Knowing that withdrawal is inevitable is often what can keep individuals using. However, if Suboxone is introduced into the picture, withdrawal symptoms can be prevented, allowing recovery to seem less intimidating. Additionally, the use of Suboxone helps control cravings for continued opioid use.
Using Suboxone can be exceptionally helpful in allowing individuals to defeat their opioid addictions, however, the inclusion of individual and group therapy as additional treatment components can help make recovery more solidified. Participating in group therapy helps individuals learn from others all while starting to realize that they are not alone in their challenges. This can be critical to the process of recovery. Individual therapy is also beneficial, as this time serves as an opportunity for individuals to work privately with a counselor in a one-on-one setting to talk through the issues they are experiencing. This form of therapy can also be incredibly beneficial in letting individuals feel safe with their counselor and begin to feel like they are finally being heard.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction does not just impact the individual who is addicted; rather it impacts those around him or her as well. If you have a loved one who is participating in a medication assisted treatment program for opioid addiction, the most important thing you can do is actively participate in his or her recovery, and be as supportive as possible. You can accomplish this by doing the following:
- Educating yourself on Suboxone and medication assisted treatment so you develop an understanding of what your loved one is experiencing
- Encouraging your loved one to continually attend all appointments he or she has set
- Showing your support by always checking in with your loved one in regards to how his or her therapy is going, how his or her medication is treating him or her, etc.
- Championing your loved one’s small and large achievements
- Obtaining support for yourself
- Keeping in mind that recovery can be a rocky journey filled with many setbacks, so holding on to hope and sharing that hope with your loved one is critical
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Partaking in a medication assisted treatment program is an excellent first step towards defeating an opioid addiction. When you join a program like this, it is crucial that you fully engage yourself in your entire treatment process. You must devote yourself to your recovery. Some of the ways in which you can do this include:
- Following the direction that your treatment provider supplies you with regarding all areas of your treatment
- Consistently attending all appointments to obtain Suboxone
- Following all guidelines supplied to you, including refraining from alcohol use while on Suboxone
- Actively working in all group therapy sessions so you obtain the most from the experience
- Committing to openness and honesty with your counselor so he or she can help you to the best of his or her ability
- Speaking up about concerns you might have so that your provider can help monitor your progress and make any necessary changes to your treatment if it is necessary
- Abstaining from the use of other opioids while using Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
When ingesting any medication, it is possible that side effects can develop. When taking Suboxone, a number of side effects can occur, including the following:
- Attention disturbances
- Back and abdominal pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Coordination problems
- Numb mouth
- Painful tongue
- Blurred vision
- Runny nose
If any of these side effects develop, inform your provider so that he or she can continually track the changes in your medication and make adjustments if necessary.
At Northeast Pennsylvania Comprehensive Treatment Centers, our dedicated staff is committed to supplying you with empathetic and personalized treatment. We are pleased to discuss with you the methods of care we provide, and are prepared to answer any questions you might have regarding Suboxone. Please contact us right now.