Suboxone is a partial opioid-agonist that is made of a mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine attaches to the same receptors in the brain that opioids do, however, it does not cause the same effects to occur. Once buprenorphine is active in the brain, the individual immediately experiences feelings of relief in terms of their drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms that would have otherwise continued to cause them pain. As a result, these individuals are receiving the same signal in their brain that they would have while abusing an opioid, however, they are not suffering from the consequences and risks that accompany that abuse.
Naloxone, the other active ingredient in Suboxone, is an opioid antagonist that stops some of the dangerous effects that an opioid can impose on the body. While taking Suboxone, an individual will remain free of the pain associated with withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.
A great deal of research has proven that Suboxone is a safe drug to use while under the supervision of a trained professional in a medication assisted treatment program.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Suboxone has been continuously studied to test its effectiveness and has proven to be highly successful in the treatment of opioid dependence. Those who consume Suboxone report that their withdrawal symptoms were lessened and their drug cravings were dramatically decreased. Suboxone is not likely to be abused, as it does not produce the same desirable effects as other opioids do. If an individual attempts to abuse Suboxone, he or she still will not be able to get high like he or she would have off a drug such as OxyContin or Vicodin.
Your physician will determine if Suboxone is the right medication for you. However, keep in mind that studies have proven that Suboxone is able to help you stay focused on your recovery rather than focused on the effects of withdrawal.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Putting an addiction to opioids in the past can be beyond difficult. As soon as an individual becomes addicted to an opioid, withdrawal symptoms will develop as soon as use is stopped. Knowing that withdrawal is an inevitable part of addiction is often what keeps individuals using, which causes the cycle of addiction to continue. Using Suboxone can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and, in turn, individuals can be alleviated of the fears they might have surrounding withdrawal. It also can help individuals consider recovery as an option. Suboxone is not only beneficial in stopping withdrawal symptoms, but is also championed for curbing cravings at this time, too.
Suboxone is extremely helpful during this time, however, the combination of this medication and group/individual therapies can make the recovery process much more beneficial in the long run. Participating in group therapy allows individuals to have the opportunity to learn from others and see that they are not alone in their battle against opioid addiction. This process helps individuals realize that they have no reason to feel alone, all while helping them build confidence in their overall recovery. Individual therapy is helpful to individuals by giving them one-on-one time with a trained professional in a private setting who can help them sort through the issues they might be experiencing, as well as discuss any concerns while monitoring the progress of their treatment. Individual therapy is highly beneficial in that it creates a setting where individuals feel as though they can be heard.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction not only affects the individual, but also affects his or her loved ones, including friends and family members. If you have a loved one who is battling an opioid addiction but has decided to take part in medication assisted treatment, the most helpful thing you can do for him or her is participate in his or her recovery by being a supportive, active member in his or her journey. The following can be helpful to remember at this time:
- Become educated on Suboxone and other aspects of medication assisted treatment so that you are knowledgeable about what your loved one is going through during this time.
- Provide encouragement for your loved one when it comes to attending appointments.
- Show your support by frequently asking how your loved one is doing in therapy, with medication, etc.
- Offer congratulations when your loved one achieves success, both big and small.
- Know that recovery can take time and it can be trying. Always stay hopeful and share your hope with your loved one when he or she is experiencing a roadblock.
- Look for your own form of support.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Participating in a medication assisted treatment program is an excellent means of beginning your recovery from opioid addiction. It is critical that, when enrolling in one of these programs, you are prepared to actively participate in the entire process and commit to your recovery. Some suggestions to help you achieve this include:
- Follow all direction that your treatment provider has given you, and adhere to the recommendations that he or she has provided for your treatment process.
- Always attend all appointments to receive your Suboxone.
- Follow guidelines, such as avoiding alcohol while on Suboxone.
- Continually participate in group therapy sessions so that you can obtain the most from your treatment program.
- Commit to remaining honest and open with your individual therapy counselor and remember that there is no judgment, only help. Staying honest will only help you benefit in your recovery.
- Always speak up about any concerns, problems, or questions that you have while taking Suboxone. Your treatment provider needs to be aware of these things so he or she can make adjustments to your Suboxone dosage as needed.
- Do not use any form of opioid while taking Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
As with any medication, there are some side effects associated with Suboxone. Some of the following effects have been known to occur when Suboxone is being taken:
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Numb mouth
- Blurred vision
- Painful tongue
- Runny nose
- Coordination problems
- Attention disturbances
- Back and abdominal pain
If any of these effects occur, tell your doctor about them so that he or she can keep track of your health while you are taking Suboxone and make adjustments as needed.
At Southern West Virginia Comprehensive Treatment Centers, our intelligent and devoted staff wants to provide caring, personalized treatment for each and every patient. We are pleased to discuss any and all methods of care, including the use of Suboxone so that you feel comfortable beginning your journey towards recovery. Please, reach out and contact us today.