Suboxone is a medication that is used to treat opiate addiction. It contains a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids, including pain relief or feelings of well-being. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication that helps wean the addict slowly from their addiction.
What is Suboxone Used For?
Short term Suboxone use relieves symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It helps heroin users or other opiate abusers in their transition to treatment. It aids the transition by filling the opioid receptors in the brain enough to relieve symptoms of withdrawal without the full opioid high.
When taking Suboxone, users will not experience the same high if they take other opioids. The receptors in the brain are blocked preventing the normal high. This process can help unravel the positive reinforcement cycle that caused the opioid addiction initially. Not receiving the same reward shifts the cycle.
How Effective is Suboxone Treatment?
One study by the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered Suboxone treatment substantially improved outcomes. They observed a significant reduction in the use of opioids, as well as other drugs. There was a higher retention of treatment concepts of the group taking Suboxone vs. the control group. Not wanting to develop another habit, many often wonder: is Suboxone addictive? The answer: Suboxone can be habit forming. It is critical to take your medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Short term suboxone use is designed to be part of a comprehensive drug treatment program, and is not meant to be prescribed after the initial detox process. Close monitoring by your medical team is needed.
Benefits of Short Term Suboxone Use for Treating Opioid Addiction
Some people question the validity of using an opioid to treat opioid addiction. The withdrawals are so extreme from opiates that the safest option is a slow process. Opiate addicts that stop cold turkey have a less than 25% chance to maintain their sobriety for a full year. Research has shown diluting cravings of the opioid addict gives them a better chance of developing the strength and resources to deal with their addiction.
Suboxone vs. Methadone
Suboxone has a lower potential for abuse than Methadone. Methadone is an agonist which activates opioid receptors. Suboxone, in contrast, is a partial agonist which still activates opioid receptors, but produces less of a response. This lessened response reduces the chances of addiction.
Suboxone is designed to be used as one part of a holistic addiction treatment program. Along with counseling, close medical monitoring, and learning news ways of living, Suboxone can be a critical ingredient of successful short term treatment. If you or someone you love are struggling with an opioid addiction, reach out for help to see if Suboxone is right for you.
Addiction affects the whole family.
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