How It Works and Is It Safe?
Suboxone is a prescription medication that is classified as a partial opioid agonist. This medication is a mixture of both buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist in itself, which means that it works with the same receptors in the brain that opioids do but without creating the high associated with other opioids. When buprenorphine is consumed, it completely occupies the brain’s opioid receptors, allowing the individual to become alleviated from the symptoms of withdrawal and cravings that would otherwise be present from the cessation of opioid abuse.
Naloxone is classified as an opioid antagonist, which is also known as an “opioid blocker.” This medication works by reversing the effects that opioids have on the body. When an individual ingests this medication, he or she is no longer struggling with the painful withdrawal symptoms and cravings that commonly overpower those addicted to opioids.
Detailed research has shown that Suboxone is effective and safe when used within a medication assisted treatment program geared towards treating opioid addiction and abuse.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Thorough research has been able to show that when Suboxone is utilized in the treatment of opioid addiction, it is successful. Those who have incorporated Suboxone into their medication assisted treatment report a decrease in withdrawal symptoms and cravings for continued use. Suboxone does not cause feelings of extreme euphoria to develop, meaning that while it is not only an effective option for treatment, it is also less likely to be abused by patients. In addition, if an individual should attempt to use Suboxone by taking too much of it or more than what is prescribed, he or she will be unable to become high like he or she would when abusing substances like OxyContin or Vicodin.
Determining if Suboxone will be the best medication for you will be decided between you and your treatment provider. However, keep in mind that studies have shown that when Suboxone is a part of an individual’s treatment plan, he or she is more likely to develop the clarity of mind needed to heal and recover.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Defeating an addiction to opioids can be incredibly challenging. Once an individual has found himself or herself addicted to an opioid, he or she will likely battle with symptoms of withdrawal as soon as he or she suddenly stops the abuse of these substances. Knowing that a period of withdrawal is ahead is what tends to keep individuals stuck in the cycle of addiction. When Suboxone is introduced, these symptoms can be prevented, allowing recovery to seem like a more viable option. Additionally, Suboxone not only helps prevent withdrawal symptoms, but it also helps curb cravings for further opioid abuse.
While the use of Suboxone can be an exceptionally instrumental tool in helping individuals work through an opioid addiction, the implementation of individual and group therapy as an additional service to an individual’s program helps make his or her odds of being successful for the long-term more likely. Partaking in group therapy allows individuals to benefit from the experiences of others, all while realizing that they are not facing their battles alone. This can be imperative to the process of recovery, as individuals begin to shed their loneliness and develop confidence in their capabilities to achieve success while in recovery. Individual therapy is also beneficial, as individuals meet with a counselor in a private setting where they can work through the issues that are plaguing them and preventing them from achieving a solid recovery. Additionally, individual therapy allows patients to have their progress tracked while receiving care in a one-on-one setting in which they can be heard.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction is a family disease, meaning that it does not just impact the individual who is addicted. If you have a loved one that is battling with an opioid addiction and has decided to engage himself or herself in a medication assisted treatment program, the most effective thing you can do is continually participate in his or her journey towards recovery. To do so, you can do the following:
- Obtain as much information as possible on Suboxone and medication assisted treatment so you can be aware of what your loved one is going through at this time.
- Motivate your loved one to stay committed to attending any appointments he or she has scheduled.
- Show your support by asking your loved one how his or her treatment process is going, how he or she is responding to his or her medication, and so on.
- Congratulate your loved one on the small and large successes he or she makes.
- Keep in mind that establishing a lasting recovery takes time and is often plagued by a plethora of challenges. Keep your hope alive and share that with your loved one, especially when he or she is feeling discouraged.
- Obtain support for yourself.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Participating in a medication assisted treatment program is an excellent first step towards putting an opioid addiction in the past. However, it is critical that once you begin a program such as this, that you stay active in the therapeutic process. You must dedicate yourself to your recovery. There are a number of things that you can do to help you yield success while you are receiving medication assisted treatment:
- Abide by the directions provided to you and follow the recommendations that your provider offers regarding your treatment.
- Consistently go to all appointments to obtain Suboxone.
- Follow the guidelines that are supplied to you, such as abstaining from drinking alcohol while on this medication.
- Stay connected to all of your group therapy sessions so that you obtain the most from your experience.
- Dedicate yourself to being open and honest with your counselor so that your individual therapy sessions can be the most effective. Being honest will help your counselor assist you; he or she will not judge you.
- Speak up with any issues that you might have while taking Suboxone. By doing this, you can allow your treatment provider to fully monitor your progress and make the appropriate adjustments to your medication as needed.
- Do not use any other opioids while taking Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
When taking any medication, there is always a risk for side effects to develop. Some of the possible side effects that can occur when taking Suboxone can include:
- Attention disturbances
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Numb mouth
- Painful tongue
- Blurred vision
- Back and abdominal pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Coordination problems
- Runny nose
If any of these side effects occur, it is imperative that you speak to your provider so that he or she can track all of the alterations to your physical health so that he or she can make adjustments as needed.
At Cedar Rapids Comprehensive Treatment Center, our intelligent and caring staff is devoted to supplying kind and personalized treatment to all of our patients. We are happy to discuss with you our many methods of treatment, and are prepared to answer any and all questions that you or your loved one might have about Suboxone and recovery. Please reach out to us right now.