The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment for Opiate Addiction

Suboxone is a type of drug that is used to relieve the effects of opioid-dependence withdrawal. Typically, suboxone therapy is administered as part of a complete regimen of recovery that requires psychological counseling. Fewer than 25 percent of opioid or other opiate addicted patients are able to effectively leave “cold turkey.” These patients are able to abstain from drug abuse with the aid of this therapy, as the medicine helps to curb side effects of withdrawal and subsequent cravings.Learn more by visiting Master Center for Addiction Medicine – Glen Allen Suboxone

How Is Suboxone Working?

Suboxone is a prescription drug which combines a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine, and an opioid blocker, naloxone. A partial opioid agonist works on the brain’s opioid receptors, much like an opioid. Buprenorphine, however, unlike these medications, does not result in the euphoric feeling that the patient associates with a “high.” This allows the physical side effects induced by opioid withdrawal to be avoided without the accompanying pleasurable feelings caused by the abused substance. Naloxone, on the other hand, when crushed or snorted, causes extreme withdrawal effects, so it is paired with buprenorphine to prevent the misuse of this treatment regimen.

How is the treatment of suboxone dispensed?

It only needs to be taken once a day, either as a 2 mg or 8 mg pill or a 2 mg or 8 mg film strip that dissolves under the tongue, since this is a long-acting drug. To avoid diversion of the drug, the filmstrip often contains a serial number. Within 30 minutes of their daily dosage, patients should not drink, eat, or smoke, as this will prevent the drug from being absorbed. For those who chew or dip tobacco, this treatment is not effective.

What are this medication’s side effects?

A feeling of calm and relaxation is usually experienced by patients, but often it induces less desirable side effects such as constipation, insomnia, irritability, or a sense of jitter or shakiness. Although the inclusion of naloxone decreases the abuse risk, if used under the guidance of a doctor, this drug may still be addictive. After the withdrawal phase subsides, people in this type of treatment will be steadily weaned from the drug. In the long term, taking this medication can lead to drowsiness, nausea, stomach problems, confusion, anxiety, loneliness, and depression. And, like drug addiction, this can lead to economic strain and job and relationship issues.