What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a prescription medication purposefully formulated to assist those grappling with Opioid addiction. Made up of two primary ingredients – Buprenorphine and Naloxone – this drug serves a dual purpose in the recovery journey.
Buprenorphine is a partial Opioid agonist. It binds to the same receptors in the brain that Opioids like Heroin, Morphine, and Fentanyl latch onto. By doing so, it helps to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and Opioid cravings. Essentially, Buprenorphine occupies these receptors, blocking other Opioids from binding and inducing their euphoric effects. This mechanism makes it harder for an individual to get high from using other Opioids and reduces the risk of overdose.
Naloxone, on the other hand, acts as an Opioid antagonist. It’s added to the medication to prevent potential misuse. If someone tries to dissolve and inject Suboxone to achieve a high, the Naloxone component triggers immediate withdrawal symptoms, thus acting as a deterrent.
When Suboxone is taken as directed, it can be a powerful tool in the realm of addiction treatment. Not only does it reduce the physical discomforts associated with Opioid withdrawal, but it also diminishes the psychological cravings for Opioids. This combined effect provides a more stable foundation for individuals to engage in other essential aspects of their recovery journey, such as therapy and counseling.
Moreover, Suboxone provides a safer alternative to Methadone, another medication used in Opioid treatment. Unlike Methadone, which requires regular visits to a clinic for administration, Suboxone can be prescribed and taken at home, making it more accessible and convenient for many patients.
Suboxone represents a balanced approach to Opioid addiction treatment, merging the benefits of medication-assisted therapy with the practicalities of outpatient care.
Administration Of Suboxone
Suboxone is primarily available in two forms: sublingual film and tablet. Its administration is unique to ensure the effective release of its active ingredients and to deter potential misuse.
Sublingual Film: This is the more commonly prescribed form of Suboxone. The thin film is designed to be placed under the tongue, where it will dissolve gradually. To administer:
- The patient should open the foil packet with clean, dry hands.
- The film is then placed under the tongue, preferably towards its base.
- It’s essential not to chew or swallow the film. It should be allowed to dissolve entirely, which usually takes a few minutes.
- Patients are advised to avoid eating or drinking until the film has fully dissolved to ensure optimal absorption.
Sublingual Tablet: Like the film, the tablet is also placed under the tongue to dissolve.
- The tablet should be held in place until it dissolves completely, which might take a slightly longer time compared to the film.
- Like with the film, eating or drinking is discouraged until the tablet has dissolved fully.
No matter the form of the medication, the precise dosage of Suboxone varies depending on the individual’s needs, the severity of their addiction, and their response to treatment. Before starting Suboxone, individuals are often required to be in the early stages of Opioid withdrawal. This period ensures that Suboxone can work most effectively and reduces the risk of precipitated withdrawal, a sudden and severe onset of withdrawal symptoms.
The aim with Suboxone, as with all medication-assisted treatments, is to provide a bridge to comprehensive addiction treatment. The ultimate goal is not just to manage the physical aspects of Opioid dependence but to give patients the best chance at a holistic, lasting recovery.
Like all medications, Suboxone can come with potential side-effects. Common side-effects include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Painful tongue
- Redness in the mouth
- Blurred vision
While these side-effects can be uncomfortable, they are generally manageable and may decrease over time. However, if you experience severe or persistent side effects, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider.
Dangers Of Long-Term Suboxone Use
Long-term use of Suboxone can lead to physical dependence, meaning that the body becomes accustomed to having the drug in its system. If an individual stops taking the medication suddenly, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.
Some studies also suggest a potential for liver damage with prolonged use. However, it’s essential to understand that for many, the benefits of Suboxone in aiding Opioid addiction recovery may outweigh the risks.
Find Treatment For Opioid Addiction
As Opioid and Fentanyl use continues to increase, seeking help is more crucial than ever. Treatment for Opioid addiction, including the use of medications like Suboxone, can provide the support and tools needed for a more stable, healthier future.
The journey of recovery can be challenging, but with the right treatment and support, lasting recovery is attainable. Contact a treatment provider today to explore your treatment options.