How It Works and Is It Safe?
Suboxone, a partial opioid agonist, is a prescription medication that is comprised of a mixture of both buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine, one of the primary active ingredients in Suboxone, is a partial opioid agonist, meaning that it triggers the same receptors in the brain that opioids do. However, a high is not produced when Suboxone is consumed. Therefore, when buprenorphine is present in the system, an individual will experience relief from his or her withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings without having to continually take the opioids he or she had been abusing.
An opioid agonist, naloxone is also known as an opioid blocker. It is also an active ingredient in Suboxone and works to diminish the troublesome impacts that opioids can have on the body. Upon taking Suboxone, the naloxone in the medication works to stop withdrawal symptoms and cravings, allowing the individual to be free from the vicious cycle of opioid abuse.
An exceptional amount of research has been conducted proving that Suboxone is both safe and effective in treating an opioid addiction in a medication assisted treatment program.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Research has proven that Suboxone is effective in actively helping end opioid addiction. Those who use Suboxone have reported that, while taking the medication, it was helpful in lessening withdrawal symptoms, as well as decreasing cravings to use. Unlike other opioids, Suboxone does not create the same high that would otherwise be achieved. Therefore, while Suboxone is effective in treating opioid addiction, it is also much less likely to be abused. If a patient attempts to take more Suboxone than is prescribed, he or she will still not be able to get high like he or she would if OxyContin or Vicodin were taken.
You and your treatment provider will work together to decide whether or not Suboxone is the appropriate medication for you. However, it is important to acknowledge that when a medication, such as Suboxone, is used in a medication assisted treatment program, patients are more likely to achieve a clear state of mind that will assist them in reaching their recovery goals.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Pushing past an opioid addiction can be incredibly difficult, because once an individual becomes dependent on opioids, he or she will undoubtedly experience withdrawal symptoms if he or she stops using. Knowing that withdrawal is lurking in the shadows is often what keeps individuals abusing the drug, even if it is dangerous. However, using Suboxone can be beneficial in the sense that it prevents these withdrawal symptoms from developing, which makes an individual more open to receiving treatment. While Suboxone works effectively in reducing withdrawal symptoms, it is also helpful in ceasing tempting cravings.
Suboxone can be an excellent tool in a patient’s recovery from opioid addiction, however, it is just that – one tool. By combining medication like Suboxone with therapeutic interventions, patients can expand their knowledge and find themselves on a road to a long-lasting recovery. Participating in group therapy allows patients the chance to learn from others as they share their experiences, as well as realize that they are not in this fight alone. This form of therapy can be pivotal throughout the period of recovery, as patients begin obtaining more confidence in themselves at this time. In addition, individual therapy is also beneficial, as this one-on-one approach can offer a safe environment to discuss concerns, progress, setbacks, and more with a trained counselor. Both settings can be effective in helping patients feel like their voices have been heard and their emotions have been recognized.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Opioid addiction does not just impact the individual, but it also affects the loved ones of that individual. If you care for an individual who is grappling with an opioid addiction and has chosen to participate in a medication assisted treatment program, the most supportive thing you can do for him or her is remain present in his or her recovery. You can do so by following the tips below:
- Learn as much as you can about Suboxone, medication assisted treatment options, and addiction as a disease so that you can better understand what your loved one is going through during treatment.
- Always encourage your loved one to keep up with all appointments having to do with his or her recovery.
- Show your support by respectively keeping tabs on your loved one by checking in on how his or her therapy sessions are going, how the medication is working, and so on.
- Always offer congratulations when a loved one accomplishes something, even if it is small.
- Know that the journey towards recovery is often filled with obstacles. Keep your hope alive, especially when your loved one seems to need it most.
- Obtain support for yourself during this time.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Participating in a medication assisted treatment program is an excellent way to take your first steps towards recovery. In order for your efforts to be effective, you must remain active in your care. You can remain committed to your recovery by following these tips:
- Always abide by the instructions your physician has provided you with, and keep true to all recommendations regarding your treatment plan.
- Show up for each and every appointment you have to receive your Suboxone.
- Follow all guidelines, including avoiding alcoholic beverages while using Suboxone.
- Participate in group therapy sessions so that you can obtain the most information and support.
- Remain open and honest with your counselor so that he or she can properly help you. A counselor is not there to judge, only to help you achieve your goal of sobriety.
- Always speak up if you have questions, problems, or concerns while taking Suboxone. Your treatment provider will be monitoring your care; therefore, if you feel something is not right, speaking with him or her may fix the problem.
- Do not take any other opioids while taking Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
Whenever you take a medication, there is always potential for side effects to occur. Taking Suboxone can lead to the development of some side effects, including:
- Attention disturbances
- Back and abdominal pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Coordination problems
- Runny nose
- Blurred vision
- Painful tongue
- Numb mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Generalized pain
Always report any and all side effects to your treatment provider so he or she can continually monitor you while taking Suboxone, as well as possibly make adjustments that can alleviate these symptoms.
At Southern California Comprehensive Treatment Centers, our experienced team of professionals is devoted to giving you the most understanding and personalized treatment possible. We are always willing to talk about our methods of treatment and promise to answer any and all questions to the best of our ability. Please feel welcome to contact us today to get started on the road to recovery.