How It Works and Is It Safe?
Subutex, a prescription medication that is a partial opioid agonist-antagonist, is used to help individuals struggling with opioid addiction achieve recovery. The active ingredient of Subutex is buprenorphine hydrochloride and it is given on a daily basis via a tablet that is taken orally. In medication assisted treatment programs, Subutex is used to help stop withdrawal symptoms that develop when opioids like heroin, prescription painkillers, or morphine are stopped. Subutex also works to decrease the cravings for continued use. As a result, those individuals who are taking Subutex are afforded the opportunity to focus solely on their recovery without suffering from withdrawal symptoms or cravings along the way.
Since receiving approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, Subutex has been regarded as a safe medication used for treating an opioid addiction. A number of studies have proven that taking Subutex is greatly superior to continuing to abuse opioids, as it is much safer and individuals are less likely to develop long-term side effects such as organ damage. In addition, someone who is taking Subutex is not going to get high like they would if they were abusing opioids. Therefore, he or she is able to function normally and accomplish daily goals. When taken while engaged in a medication assisted treatment program, Subutex can help individuals remain focused and responsible enough to follow through with treatment, as well as carry out their every day lives.
As with any other medication, the use of Subutex can cause side effects. Despite Subutex being a safe medication when taken under the watchful eye of a medical professional, it is still important to discuss potential side effects. Individuals should feel comfortable asking questions so all concerns pertaining to the use of Subutex can be resolved prior to use in a medication assisted treatment program.
The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment
Insurmountable data gathered from years of studies have shown that the use of Subutex is effective in treating an opioid addiction. Patients of a medication assisted treatment program overwhelmingly report that their cravings for use, as well as their withdrawal symptoms, were significantly decreased while taking this medication.
When Subutex is included in the treatment for an opioid addiction, such as a heroin, morphine, or prescription painkiller addiction, patients often yield positive results and are able to focus on their recovery.
The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling
Treatment that utilizes Subutex frequently includes three different treatment phases and involves therapeutic elements to help further the process of recovery along. When taking Subutex, individuals will likely experience the following three phases:
Induction: When a person is initially introduced to Subutex, it is referred to as induction. This phase begins after opioid abuse has stopped and withdrawal is beginning.
Stabilization: During this phase, individuals are most likely not having any symptoms related to withdrawal. Instead, they have moved past withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. At this time, individuals can have their dosage of Subutex altered based on their needs.
Maintenance: Once an individual becomes stable in his or her recovery, he or she can begin weaning himself or herself off of Subutex or begin taking another medication for long-term care.
It is beneficial to an individual to obtain counseling throughout each one of these phases. Counseling, such as individual therapy and group therapy, can help a patient identify and address emotions surrounding each phase, as well as develop skills that will help him or her stay focused on his or her recovery. In addition, they can discuss successes and setbacks, as well as obtain support from others who have experienced similar issues. Studies have proven that those individuals who participate in additional counseling throughout medication assisted treatment are less likely to relapse in the future.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: If you have a loved one who is involved in a medication assisted treatment program and is taking Subutex, you can be an excellent source of support throughout their journey towards recovery. It is imperative that at this time, you obtain support for yourself, especially considering the fact that when a loved one has an addiction, it can impact you as well. If possible, do whatever you can to remain active in your loved one’s recovery. Doing so can help you understand and appreciate what he or she is going through, as well as give you the opportunity to mend your relationship with him or her.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: If you are looking to participate in a medication assisted treatment program that offers Subutex, there are a number of ways that you can achieve success:
- Follow treatment recommendations regarding Subutex that are set by your provider.
- Be present, both physically and mentally, for all group and individual therapy sessions.
- Discuss any concerns that you might have while on Subutex, as your provider can help you navigate these issues successfully.
- Do not use other opioids while taking Subutex.
- If you have any concerns regarding your treatment, speak with your provider immediately, as he or she can help provide options for care that support your personal needs.
The Side Effects of Subutex
Anytime an individual takes a medication, there are likely to be side effects. Prior to taking a medication like Subutex, it is important to talk to your provider to be aware of any and all risks. Discuss possible food interactions, health conditions that might be present prior to taking this medication, and other drug interactions that can be dangerous. Before taking Subutex, know that there are side effects, many of which develop when the dosage is increased:
Most common side effects:
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Back pain
Fairly common side effects:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Runny eyes
Less common side effects:
- Upset stomach
- Accidental injury
At Southern California Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we are always open to discussing the treatment that we provide, as well as answer any of the questions that you have in regards to Subutex. Reach out and contact us today.