If you’re addicted to opiates or heroin, Suboxone is a medication that can help you get off of them. However, there are some people that think that if you take Suboxone, you’re simply replacing one drug that gets you high with another drug that gets you high.
This is not true. Suboxone is a particular type of drug that blocks certain opiate receptors in the brain so that if you were to take a pain pill or use heroin, you would not get that “high” feeling you would normally get if you didn’t take Suboxone. It also helps handle some of the daunting withdrawal symptoms when you decide to stop using pain pills and heroin.
For example, let’s say James has become addicted to heroin. He has tried to get off heroin many times by himself, but the withdrawal effects and cravings are so horrible that he keeps using. Finally, he reaches out for help at a treatment center and they start him on Suboxone to help him get off heroin. He takes his Suboxone as prescribed, and notices that he experiences less horrible withdrawal symptoms. He feels like he can manage the cravings better and genuinely feels hopeful that he can indeed quit using heroin for good.
He also knows that if he does use heroin, the Suboxone will not allow the heroin to give him that intense high that he’s come to need. He knows that the Suboxone will negate that euphoric feeling, so he doesn’t think much about using heroin while taking Suboxone regularly as prescribed.
Opiate Addiction On The Rise
Addiction to pain pills and heroin is reported to be on the increase in the United States, as millions across the country are dependent upon them. They may have begun taking the pain pills based on the recommendations of a doctor, but over time they became addicted to such and find out that it is difficult to get off them. The withdrawal symptoms associated with coming off pain pills can be tough to handle. Fatigue, nausea, intense cravings, sweating, irritability, body aches, and trouble sleeping are but a few of the symptoms you might encounter.
Withdrawal symptoms for heroin are much the same, but can also be more intense. For this reason, Suboxone is prescribed by substance use disorder professionals so that the recovering addict can handle the withdrawal symptoms better. It is similar to methadone, but Suboxone can be taken at home, whereas methadone you oftentimes have to go to a clinic to receive it.
Some argue that taking one drug as a replacement for another is not really the way to handle addiction, but the ultimate goal is to wean recovering addicts off of the Suboxone, methadone, or buprenorphine. This process has worked for many suffering addicts who seemed to be hopelessly addicted to pain pills or heroin. It is more of a controlled substance with less euphoric effects, as it doesn’t cause that intense “high” feeling you can get with heroin. Coupled with counseling and 12 Step group supports, Suboxone can be an effective treatment solution.
Suboxone As A Treatment For Opioid Addiction
Suboxone has become quite popular when it comes to the recovery field, as it has the ability to help many addicts overcome their addiction to opioids. Suboxone is a mixture of naloxone and buprenorphine and is used in the treatment of opioid addiction by helping the patient stay clean, while reducing withdrawal side effects and curbing cravings which can lead to a relapse.
Buprenorphine, which is found in Suboxone, is a partial opioid agonist that works to reduce the withdrawal effects. On the other hand, naloxone helps prevent opioid overdose and also prevents the opioids from producing a euphoria effect. Opioid dependent people do not feel a euphoric effect when they properly take Suboxone.
Buprenorphine gets stuck in the brain’s opiate receptors for up to 24 hours. When stuck in the receptor, the “full opioids” can’t get in. This gives the person a 24 hour reprieve each time they take a Suboxone dose. This, therefore, makes buprenorphine a long acting form of medicated assisted treatment.
Another big advantage of Suboxone in treating opioid addiction is that it has a “ceiling effect”. This means that taking an excess of Suboxone than the prescribed amount doesn’t result to full opioid effect. Extra Suboxone won’t get the patient high and there is also less suppression of breathing.
Can You Abuse Suboxone?
Just because Suboxone cannot be abused by injection does not mean that it is completely free from abuse. The drug can still be taken without prescription, which is illegal and a higher dose than the one prescribed can also be used. No person should use Suboxone if they are allergic to naloxone or buprenorphine. You should always inform your doctor of any medical condition such as liver or kidney disease before using the drug.
Detox And Rehab Centers For Opioid Addiction
If you’re addicted to pain pills or heroin, you’ll benefit from looking into a drug detox or rehab center so that you can be surrounded by substance use disorder professionals that can provide you with excellent care. You can be weaned off your drug of choice and receive individual counseling while you are staying at the facility.
The drug detox phase lasts between 5 to 7 days and from there you can choose to attend an inpatient or outpatient rehab for as long as you need. They typically want you to stay for about 28 days, but that number can vary based on individual needs. What is important is that you make a decision to stop using drugs and make a commitment to a life drug free.
There is a beautiful life for you on the other side of drug addiction. You can be free from the pain that you’re feeling and the dependence upon a drug. Take the first step today and make a phone call to your healthcare provider or local detox or rehab center. Create a life that you love, clean and free!