How It Works and Is It Safe?
Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist that includes buprenorphine and naloxone to treat opioid addiction. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that works with the same brain receptors that are normally triggered by opioids, only buprenorphine does not create the same effects that opioids do. Because of this, patients are provided with a break in the physical symptoms associated with withdrawal, while also experiencing diminished cravings for additional opioid use. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist (also called an “opioid blocker”) that counteracts the effects of opioids. When patients are prescribed Suboxone, they will no longer experience the painful symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal, nor will they crave additional opioids. By diminishing the effects of opioids, patients are able to focus on the other components of recovery.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Extensive research has confirmed the safety and effectiveness of Suboxone for the treatment of opioid addictions when it is taken under the supervision of a qualified medical professional within a medication assisted treatment program. Patients who have been prescribed Suboxone have reported that the medication effectively lessened the symptoms of withdrawal and minimized cravings for additional opioids. Since Suboxone does not create the euphoric feelings that are often associated with opioid consumption, patients are less likely to abuse it. Should a patient attempt to abuse Suboxone, he or she will not achieve the same euphoric high that he or she would experience when abusing opioids such as OxyContin or Vicodin.
Since there are other medication options available, it is important to first discuss all treatment options with your physician prior to starting Suboxone to ensure that you are obtaining the most appropriate form of treatment available. By utilizing Suboxone within a medication assisted treatment program, patients are able to achieve the mental clarity required to fully focus on their recovery.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Defeating an opioid addiction can be extremely tiring and overwhelming. Once an individual becomes addicted to an opioid, he or she will eventually experience the symptoms associated with withdrawal if the use of the opioid suddenly ceases. Knowing that the painful symptoms of withdrawal will take place is often enough knowledge to keep individuals using and abusing opioids. By incorporating Suboxone into one’s comprehensive treatment plan, the symptoms of withdrawal can be averted, which makes long-term recovery achievable.
Although incorporating Suboxone into one’s treatment can be extremely beneficial during the process of recovery, it is also important for a person to utilize therapeutic interventions in order to focus on the emotional components of addiction. By taking part in both individual and group therapy, patients are given a higher chance of achieving long-term recovery. Individual therapy provides patients with a forum to openly discuss their progress and setbacks in a one-on-one setting with a qualified counselor, whereas group therapy permits patients to come together with their peers to gain support and encouragement in a therapeutic setting.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction touches all who are involved, not just the individual who is physically using a substance. If someone you love is battling an opioid addiction and is taking part in a medication assisted treatment program, it is important to play an active role in his or her recovery process. It is also important to keep the following tips in mind:
- Learn about Suboxone, as well as the other treatment options, so that you are able to gain a deeper understanding of what your loved one is experiencing throughout the entire treatment process.
- Encourage your loved one to continuously attend meetings or appointments that he or she has scheduled.
- Show your support by asking your loved one how his or her treatment is progressing as well as how his or her medication is affecting him or her.
- Remind yourself that the road to long-term recovery can take time and can be filled with bumps along the way. The road can include setbacks, but during these times of frustration it is important to remind your loved one to remain optimistic and hopeful.
- Obtain your own support.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Making the decision to take part in a medication assisted treatment program is a fantastic first step towards recovery. It is important, however, to remember to play an active role in your entire therapeutic process. The following are key points to keep in mind throughout the entire recovery process:
- Adhere to any and all directions provided to you by your treatment provider regarding the treatment process as a whole.
- Consistently show up for all appointments in which to receive your Suboxone.
- Follow any suggestions and guidelines that are put in place, such as abstaining from the consumptions of alcohol while taking Suboxone.
- Play an active role in group therapy sessions in order to make the most out of the therapeutic experience.
- Pledge to be truthful and open with your counselor throughout the therapeutic process. Remember, your counselor is there to help you, not hinder your progression. Your honesty will positively aid you throughout the entire process.
- Openly communicate any questions, concerns, or issues that may take place while taking Suboxone. It is important to let your treatment provider know of any issues in order for him or her to properly monitor your progress. Adjustments can be made to your medication and its dosage should an issue arise.
- Abstain from using opioids while taking Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
As is the case with most medications, it is possible to experience side effects while taking Suboxone. The following are potential side effects that can occur while taking this medication:
- Generalized pain
- Numb mouth
- Painful tongue
- Blurred vision
- Low blood pressure
- Attention disturbances
- Runny nose
- Coordination problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Back and abdominal pain
It is important to make your physician aware should any of these side effects take place so that he or she can properly adjust your dosage or medication if necessary.
The compassionate and highly qualified team at Madison Comprehensive Treatment Centers is dedicated to providing patients with the highest quality care available. Please contact our intake team today to further learn about Suboxone and to answer any questions that you may have regarding the treatment options available.