The United States currently faces a growing problem with opiate addiction. Thousands of people develop an addiction to painkillers that contain opiates. A prescription drug called Suboxone (buprenorphine + naloxone) becomes a poplar and effective opioid addiction treatment. In this article, we will tell you about Suboxone as an opiate addiction treatment.
What are opiates?
Opiates are a family of drugs obtained naturally or synthetically from the seeds of an opium poppy plant. These drugs act as sedatives to suppress activity in the central nervous system, reduce pain and cause sleep.
Prolonged use of opiates can lead to increased tolerance to the medication. When this happens, some people tend to increase the number of drugs in order to achieve the same effect. This can cause a growing addiction. It is important to understand that this can cause accidental overdose and even fatal outcomes.
The most common opiates that can cause addiction are:
What is Suboxone
Suboxone is a prescription drug that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid addiction. It is available in the form od a sublingual tablet or film. Suboxone contains two drugs:
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid antagonist. It blocks opiate receptors in the brain and this alleviates symptoms of craving and withdrawal.
Naloxone an opiate antagonist that blocks the consequences of the opiate medication itself.
The combination of these two drugs overcomes some of the disadvantages of individual drugs. For example, buprenorphine can be addictive, but to a lesser extent, because naloxone inhibits the effects of opiates.
Naloxone acts as a background deterrent and acts only when opiates are introduced into the system. In such a case, naloxone can cause withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, headache, restlessness, nausea, and vomiting.
Suboxone has been shown good results in reducing cravings that appear with the long-term use of opiates. It also inhibits the current use of opiates at the same time. Suboxone causes less dependence than methadone and it acts faster (detoxification takes about a week).
Suboxone has a more pronounced effect when used for longer periods of time. Some studies found that opiate-dependent people who had used Suboxone for 12 weeks were more likely to remain withdrawn than people who had received a two-week detoxification treatment.
Suboxone can be prescribed as part of a structured drug detoxification program and for maintenance therapy if necessary. It is offered in various formulations to provide a gradual reduction in use.
Despite the fact that approaches may vary by treatment center, there are usually four steps to any Suboxone treatment plan:
Intake includes a medical and psychosocial assessment, a urine test for drugs, and blood tests that will prove that you can take the drug without consequences.
Induction to switch from the opiates you are currently using to the Suboxone to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Stabilization means that Suboxone intake is reduced to the minimum dose to overcome withdrawal symptoms, which allows you to eventually decrease and stop treatment.
Maintenance for people that suffer from severe addiction and may need ongoing treatment or support under medical supervision.
It is better to avoid usage of Suboxone for people with liver dysfunction because it can worsen the symptoms of this condition. The most common side effects are headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, withdrawal symptoms, insomnia, and fluid buildup in the legs.
Since opioid addiction is considered both physical and psychological disorder, its treatment should be provided by a multidisciplinary team that can cope with both conditions. If you decided to take Suboxone, you can contact the hospitals or mental health facilities in your area to get referrals to nearby treatment clinics.