Suboxide is an FDA-approved prescription medication to treat people addicted to illegal or prescription opioids. Opioids can include heroin or prescription pain relievers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and fentanyl.
Suboxone is a leading treatment medication for opioid addiction because it’s non-habit-forming and helps ease the miserable withdrawal period. Learn why this medication-assisted treatment (MAT), combined with behavioral therapies, helps treat substance use disorders.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a mixture of two medications (buprenorphine and naloxone) that work together to chemically decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms and reduce long-term dependence on opioids.
The medication blocks opiate receptors in the brain, reducing the urge to use. Suboxone also reverses the effects of opioids. Many people rely on Suboxone at the start of treatment for opioid addiction, during treatment, and throughout recovery. Unlike other opioid replacement medications, a primary care doctor can prescribe Suboxone, making it more accessible than other drugs.
What Happens to Your Brain on Opioids?
To better understand how Suboxone works, it’s helpful to understand the effects of opioids on the brain. Opioids attach to receptors on the nerve cells in your brain, which disrupts pain signals and provides a “high” and calming effect.
When you take opioids, the pleasure center in your brain is triggered. As a result, your brain rewires to “think” it needs to receive more of the drug for ongoing pleasure, leading to dependence and addiction.
Phases of Suboxone Treatment
Addressing opioid dependence often happens in two phases: induction and maintenance. Suboxone is used in both.
First, Suboxone reduces withdrawal symptoms when you decrease or stop using short-acting opioids, including heroin, codeine, morphine, and oxycodone. Your first dose of Suboxone is given when the effects of opioids have begun to wear off, and withdrawal symptoms have started. Suboxone treatments can help you get through the early, most vulnerable stages of recovery. The medication provides a gentler transition to quitting than cold turkey and enables you to take the necessary next steps to overcome substance use disorder.
Once you’ve been on the medication, you’ll enter into the maintenance phase, where Suboxone is used at a stable dosage for an extended period. This phase helps limit withdrawal symptoms and cravings as you go through your treatment program. Some people stay on Suboxone for several months or even years, depending on their needs.
What You Need to Know About Suboxone
You’ll work with your healthcare provider to determine when you should start medication. Sometimes if it’s used too early after opioids, you could experience withdrawal symptoms. Try not to skip a dose because it increases your risk for relapse. If you miss a dose of your medicine, take it when you remember unless it is closer to the time of your next dose. You shouldn’t double your next dose or take more than prescribed.
Don’t stop taking your medication when you feel better. This treatment is a collaborative effort between you and your doctor. With your input, your health care provider will assess how long you will need to take the prescription and help you wean off.
Suboxone can interfere with other medications. Always be transparent with your doctors about which medicines you’re taking.
Suboxone Versus Methadone
These medications have helped numerous people regain control of their addiction to lead happier, healthier lives. Depending on your unique needs, your doctor may prescribe Methadone or Suboxone. Methadone is more addictive than Suboxone. Suboxone was created to fight opioid addiction and engineered to have a lower risk of dependency than methadone. Additionally, the side effects of Suboxone are usually less severe.
Where Is Suboxone Available?
Suboxone can is a daily medication that’s taken orally. You need a perception to get Suboxone. Our physicians may recommend Suboxone or another drug to treat opioid use disorder. You can’t get this medication over the counter or without a prescription from a healthcare provider.
Long-lasting recovery from opioid addiction is possible. Suboxone can help reduce relapse so you can get back to your life. Suboxone treatment works best when combined with therapy or other counseling. Addiction treatment can help target your underlying reason for opioid use and help you find new ways to cope. We offer a well-rounded approach to recovery to help ensure the best possible results.
To learn more about Suboxone and if it’s the right step for you, visit us at Complete Healthcare today.