How Suboxone is Used in Addiction Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment is a form of therapy designed to help lessen the painful experience of drug or alcohol withdrawal. Suboxone is a form of medication-assisted treatment that is widely used today in addiction treatment.

What is Suboxone and is there any danger of becoming addicted to the drug?

Suboxone in Medication-Assisted Treatment

Suboxone is used to treat patients that are addicted to opioids. Suboxone combines two drugs:

  • Buprenorphine, an opioid partial agonist, works to relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
  • Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which overturns the harmful effects of narcotics.

Suboxone is being used today to help treat an addiction to some of the most intense opioids on the market, including:

  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • Vicodin
  • Oxycontin
  • Codeine

Suboxone works by reducing the intense cravings associated with withdrawal from opioids. A doctor prescribes it generally as part of a long-term treatment plan designed to wean the person with the substance use disorder off the drug. There are some benefits to Suboxone as compared with other medication-assisted treatment such as methadone.

Medical doctor speaking with patient

For example, Suboxone is not as addictive and it works faster than other forms of medication-assisted treatment do. Suboxone can help people wean themselves away from opioids gradually, taking around a week to detoxify the body. Suboxone addiction is rare. However, if the drug is misused, it can occur.

Since Suboxone could be addictive, it is important to carefully follow a doctor’s instructions when using the drug. Suboxone as a medication-assisted treatment is not designed for long-term use. Tapering off the drug should always be gradual to avoid side effects, which could include:

  • Stomach pain
  • A headache
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low energy
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

Suboxone is an effective form of medication-assisted treatment and one of the safest in terms of the likelihood of developing an addiction. As is the case with other medications, a doctor should carefully monitor the use of this powerful drug throughout the addiction recovery process.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Plans

There are multiple rehab resources that use Suboxone as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Such a treatment plan typically include:

  • Intake usually includes a physical and mental health exam to determine whether you are a candidate for medication-assisted treatment with Suboxone
  • Induction with medication-assisted treatment begins to help you withdraw from opiates without experiencing the side-effects of going cold-turkey.
  • Stabilization occurs, where Suboxone is gradually tapered down. The goal is to gradually wean the body from the opiates while also reducing Suboxone to the lowest dose possible to keep you comfortable
  • Maintenance may include additional medication-assisted treatments as well as support and counseling. Individual and group behavior therapies are common as well as 12-step or other non-step support.

Because opiates are particularly addictive to both the mind and body, it is important to treat the painful physical symptoms of withdrawal while also participating in psychological counseling to fight the mental effects of addiction. Suboxone is one of many tools used by the therapeutic community to help you better manage a substance use disorder and get your life back.

Contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield to find out more about treatment options and admissions today.

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