How It Works and Is It Safe?
Suboxone is classified as a partial opioid agonist-antagonist and is made up of two primary ingredients – buprenorphine and naloxone.
In and of itself, buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist-antagonist, meaning that it triggers the same receptors in the brain that other opioids do, but without causing the individual to develop a high as he or she would through the abuse of other opioids. When buprenorphine is present in an individual’s system, it begins controlling the brain in ways that help the individual begin feeling a sense of relief from his or her nagging cravings for continued use and withdrawal symptoms that would otherwise pain him or her without the use of this medication. Therefore, individuals can consume Suboxone without having to keep abusing the opioid(s) that were contributing to their addiction.
Naloxone is an opioid agonist. This medication blocks the effects of opioids on the mind and body, all while warding off withdrawal symptoms and cravings for continued use.
Extended research has shown that Suboxone is safe and effective when used within a medication assisted treatment program that is focused on treating opioid abuse and addiction.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
A great deal of research has been able to prove the effectiveness of Suboxone in the treatment of opioid addiction. Those who have utilized Suboxone within their program report experiencing lessened withdrawal symptoms and a decreased presence of cravings for continued use. Suboxone does not bring about feelings of euphoria, meaning that not only is it a viable option for treatment, but it is also less likely to be abused. In addition, if an individual attempts to abuse Suboxone, he or she will be unable to achieve the same high as would be obtained through the abuse of other opioids like OxyContin or Vicodin.
It is up to you and your treatment provider to determine if Suboxone is the most appropriate medication for you. However, studies have shown that, when this medication is utilized within an overall treatment plan, an individual is able to obtain the peace of mind needed to fully focus on recovering.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Defeating an addiction to opioids can be incredibly challenging. As soon as an individual has developed an addiction to opioids, he or she will experience the pangs of withdrawal when his or her use stops. Knowing the withdrawal is ahead is typically enough to keep individuals from accepting help and ultimately continuing to abuse their substance of choice. When Suboxone is introduced into the picture, however, recovery quickly becomes a more viable option. In addition to helping treat withdrawal symptoms, Suboxone is also effective in curbing cravings for continued use.
While the use of Suboxone can be exceptionally helpful in allowing individuals to recover from opioid addiction, the implementation of individual and group therapy increases the effectiveness of this form of treatment, as it helps individuals yield more long-term success. Participating in group therapy lets individuals obtain information from others who have shared similar experiences, all while learning that they are not alone in their struggle. This can be critical in the process of recovery as individuals can start to feel less alone and develop confidence in their capabilities of succeeding in recovery. Individual therapy is beneficial in helping patients obtain the time and space needed to talk through their concerns and progress through treatment with a trained professional. This form of therapy can also be imperative in the recovery process, as it allows individuals to feel heard.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction not only impacts the individual who is addicted, but also those around him or her. If you have a loved one who is battling an opioid addiction and has decided to partake in a medication assisted treatment program, the most effective thing you can do for him or her is to actively participate in his or her recovery. To do so, keep the following in mind:
- Obtain an education about Suboxone and medication assisted treatment so that you can be informed about what your loved one is going through during this process.
- Motivate your loved one to continually attend all appointments he or she has.
- Show your support by checking in with your loved one in regards to how therapy is going, how the medication is working for him or her, and so on.
- Applaud your loved one on the small successes he or she achieves.
- Know that recovery is a long process and can be rife with challenges and setbacks. Always hold onto hope and share that hope with your loved one, especially when he or she seems to need it most.
- Obtain support for yourself.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Partaking in a medication assisted treatment program is an exceptional first step towards achieving sobriety. However, it is important that, when you join a program such as this, you are prepared to actively participate in the process as a whole. You must commit to your recovery. Some of the many ways in which you can be successful at this time include the following:
- Adhere to all directions provided to you by your treatment provider, and follow his or her recommendations regarding your care.
- Consistently show up for your appointments to obtain Suboxone.
- Follow all of the guidelines that your treatment provider puts in place, such as abstaining from the use of alcohol while on Suboxone.
- Actively participate in group therapy so that you can obtain the most of your time spent there.
- Dedicate yourself to being open and honest with your counselor within individual therapy. He or she will not judge you but rather help you to the best of his or her ability.
- Discuss any problems, concerns, or questions you might have while taking Suboxone. Doing so will allow your provider to address your issues, including making adjustments to your medication if needed.
- Do not use any other opioids while on Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
When you consume any type of medication, there is always a chance for side effects to develop. When an individual consumes Suboxone, a number of side effects can occur, such as:
- Attention disturbances
- Back and abdominal pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Coordination problems
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Numb mouth
- Painful tongue
- Blurred vision
- Runny nose
The presence of any of these side effects should always be reported to your treatment provider so that he or she can continually track your treatment and make any necessary adjustments to maintain your physical health and wellbeing.
At Cape Cod Comprehensive Treatment Centers, our skilled team of professionals is devoted to supplying understanding and customized treatment to each one of our patients. We are happy to talk about all of our treatment methods and answer all questions you might have regarding Suboxone and your recovery. Please reach out to us today.