Subutex Treatment for an Opioid Addiction

How It Works and Is It Safe?

Working as a partial opioid agonist-antagonist, Subutex is a prescription medication used in the treatment of opioid dependence. This medication contains buprenorphine hydrochloride, which is able to help ward off tempting cravings for continued use as well as prevent painful withdrawal symptoms from occurring. This medication is utilized in medication assisted treatment programs and provided to those in need via a dissolvable tablet that is put under the tongue and absorbed into the body. Subutex is often highly regarded within these programs, as it is effective in helping individuals no longer abuse substances such as painkillers, morphine, and heroin.

Subutex was approved for use in opioid addiction treatment programs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2002, as it is proven safe to use in the treatment of opioid addiction. Extensive research has shown that consuming Subutex is much safer than continuing to abuse other substances that could otherwise lead to vital organ damage. Additionally, when individuals are taking Subutex, they will not become high like they would through the use of other more dangerous opioids, allowing them to continue on in their days without suffering from a decline in physical or cognitive functioning. As a result, these individuals can also continually focus on rebuilding other areas of their lives.

It is important to understand that Subutex, like other medications, can lead to side effects. Yes, Subutex is safe to consume while under the watchful eye of a treatment provider, however, those who are thinking about taking this medication should always speak with their providers in order to alleviate any concerns that they might have regarding medication assisted treatment.

The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment

Numerous studies have found that Subutex is highly effective in treating opioid dependence. Individuals who have utilized Subutex within their treatment plan in a medication assisted treatment program have reported less cravings for the use of opioids. In addition, they also reported that, when Subutex is incorporated into their treatment, withdrawal symptoms are diminished significantly.

In general, when Subutex is a part of a medication assisted treatment program that focuses on treating opioid addiction, the outcomes tend to be positive, and those who obtain this care are able to remain focused on their recovery.

The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling

Opioid addiction treatment that includes the use of Subutex tends to involve three separate treatment phases and therapeutic services that help patients through each phase. When taking Subutex, patients will most likely experience the following phases:

Induction: This first phase of treatment occurs at the very beginning when a patient and his or her treatment provider are working to determine the appropriate dosage of Subutex for his or her needs. At this time, patients are often going through withdrawal.

Stabilization: Throughout the stabilization phase, patients are no longer going through withdrawal and are typically stable enough where they are no longer experiencing cravings. Once this phase is reached, a patient’s dosage can be adjusted accordingly if necessary.

Maintenance: The maintenance stage occurs when an individual is stable enough to start talking about tapering off of Subutex and/or transitioning to another medication.

While each of these phases are happening, it is incredibly beneficial for a patient to obtain individual and group therapy so that he or she can work through his or her feelings about recovery. Additionally, patients can learn the skills needed to remain on the road to recovery, share both achievements and setbacks during the treatment process, and receive support from others who have shared in similar experiences. Research has proven that patients who obtain therapeutic services such as these while they are going through medication assisted treatment are more likely to stay successful in their recovery.

How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: The family and friends of an individual obtaining Subutex treatment can be an excellent source of support for him or her. If you are a friend or a loved one of someone in this position, it is important that you obtain support of your own, as it is likely that your life has been impacted by your loved one’s addiction. It is always smart to actively engage in your loved one’s care, as doing so can help you gain an understanding of what he or she is going through.

How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: If you or someone you care for is looking into obtaining help from a medication assisted treatment program that utilizes Subutex for the treatment of opioid addiction, there are a number of ways that you can yield success at this time:

  • Follow the recommendations for treatment that your provider has supplied to you regarding the use of Subutex.
  • Go to all individual and group therapy sessions that you have scheduled and actively partake in these sessions.
  • Speak up with any concerns that you might develop while taking Subutex. In doing so, your provider can help make adjustments to your medication if necessary.
  • Do not use other opioids while on Subutex.
  • Communicate any addiction related concerns to your treatment provider right away, as he or she can guide you towards the appropriate support to help you through this time.

The Side Effects of Subutex

Consuming any form of prescription medication warrants a conversation with your treatment provider to ensure that any possible health risks are eliminated. Prior to taking Subutex, it is imperative to discuss any possible food interactions and health conditions that could be made worse by the presence of Subutex, and other potential drug interactions that you could experience. If you are already consuming other prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs, speak with your treatment provider about those too. In addition, it is critical that, before you start taking Subutex, you are aware of the potential side effects that might occur, especially if and when your dosage is adjusted:

Most common side effects:

  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Back pain
  • Pain
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Infections

Fairly common side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Runny eyes
  • Tiredness
  • Chills

Less common side effects:

  • Accidental injury
  • Fever
  • Upset stomach
  • Abscesses

At Cape Cod Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we are pleased to speak with you about any treatment methods that we supply, as well as answer any questions you or a loved one might have regarding Subutex. Please contact us right now.

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