How It Works and Is It Safe?
Suboxone is a prescription medication that is a partial opioid agonist and is made of a blend of buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine (a partial opioid agonist) stimulates the same receptors in the brain that opioids do, but without causing the same uncoordinated high. Once buprenorphine is present in a person’s system, it attaches to these receptors, which causes an individual to feel alleviated from withdrawal symptoms. This allows a person to begin recovery without being dragged down by the problematic symptoms that accompany stopping opioid use.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, and it, too, helps make individuals more comfortable as they stop using opioids. This medication is also effective in treating withdrawal symptoms, but also helps reduce cravings to use the drug that has landed the individual in a position of withdrawal in the first place.
An extensive amount of research has shown that using Suboxone is effective when it comes to treating an opioid addiction. Those who have utilized Suboxone as an aspect of their treatment say that it helped reduce withdrawal symptoms dramatically, as well as put an end to nagging drug cravings. Unlike other opioids, Suboxone does not cause feelings of euphoria, which helps make it unlikely that individuals will abuse it for recreational purposes. Should an individual attempt to abuse Suboxone, the high that is produced with other opioids (like Vicodin or OxyContin) will not be achieved.
Determining if Suboxone is the appropriate medication for you will depend on you and your treatment provider. However, studies have proven that when Suboxone is taken within a medication assisted treatment program, individuals are able to achieve the mental clarity it takes to complete the steps towards recovery.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Surpassing the obstacles of opioid addiction can be incredibly challenging. As soon as an individual becomes dependent on an opioid, it goes without saying that a withdrawal period is near (especially when use is suddenly stopped). Knowing that withdrawal symptoms are ahead is often what causes individuals to continue to abuse opioids even if they do not want to. However, if an individual is taking Suboxone, these symptoms can be avoided, allowing the process of recovery to be attainable. It is important to note that Suboxone is also effective in stopping drug cravings, too.
Using Suboxone as a part of medication assisted treatment program can be excellent, however the inclusion of group and individual counseling can take recovery to the next level in terms of success. Participating in group therapy allows individuals to learn from the experiences of others, share their own experiences, and see that they share similarities with others and are not alone. Individual therapy is effective in giving patients a one-on-one setting with a counselor, where they can discuss any concerns or issues they have all while being monitored by a professional. This form of therapy, as with group therapy, is beneficial in the sense that it provides patients with the ability to be heard and feel heard.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction affects everyone, not just the individual who is addicted. If you have a loved one who is struggling with an opioid addiction and has joined forces with a medication assisted treatment program, the most effective thing you can do is remain an active part of his or her recovery. To do so, keep the following in mind:
- Become educated on Suboxone itself, as well as medication assisted treatment so you can be knowledgeable about what your loved one is going through.
- Provide encouragement for your loved one when it comes to attending appointments.
- Show your support by asking your loved one how his or her medication is, how the program is going, and so on.
- Offer congratulations when he or she achieves small and large successes.
- Know that the path towards sobriety can be challenging. Hold on to hope throughout the process and share it with your loved one when you think he or she needs it.
- Reach out for support for yourself.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Participating in a medication assisted treatment program is an excellent step towards recovery. Therefore, it should be treated as such. When you join a program such as this, be ready to actively participate in the entire process and commit to your own recovery. To do so, follow some of these tips:
- Do not use other opioids while on Suboxone.
- Share all of your concerns, issues, or questions while on Suboxone. Doing so can allow your physician to make adjustments to your medication so that you are comfortable while in treatment.
- Commit to personal honesty with your individual counselor so that he or she can provide you with the most effective therapeutic means and guidance. Doing so will help you achieve a more positive outcome from your recovery.
- Actively participate in group sessions so you can obtain the most from the session.
- Follow guidelines provided to you, including refraining from alcohol use while on Suboxone.
- Always show up for appointments to obtain your Suboxone.
- Adhere to the directions given to you by your prescribing physician and follow recommendations when it comes to the overall treatment process.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
When taking any medication, there is always a chance for side effects to occur. Suboxone is no different. Some of the side effects associated with the use of Suboxone have included:
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Painful tongue
- Numb mouth
- Attention disturbances
- Back and abdominal pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Coordination problems
- Runny nose
- Blurred vision
If you experience any side effects, discuss them with your doctor so that he or she can make adjustments to your medication as needed in order to help keep you well.
At Milwaukee Comprehensive Treatment Centers, our devoted and experienced staff members are here to provide you with personalized treatment. We are happy to talk about our treatment methods and answer all your questions in regards to Suboxone. Please reach out and contact us today.