How It Works and Is It Safe?
Utilizing a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine, Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist that is prescribed to help aid in the treatment of opioid addiction. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that works with the receptors in the brain that are typically activated by opioids without producing the effects of opioids. When taken, buprenorphine seizes control of the brain’s opiate receptors, allowing the individual to experience a reduction in withdrawal symptoms as well as a reduction in cravings for additional opioids. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist (or “opioid blocker”) that works by offsetting the effects that opioids normally have on the body. When Suboxone is taken, patients no longer experience the uncomfortable symptoms associated with withdrawal while also reducing any cravings for additional opioids. By decreasing the physical symptoms of withdrawal, patients are given the opportunity to focus on their recovery as a whole. Extensive research has confirmed that, when taken as directed within a medication assisted treatment program, Suboxone is a safe and effective option for individuals struggling with an addiction to opioids.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Numerous research studies have concluded that Suboxone is a safe and effective option for successfully treating an addition to opioids. Patients who utilize Suboxone within a medication assisted treatment program have reported that the medication reduces withdrawal symptoms as well as decreases cravings for additional opioids. Since Suboxone does not create the same euphoric feelings that are typically associated with the use of opioids, patients are able to focus on their recovery without experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal. Should a patient attempt to abuse Suboxone by taking more than prescribed, he or she will not achieve the same feelings that he or she normally would experience by abusing opioids such as OxyContin or Vicodin.
When utilized within a medication assisted treatment program, studies have confirmed that Suboxone is a safe and effective treatment option to help individuals achieve the mental clarity required to fully focus on recovery. By discussing treatment options with your healthcare provider, you can determine if incorporating Suboxone into your treatment plan is the best route to take based on your individual needs.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Defeating an addition to opioids can be an extremely difficult task. Once addicted to opioids, individuals will begin to experience the painful symptoms of withdrawal should the use of the substance suddenly cease. Knowing that these symptoms of withdrawal will take place is often enough of a reason for individuals to continue using. By incorporating Suboxone into one’s medication assisted treatment plan, patients are able to prevent the symptoms of withdrawal which makes the possibility of long-term recovery achievable.
Although the use of Suboxone can successfully aid individuals in overcoming addictions to opioids, patients must also gain support and treatment for the emotional components of addiction as well. By incorporating both individual and group therapy into their treatment plans, patients are able to gain insight and support for the root causes of their addiction alongside highly trained counselors as well as other patients who truly understand the struggles associated with withdrawal. Individual therapy provides patients with the opportunity to openly discuss their treatment in a one-on-one setting with a qualified counselor, while group therapy provides patients with the opportunity to gain a strong network of support from others who are also on the road to recovery. These therapeutic elements allow patients the chance to build a strong network of support while gaining insight and encouragement from others.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction does not only affect the individual who is physically abusing the substance. Addiction can affect the family members and loved ones of an addicted individual as well. If someone you love is taking part in a medication assisted treatment program, it is important to keep the following in mind throughout his or her treatment:
- Learn about Suboxone as well as other medication assisted treatment options so that you are able to understand what your loved one is experiencing throughout their treatment program.
- Urge your loved one to attend all scheduled appointments that he or she may have.
- Exhibit your support by consistently asking your loved one how his or her therapy is progressing, how his or her medication is affecting him or her, etc.
- Applaud your loved one on all successes.
- Do not forget that the path to long-term recovery can be long and full of setbacks along the way. Continue to be hopeful and share your optimism with your loved one especially during times when he or she may seem overwhelmed or frustrated.
- Obtain support for yourself.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Obtaining treatment within a medication assisted treatment program is a fantastic first step towards recovery. It is important to remember that in order for long-term recovery to be achieved, you must commit to taking an active role in the recovery process as a whole. Some helpful tips to assist you throughout the course of treatment include the following:
- Adhere to all directions given to you by your treatment provider while also following any suggestions that he or she may have regarding your treatment process as a whole.
- Consistently attend all appointments to receive your Suboxone.
- Follow all guidelines that are given, such as avoiding alcohol while taking Suboxone.
- Actively play a role in all individual group therapy sessions in order to get the most of the therapeutic experience.
- Be open and honest with your counselor during your individual therapy sessions. Your counselor is there to help you, not hinder your progress. Your honesty will aid you in a positive manner throughout the course of treatment.
- Openly communicate any questions or concerns that may take place while taking Suboxone. In order for your treatment provider to appropriately monitor your progress as well as address any issues that may arise, you must voice any problems so that that the proper adjustments and changes can be made.
- Do not use opioids while taking Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
As is the case with any medication, there is a possibility of experiencing side effects while taking Suboxone. The following are examples of side effects that have taken place when utilizing Suboxone:
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Numb mouth
- Painful tongue
- Blurred vision
- Runny nose
- Attention disturbances
- Coordination problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Back and abdominal pain
Should any of these side effects take place, please report them to your prescribing physician so that alterations and changes can be made if required.
The dedicated and compassionate staff at Claymont Comprehensive Treatment Center is here to provide the highest quality of care available to those struggling with an addiction to opioids. Please contact our intake team today to learn more about Suboxone, as well as the other treatment options available.