How To Start Suboxone Treatment

Are you in withdrawal and have been prescribed Suboxone? Keep reading below to learn how to start a suboxone treatment.

If you’re struggling with opioid addiction, Suboxone can help overcome it by blocking the withdrawal symptoms. A diagnosis of an opioid use disorder may result in being prescribed Suboxone as a treatment. People develop opioid use disorder for a number of reasons, including trauma from childhood or adulthood, family history of addiction, and mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Most people cannot just stop taking opioids and recover overnight.

Overcoming an opioid use disorder is a process that involves changes in their thinking, behavior, and environment. What’s more, to overcome opioid addiction, people must go successfully through the withdrawal phase, which unfortunately makes opioid users forget about their commitment to remain abstinent.

Luckily, medication-assisted treatment such as Suboxone can help patients stay sober by reducing the symptoms of withdrawal and curbing cravings that often lead to relapse. Let’s find out what Suboxone treatment really is and how to start Suboxone treatment in order to cure your opioid dependence.

 

Suboxone treatment explained

Suboxone is an opioid medication used in medication-assisted therapy as a treatment for people who have been diagnosed with an opioid use disorder. It consists of two ingredients, buprenorphine, and naloxone, and it’s used to prevent the withdrawal symptoms caused by opioid abuse.

Buprenorphine, one of the two ingredients found in Suboxone, is a partial opioid agonist. Its job is to deliver very small doses to a patient struggling with addiction to a stronger opioid. As for naloxone, the other drug found in Suboxone, it’s a pure opioid antagonist. So compared to an agonist that excites the opioid receptors in the brain, an antagonist shuts it down.

Like all opioids, heroin, morphine, oxycodone, or other opioids, Suboxone works by impacting the opioid receptors in the brain, relieving withdrawal symptoms and cravings for the substances.

 

Using opioids to treat opioids abuse

It can be confusing how an opioid can help a person with an opioid use disorder. Yet, this medication-assisted treatment is actually one of the most efficient ways to overcome opioid abuse.

Why is this? Giving a patient who is addicted to a substance a related and similar one to treat the addiction isn’t risk-free. Yet, it’s the only way to help the patient to let opiates down gently. Opioid addiction is a strong and powerful sensation, so it isn’t that easy for patients to simply stop taking them. They need to do it over time while controlling their cravings and withdrawal symptoms that might cause them to relapse. That’s how Suboxone can help.

How to start Suboxone treatment

Suboxone treatment consists of three main phases:

  • Induction- The first one or two days of taking Suboxone
  • Stabilization- For several weeks
  • Maintenance- As long as it takes to overcome opioid dependence

This treatment can be started in a Suboxone clinic, which is highly recommended, or you can start it at home. It’s best to discuss with your doctor which option is better for you.

Suboxone treatment needs to be started while you are in the withdrawal phase. Otherwise, taking it will actually trigger withdrawal symptoms. You need to wait at least 12 hours since your last opioid dose. At this point, the withdrawal symptoms should have started to make their appearance. You’ll likely experience symptoms such as muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, cramps, sweating, and chills.

If 12 hours have passed since your last dose and you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, it’s time to take your first Suboxone dose.

How to take Suboxone

This opioid is taken sublingually, meaning that you need to put it under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. Start with 4mg as this is the usual starting dose. Within half an hour, you should notice that your withdrawal symptoms are gone. If, however, after two hours have passed and you’re still experiencing the symptoms or cravings, take another 4mg. The next day, take the same dose you took on the first day for the desired effect, which is eliminating your cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Although recommended to get Suboxone treatment in a Suboxone clinic, where you are kept under the close supervision of medical specialists, if you start the treatment at home, keep in touch with your doctor and inform them of how you’re feeling and have your dose adjusted if necessary.