What Is Suboxone Prescribed For?
The rate at which Americans are succumbing to prescription opiate addiction has become extremely alarming to health authorities. According to a 2014 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), close to 2 million people in the States struggled with prescription painkiller abuse.
This new challenge is different from the illicit drug use of opioids like heroin. In this case, doctors prescribe pain medication to people who’re suffering or recovering from painful injuries.
For example, if you’ve recently been involved in a car crash, your doctor may prescribe an opioid painkiller like Roxicodone. If you take the medication for a while, you can become dependent on the drug. An abrupt stop in your daily dosage is likely to cause some withdrawal symptoms. Some people can weather the storm and come out okay. Unfortunately, many more end up resorting to replacing their prescription with illicit drugs. This is where drugs like Suboxone come in.
So, what is Suboxone prescribed for
Suboxone helps mitigate the painful withdrawal symptoms commonly experienced when coming off prescription pain medication and other opioids like heroin. As such, the drug is prescribed to treat addiction from these drugs through medication-assisted therapy. Medication-assisted therapy makes the recovery path from opiate addiction much easier. It also significantly reduces the risk of fatal drug overdoses
Most people who are dependent on opioids can’t just flip a switch and kick their drug addiction. It takes a lot of physical, mental, and emotional fortitude to overcome drug withdrawal symptoms.
Attempting to abruptly stop taking opioids can result in dangerous outcomes
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an effective way to help people with substance abuse disorders. While there’s criticism that MAT is the same as just replacing one opioid with another, the results suggest otherwise. For starters, medication-assisted treatment allows patients to receive medication in a safe and controlled environment.
Rehabilitation centers also provide counseling and critical emotional support throughout your recovery process as part of a comprehensive recovery plan.
How Does Suboxone Work
Suboxone is a combination of two drugs, naloxone and buprenorphine. Together, these two drugs prevent the painful withdrawal symptoms caused by opioid addiction.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. Put more simply, it blocks the effect of opioid drugs. It therefore helps prevent the abuse of opiates. But a sudden spike of naloxone in the body of a person who’s addicted to opioids can cause severe and sudden withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine works in the same way as most opioid drugs and, therefore, greatly reduces prescription painkiller cravings. As it also blocks the effects of other opioids, the drug is called an opioid partial agonist-antagonist.
These two drugs work synergistically to provide relief to people looking to come off of opiates
If you take Suboxone, you’re likely to experience calmness and overall well-being, pain relief, relaxation, and the perception of having fewer worries.
Overall, Suboxone reduces the high caused by opioid drugs, reduces cravings for these drugs, and helps people gradually transition from drug addiction to safety.
Suboxone Side Effect
While it may sound like a wonder drug, Suboxone has its fair share of side effects
Some patients may also develop a dependence on the drug. That’s why it’s vital to take the drug under the supervised care of a specialized wellness clinic.
Some common side effects of Suboxone include insomnia, constipation, anxiety, headaches, nausea, depression, back pain, sweating, and fatigue. But many of these side effects disappear within the first few days of taking the drug.
Your doctor should be able to help you with tips on how to deal with the ones that still linger
It’s rare to experience serious side effects after taking Suboxone, but it does happen. Some serious side effects include liver damage, allergic reactions, hormone problems, and addiction-related challenges.
Suboxone Treatment Proces
As the drug has the same effects as opioids, long-term use of Suboxone can lead to dependence. And just as with pure opioids, patients who become dependent on Suboxone start craving the drug, which may lead to substance abuse issues.
Suboxone abuse can lead to overdose or dangerous side effects, especially if the drug is used alongside other alcohol, opioids, or other drugs. If you go through the medical-assisted treatment process in a wellness center, the risk of developing Suboxone dependence is significantly reduced.
This is because health experts conduct the treatment process in phases.
After they understand the type of opioid you use, your level of dependence, and the last time you used any opiate-like substance, treatment can begin as soon as moderate withdrawal symptoms appear. In the induction phase, your doctor will determine the proper dose for your symptoms. Once you reach the correct dose, you’ll begin to address the underlying effects of your opioid dependence without worrying about painful withdrawal physical side effects.
Many patients can stop taking illicit opioids at this stage. If you’re recovering from a more serious substance abuse disorder, you can maintain the prescribed dose of Suboxone for a while, as you regain your lifestyle.
To ensure that you don’t get dependent on Suboxone, your physician will then slowly taper off the dose of the medication before you completely stop. Depending on personal circumstances, it can take as long as two years of treatment until a patient is drug-free.
The opioid epidemic in the U.S seems to be getting worse by the day. Besides addiction to illicit drugs like heroin, Americans sometimes become dependent on prescription painkillers after recovering from severe injuries.
A sudden stop in an opioid pain medication program usually results in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. To allow patients to focus on their mental and emotional wellness, doctors prescribe Suboxone to reduce the painful side effects of physical opioid withdrawal.
As Suboxone has similar effects as pure opioids, patients may sometimes end up getting dependent on the drug. Health centers help in this regard by allowing patients to recover in a controlled environment. In addition to addressing opioid withdrawal symptoms, doctors will help you overcome the underlying root causes of your dependence. You’ll also get to taper off from Suboxone under expert supervision before you eventually stop the treatment program.