How Does Suboxone Work for Opioid Addiction?How does Suboxone work for opioid addiction? Find out how the medicine helps many people overcome their battle with opiate abuse.
Keyword(s): how does suboxone work
Quitting opioids isn't as simple as deciding to stop. Opioid withdrawal isn't just psychological.
It's physical and the process tears your body apart. What's worse, there's only one thing that can stop the suffering caused by withdrawal - more opioids.
If you meet someone who has stopped abusing opioids, then there's a good chance they did it with the help of medication like Suboxone.
How does Suboxone work for treating opioid addiction? Keep reading to learn more that may help you.
What Opioid Withdrawal Does to You BodyEven short-term opioid abuse has damaging effects on your body. It alters the circuits in your brain that control your mood as well as those that reward good behavior.
Long-term use alters all your body's systems, including the entirety of your nervous system.
So, when you go through opioid withdrawal, you don't just crave the high. You may also experience symptoms like:
- Large pupils
- Abdominal pain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Mood swings
- Suicidal ideation
That's why so many people turn to prescriptions to help them through opioid withdrawal.
What is Suboxone?Suboxone is the brand name for a type of buprenorphine, which is an opioid similar to methadone but lasts over a shorter period of time.
It targets the same receptors that opioids or methadone might, but it comes with less risk of overdose or addiction.
You can take Suboxone in pill form or as a film, and you can use it to start your detox and manage withdrawal. You may also use it in conjunction with other treatments as you continue into the recovery phase.
How Does Suboxone Work?Suboxone works by making withdrawal bearable, which prevents you from relapsing and overdosing. It offers things like:
- Pain relief
- Reduced stress
- Elimination of cravings
Are There Any Side Effects?You must take Suboxone according to your doctor's instructions. If you don't, you can experience symptoms of opioid withdrawal, like the ones noted above.
If you do start experiencing symptoms of withdrawal, you should talk to your doctor immediately.
Additionally, there are some rare but adverse side effects associated with Suboxone. You should also see your doctor if you experience:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Stomach ache
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Cholesterol medications
- HIV treatments (PrEP and other drugs)
- Oral contraceptives
Be sure you give your healthcare provider a list of everything you take before they prescribe Suboxone. Don't start any new supplements or medications after you begin Suboxone treatment without first talking to your doctor.
Can You Become Addicted to Suboxone?There's a myth that suggests that you aren't actually in recovery if you take Suboxone. This isn't true. Abstinence-based therapies have a low success rate, and they come with serious risks, including a high rate of relapse and overdose.
Taking Suboxone is the first step to recovery if your doctor believes it's the right choice for you. However, it is important to remember that Suboxone is still an opiate and it can be abused.
Yes, you can become addicted to Suboxone. But you have a low chance of this if you follow your doctor's instructions to the letter. You're also less likely to become addicted when you use Suboxone with other therapies, like talk therapy, support groups, and other types of support.
Can You Overdose on Suboxone?It is exceptionally difficult to overdose on Suboxone alone. In fact, overdose prevention is built into the chemical of the drug. There' is a limit to how far Suboxone can go in charging your opioid receptors, so you have a lower risk of slowed breathing compared to methadone, prescription opioids, or heroin.
Overdoses do happen. However, it is usually the result of Suboxone abuse, which involves mixing it with other drugs, like sedatives.
If you take Suboxone as prescribed, you should have no issues with overdosing.
How Do You Start Suboxone Treatment for Opioid Withdrawal?Suboxone is only available from an approved prescribing physician, so you need to start with an approved doctor first.
Your doctor works with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
How long will you be on Suboxone? It depends. Some people might take it for a few months and others may take it over the long-term. There's no evidence suggesting that Suboxone is only for the first phase of recovery.
Are You Ready to Live a Life Free from Opioids?Opioid abuse is a rampant problem not because people are weak but because the prescriptions that were supposed to help us live better are too strong. Opioids change your entire body, which means quitting requires more than a firm mindset.
Using physician-supervised medication therapy to help withdraw and recover from opioids is becoming more common.
These prescriptions take your body's chemistry into account and help you move forward without the risks of trying to go cold turkey.
Are you ready to live a life free from opioids? Are you still wondering "how does Suboxone work?" and need even more information? Get in touch to learn more about how we help patients begin the road towards sobriety with the help of Suboxone.