When Suboxone was released for addiction treatment over a decade ago, it was hailed as a veritable miracle drug. The way in which it alleviates withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and blocks the introduction of other opiates into your system are the main reasons why it was and still is an extremely popular replacement detox medication used in opiate detoxification. However, Suboxone has its own risks and negative side effects, and it can form mental and physical dependencies that are similar to the substances that it’s meant to help you quit. Understanding what Suboxone is and how it affects your brain and body is vital knowledge that you should have before taking the drug.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a replacement detox medication used in the treatment of opiate addiction. It is intended to help you get through the detoxification phase and the withdrawal symptoms that inevitably arrive when you stop taking opiates. Suboxone may be used to alleviate withdrawals due to habitual abuse of heroin, morphine, oxycontin, Percocet, vicodin, and any other prescription or illicit opiate-based substance.
There are two main, active chemicals in Suboxone. These are buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that is similar to the drugs that it is meant to treat. However, buprenorphine causes lesser euphoria and milder withdrawal symptoms when compared to more addictive substances. It is also proven to limit the overall attainable “high”, and it fills opioid receptors so that other drugs cannot bind to them.
Naloxone is an opiate blocker. There is a common misconception associated with this Suboxone ingredient. Some people believe that it is always active and prohibits other opiate-based substances from binding to receptors. However, this is incorrect. Naloxone only becomes active when it is crushed and snorted or mixed with water and injected. Then, and only then, does Naloxone push other opiates out of opioid receptors and disallows the binding of any other drugs that are ingested while it is in effect.
What Are the Risks Associated with Suboxone?
While Suboxone has helped numerous individuals get off harder, more addictive and dangerous drugs, it does carry its own risks and problems as a detox medication. During recovery, Suboxone is mainly used to help you get over the first few weeks of detox, and the withdrawal symptoms that come with it. The replacement medication is administered in a comparable dose at first, and then it is slowly but deliberately tapered off over the course of several weeks to a month. This is the ideal method of treatment. However, some cases must be handled in a different way and that may lead to increased risks.
In some situations, typically involving those individuals who have abused opiates for a long time, Suboxone may be used as a “maintenance” medication. This is essentially a replacement treatment plan. Basically, you’ll be prescribed Suboxone and instructed to take a certain amount every day for, potentially, the rest of your life. While this will help you to stay off other drugs, it can lead to its own problems. Suboxone is an opiate itself, so physical and mental dependencies are risks. Also, Suboxone can cause similar damages to the body as other opiates. These damages include liver and heart problems. You should take a serious and honest look at your addiction before deciding to start taking Suboxone.
Are you struggling with an opiate addiction? Would you like to know more about your recovery options? Call our hotline at 800-447-9081, and let us show you all the ways that we can help you get clean and stay that way.