Is Suboxone Addictive?

Drug addiction itself is a complicated process that consists of both a psychological aspect and physical dependency. The most addictive kind of drugs create a dual effect that impacts both your mind and body and entices you to keep using the drug. Found inside Suboxone is a drug known as Buprenorphine, which is an addictive opioid drug that can potentially cause some individuals to abuse it. In order to fully understand why a certain drug is addictive, it’s important to first understand how different parts of your brain work.

The Limbic System

Your brain is a very remarkable and elaborate organ that literally performs tens of millions of functions everyday. When it comes to the issue of using drugs, doctors focus their attention on the limbic system. This system includes a pair of structures; the fornix and hippocampus, both of which are found deep inside the brain’s central region. It’s the part of your brain that’s responsible for a variety of functions in addition to the following two aspects:

1. Reward Circuit

Limbic structures work to connect each part of the brain that deals with controlling pleasurable sensations. If this structure is activated then pleasure is subsequently experienced. Experts claim that this key reaction will positively reinforce whatever specific action was performed in order to activate the brain’s reward circuit. For instance, eating a sandwich will activate the reward center in your brain, which is why you will continue to eat since it’s a requirement in order to survive.

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2. Manages Emotions

Your limbic system lets you distinguish and then express either positive or negative emotion. Interference or damage with a person’s limbic system generates irrational behavior and mood changes.

The brain’s pleasure center is regulated by the release and also the function of an important neurotransmitter known as dopamine. When dopamine levels rise inside the limbic system, it activates the brain’s reward center. Therefore, high levels of dopamine result in greater feelings of pleasure.

How Does Suboxone Impact the Brain?

Suboxone is classified as an opiate drug due to the ingredient it contains, which is buprenorphine. Opiates have the ability to access the brain and therefore directly bind to certain receptors inside the limbic system. Even though the precise mechanism isn’t fully understood, the general effect happens once the opiate attaches to its receptors and allows more dopamine to flood the user’s system. Some experts believe that opiates reduce the levels of another kind of neurotransmitter known as GABA, which usually inhibits the release of dopamine. Therefore, if an opiate diminishes GABA levels, the action will indirectly boost dopamine levels. This particular type of reaction is known as disinhibition.

Regardless of how the mechanism actually works, the general effect is that the user will feel a temporary rush of pleasure. In theory, this will ease some of the adverse negative psychological effects that are typically associated with the process of detoxification.

At What Point Does Suboxone Start to Become Addictive?

Chronic Suboxone abuse, such as taking higher doses or snorting it, can make the user’s brain start to depend on it since the brain has become used to higher dopamine levels. Over time, the brain’s pleasure center is activated only when there are higher levels of dopamine present. And so, without the drug Suboxone or any other opiate, the brain’s reward center doesn’t activate and the user no longer feels common pleasure. This is exactly why some users lose their ability to experience pleasure through fun activities, playing sports, or eating.

Once the user’s brain adjusts to their use of Suboxone, they generally become physically and psychologically dependent on it and need it to experience any kind of pleasure at all.

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If you feel like you may be developing a dependence on Suboxone, call a helpline and get the help you need at this hotline number: 800-447-9081 right now and talk to people who care.

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