Individuals who want to stop taking opiates can do so relatively comfortably and safely by using Suboxone, a drug that greatly lessens the withdrawal symptoms from a variety of opiate drugs including heroin, OxyContin, Vicodin, morphine and codeine. The medication is only administered during the detox period in a Suboxone program. Once the individual is stabilized, she’ll no longer be a slave to the negative impact of opiate addiction.
What Is Suboxone?
The drug Suboxone is used in treating withdrawal symptoms from opiates. It’s one of two forms of buprenorphine, an anti-opiate medication initially designed to treat various pain syndromes. The drug binds itself to the brain’s opioid receptor, which is the exact same receptor that heroin, morphine and other similar opiates bind to as well.
The factor that makes Suboxone so valuable and unique in treating addiction is that it’s considered a partial agonist, which means that in lower doses it literally acts the same way as any other opiate when it comes to decreasing pain. However, when the dosage is increased, it begins to obstruct the opioid receptor and therefore doesn’t allow it to become stimulated. Because of this, doctors can stop the symptoms of withdrawal without needing to worry if the patient will start abusing Suboxone. Furthermore, Suboxone literally makes it impossible to use other opiates to get high. If a person is taking Suboxone and subsequently uses a drug like OxyContin or heroin, the individual can’t feel that euphoric rush she seeks from illegal drugs.
How Is a Suboxone Program Used to Ease the Withdrawal Symptoms of Opiate Addiction?
If a person addicted to opiates abruptly stops taking them, the individual will start experiencing withdrawal symptoms within a few short hours. Some of these symptoms can include the following:
• Racing heartbeat
• Severe anxiety
• Muscle pain
Once an addict enters an in-patient rehab facility, it’s likely the person took her last opiate dose within six to 12 hours and already could be experiencing some withdrawal symptoms. The clinicians in the treatment center will evaluate the patient, give her Suboxone and closely monitor her progress during the detoxification period. It’s important that the drug isn’t given until mild withdrawal symptoms start to show, since it could in fact precipitate the symptoms if it’s given too soon.
On the first day, the dosage will be adjusted to effectively suppress the symptoms of withdrawal. The goal is to stop every symptom within the initial five or six hours. In most rehab centers, the average length for using Suboxone is generally three or four days, although some patients may need it longer depending on their overall history and the amount of opiates they abused.
Sometimes it’s necessary to administer additional medications if the person has also been abusing other drugs such as marijuana, Valium or alcohol. Doctors may additionally prescribe a sedative to help the patient sleep better, anti-anxiety medication to calm her down or a common muscle relaxant since muscle spasms and pain are typical withdrawal symptoms from opiate abuse.
If you or someone you care about is having a difficult time stopping the use of opiate drugs, professional help is available and there’s no need to do it alone. Call the hotline number at 800-447-9081 to talk to someone about following a Suboxone program that can greatly help relieve the unpleasant symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Call today so you can start living a drug-free life tomorrow.