Replacement medication therapy is one of the most effective strategies for helping you get through detox and staying clean throughout recovery. The most popular and effective drug used as a replacement medication is Suboxone. It’s a powerful partial opioid agonist that can alleviate withdrawal symptoms while limiting cravings and giving you energy to perform daily tasks.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is just one type of medication used by recovery specialists in replacement therapy. Other comparable drugs are Methadone and Subutex. Suboxone differs from both of these medications by the inclusion of an active ingredient called naloxone. This ingredient is known as an opiate blocker, but would be more aptly named an agent against misuse. Naloxone is inactive in most cases when Suboxone is taken as prescribed. However, if it’s injected intravenously, then the compound becomes active and bumps all opioids out of the receptors within your body. Naloxone then binds to those receptors and disallows any opiates from attaching and getting you high. This means you’ll go into immediate and painful withdrawals.
The other active ingredient in Suboxone is buprenorphine. This compound is classified as a partial opioid agonist because of how it works within the body. Buprenorphine, unlike the drugs it’s meant to treat, has a limit on the effectiveness of the compound to get you high at larger doses. It also develops far less painful and disruptive withdrawal symptoms, so you’ll have an easier time of quitting Suboxone than other opiates.
Additionally, buprenorphine is considered to be a “sticky” drug. It has limited opiate blocking capabilities, in that it will push other chemicals out of opioid receptors and keep them from re-attaching as long as the buprenorphine compound is in the system. This gives it great attributes for helping you become sober and stay clean.
What Is Suboxone Therapy Like?
The most common use for Suboxone in addiction recovery is as a maintenance medication. In essence, you’re prescribed Suboxone for continuous use over several months to several years. The purpose of this is to ensure that you stay off harder, more destructive drugs like heroin or OxyContin while giving you the energy and motivation to function normally in life.
Another way Suboxone is used during recovery is to help you get through detox. Typically, the drug is administered in a large, initial dose to alleviate painful withdrawal symptoms. Then, over the course of several weeks, the dose is slowly and deliberately lowered until you’re completely clean from all drugs. In some cases, this can be an effective approach. However, for situations involving long-term opiate abuse, a maintenance plan may be required.
What Are the Risks Associated With Suboxone?
Suboxone is an opiate, which means that it’s addictive and does cause withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawals are exactly the same as what you would feel when coming off of heroin or prescription medications, albeit less painful and disruptive. Suboxone can also cause overdose, although it’s fairly rare. Other common side effects of Suboxone include dizziness, headaches, difficulty breathing and drowsiness. However, these side effects typically subside or lessen over time and with extended use.
Suboxone can help you get clean and stay that way. It has been proven effective in countless recovery situations. However, there are risks associated with Suboxone of which you should be aware. If you’re wondering, “What is Suboxone, and is it right for me?” call our hotline at 800-447-9081, and let us show you what Suboxone is all about.