An addiction to any drug will take a toll on one’s physical and mental health, and opiates are no different. To assist those with an opiate addiction, many rehab specialists suggest the use of Suboxone, a powerful form of medication designed to ease withdrawal symptoms and make the transition to sobriety easier. Unfortunately, some of those who use this medication may develop a dependency. Such individuals will need to understand what to expect during Suboxone withdrawal treatment and how they can prepare themselves for long-term sobriety.
What Is Suboxone Used For?
Most of those who are addicted to opiates cannot simply quit on their own and will often need outside assistance to change their ways of thinking and environments. This process generally needs to start with a detox period in which the body will be expunged of the lingering toxins. Detox is often the most difficult step, as withdrawal symptoms can develop within just a few hours and can last for multiple days or even weeks. In order to lessen the side effects of withdrawal, Suboxone can be used to “trick” the body into thinking there are opiates in one’s system.
Suboxone was originally approved in 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration and has become one of the most common treatment options for opiate withdrawal. For many years, the only option for withdrawal medication was methadone, but this medication is an opioid with the same potential for dependency and addiction. The primary feature of Suboxone is that it has a maximum ceiling so that taking more won’t increase its effects. This is an important part of the rehabilitation process, as many addicts become used to the cycle of partially withdrawing, taking the opiate and then being rewarded. In addition, Suboxone blocks the brain’s opiate receptors for upwards of 25 hours. For addicts, this means that taking outside opiates won’t affect them as such drugs usually would.
The Suboxone Withdrawal Process
Just as with other outside chemicals, the body can develop a dependency to the drug, which may require treatment. The Suboxone withdrawal process is much like any other withdrawal process and will begin with a thorough assessment of the individual. This includes evaluating overall health and any other medical considerations that must be made during treatment. Those who are attempting to rehabilitate from addiction may have issues, such as malnourishment or damaged organs, that’ll affect how their treatments must be carried out. There may also be psychological or mental issues that must be diagnosed and taken into consideration to permanently rehabilitate from an opiate addiction.
For those who’ve found themselves addicted to opiates prescribed for chronic pain, a medical specialist can help them decide on other non-addictive pain management options. This may include gradually transitioning to new medication with a lower risk of dependency, or alternative methods like physical therapy. All of these components will eventually alter how quickly individuals can withdraw from Suboxone and what they’ll experience while coming off of the medication.
Physical and Mental Aspects of Suboxone Withdrawal Treatment
Exactly how an individual feels when tapering off of Suboxone will be dependent on a wide variety of factors. These include overall health, how long the person has been using Suboxone, and if this medication is mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Most will begin feeling the initial withdrawal symptoms within 12 hours, and these side effects often peak after a few days. For most, the overall period of withdrawal will only last a week. While this first step may be daunting, those who are struggling with addiction should never attempt to detox or go cold turkey on their own. Suboxone withdrawal symptoms can become severe, which is why it’s vital to be overseen by a medical professional or detox specialist who can closely monitor one’s vital signs and overall level of comfort.
Suboxone has a relatively long half-life of around 37 hours, which is the period in which the medication will physically stay in one’s system. At this point, the body will begin craving Suboxone and the individual may feel side effects, such as irritability, insomnia, mood swings, nausea, vomiting and cramps. These withdrawal symptoms take place due to the fact that the body has become accustomed to having Suboxone or opiates at all times. The body must undergo these changes in order to return to its homeostasis, or natural balance.
Many of those who’ve become addicted to opiates or medication such as Suboxone have a number of underlying issues that have led to addiction. The detox period is only the beginning, and individuals who want to permanently rebuild their lives will each need a support system. One of the best options for rehabilitating is in a dedicated facility. Inpatient programs are more effective than ever and can be personalized to fit the unique needs of every single individual. Such programs may include services like one-on-one counseling, group therapy, healthy meal plans, exercise regimens, art therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, meditation and more.
You should never feel as if you must put off Suboxone withdrawal treatment for weeks or even months. Every day you struggle with an addiction is one more day that can never be recovered. If you or a loved one has become dependent on Suboxone, or any other drugs or alcohol, call the hotline at 800-447-9081 and take the first step towards recovery.