Suboxone is actually the combination of two different drugs: buprenorphine (a partial opioid agonist) and naloxone (a pure opioid antagonist). As a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine’s job is to deliver very diminished opioid doses to a patient who is addicted to a stronger opioid. It provides a way for the client to be gradually weaned off their pre-existing addiction, while minimizing the opioid withdrawal symptoms that would come from the process. Naloxone shuts down the opioid receptor, blocking agonists from reaching the receptor and even reversing the effect of opioid agonists already in the individual’s system by intercepting the signals the receptors send to the nervous system.
Suboxone was initially developed to help opioid addicted individuals withdraw more comfortably and was typically used in titrating lowered doses for 5-7 days. Over the course of the past decade, its use has expanded. As an opioid itself, it is now often used for chronic pain patients. Additionally, many research studies show that maintenance or long-term use of Suboxone not only helps individuals remain free from addiction to such opioids as prescription pain pills or heroin, it also lowers death rates and prevents complications of addiction such as infections.
Suboxone maintenance is often recommended for individuals who struggle with chronic relapse and are long-time opiate abusers. These individuals struggle with stronger, more long-lasting drug cravings and are more likely to relapse into active drug addiction. Many people lead long, successful lives without a return to active pill or heroin addiction with the assistance of Suboxone. Therefore, it makes sense to consider it for these people. It is rarely recommended as the first course of treatment for individuals seeking help.
However, Suboxone is a physically dependent substance which is a drawback. Immediate termination of the substance without weaning down can send a person into acute withdrawal. It can prevent people from making long-term plans for not wanting or being able to miss their doctors’ appointment for a prescription renewal.
Overall, the benefits of Suboxone are:
· Lower potential for abuse
· Greater accessibility
· High success rate in the treatment of opiate dependence
· It is less likely to produce the same addictive behavior as full opioid agonists because it has a slower onset than full opioids and a milder effect.
· Should users take other opioids simultaneously, they will be blocked from the brain’s receptors by Suboxone, preventing the normal high that comes from these drugs.
· It can assist in undoing the positive reinforcement loop that previously caused the addiction because users will no longer receive the same reward for opioid use.
To learn more about Suboxone, medical detox and addiction treatment, please contact Revive Detox at (844) 467-3848.