Buprenorphine Treatment For Opioid Addiction
Suboxone® is the trade name of a medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is added to prevent abuse.
When used properly, buprenorphine virtually eliminates opioid cravings.
It can be taken once per day. And like methadone, buprenorphine not only stops the cravings but also the withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate addiction.
Suboxone Is Just One Part Of Recovery
While medication-assisted treatment is an amazing option for helping patients beat addiction, it shouldnt be the only element of your recovery plan. A complete MAT plan combines a carefully-monitored medication regimen with substance abuse counseling and regular primary care to keep your mind and body in fighting health. For some patients in recovery, Suboxone is not the right choice of medication. Some patients dont even benefit from medication assistance at all. Every journey is unique, and your addiction treatment specialist is there to help you make educated decisions every step of the way.
If you think Suboxone or another form of medication-assisted treatment may be right for you, we can help. The team at Recovery Care will work with you to develop a personalized recovery plan that revolves around your needs and goals. Request an appointment today and take the first step toward being your best self!
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How To Qualify For Suboxone Treatment
Individuals must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for a Suboxone prescription. Due to its pharmacological makeup, Suboxone users cannot be actively using other opioids which could quickly become dangerous. As such, they must already be undergoing opioid withdrawal and exhibiting 5-6 symptoms on the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale. These symptoms typically occur 24-48 hours after last use but can vary depending on the users opioid of choice.
Fentanyl and OxyContin are long-action opioids that stay in the body for a long period of time and will therefore take more time to pass before the body begins experiencing withdrawal. Heroin and oxycodone are examples of short-acting opioids, and these users could be eligible for Suboxone in as little as 12 hours after the last use. Its vital that patients are completely honest about the type of opioid used and how recently they were used. Failure to provide accurate information could result in individuals experiencing major discomfort rather than relief from cravings.
Guide For Families: Medications For Opioid Use Disorder
Patients who choose to use Medications for Opioid Use Disorder for opioid addiction have a choice of medications. One type of MOUD involve the use of an opioid agonist. An opioid agonist binds to the same receptors in the brain that were activated by the drug of abuse, but in a safer and more controlled manner. These medications can reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and reduce cravings, allowing for a more gradual, controlled recovery process and reducing the risk of relapse. The two opioid agonists used in MOUD are methadone and buprenorphine. Another type of medication called an opioid antagonist is a newer form of treatment that will also be discussed. Naltrexone is the only opioid antagonist currently available for treatment.
How are Opioids Used to Treat Addiction?
Opioid drugs are not only illicit drugs of addiction. Opioid medications have many legitimate uses, including for the treatment of addiction.
Methadone is one of the most common medicines used to treat opioid use disorder. Methadone is an opioid agonist that strongly activates opioid receptors in the brain preventing, withdrawal symptoms and cravings for illicit drugs.
Methadone treatment has several advantages:
Buprenorphine is a relatively new medication, approved in 2002 for the treatment of opioid addiction both during and after detoxification. It is also sometimes used in the hospital for pain relief after surgery and for chronic pain.
How does Buprenorphine work?
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Dealing With Roxicodone Addiction
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Before Taking This Medicine
You should not use Suboxone if you are allergic to buprenorphine or naloxone .
To make sure Suboxone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
If you use Suboxone while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on opioids may need medical treatment for several weeks.
Ask a doctor before using Suboxone if you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you notice severe drowsiness or slow breathing in the nursing baby.
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Potential Side Effects Of Suboxone Use
As with any medication, Suboxone is associated with certain side effects, even when taken as prescribed. Death from respiratory depression is rare with Suboxone but may be more likely when people use Suboxone in conjunction with other substances that slow breathing, such as benzodiazepines, sedatives, tranquilizers, or alcohol.1,3,9,12
Relatively common Suboxone side effects include:1
- Swelling in arms and legs.
- Allergic reactions .
Never Take These Chemicals
Suboxone is tried and tested by a huge number of opioid users and they have found it helpful. You can also be one of those. Just make sure not to use this medicine along with alcohol, or benzodiazepines. Because the result of these combinations is not gonna give you pleasure like the combination of Nutella and strawberry. Instead, you can become a victim of respiratory problems and even a coma patient.
Suboxone Addiction And Abuse Treatments
Have you used Suboxone as part of a replacement therapy to combat opioid addiction?If you find yourself battling suboxone addiction, know that youre not alone. We understand that suboxone, with the engagement of clients, can be a tool to combat or ween off of current opioid addiction. But some individuals become reliant on the use of suboxone and seek a drug-free life. Our trained clinical team can help you guide through this difficult addiction.
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What Is Medication Assisted Treatment
Three million American citizens have had or currently suffer from opioid use disorder , and more than 500,000 in the United States are dependent on heroin.
Medication-assisted treatment uses a combination of prescription medications, counseling, and behavioral therapies to treat opioid addiction, sustain recovery, and prevent overdose.
Medications for opioid use disorder, also known as MOUD, have been shown to reduce the risk of fatal overdoses by approximately 50%. Furthermore, studies have found that MOUD is also effective at reducing the risk of nonfatal overdoses, which can be highly traumatic and medically dangerous.
In the face of the United States harrowing drug epidemic, one of the primary addiction recovery methods for medication-assisted treatment is a prescription drug called Suboxone.
How Long Will Suboxone Stay In My System
After taking the last dose, Suboxone can stay in your system for up to 14 days and can be detected through hair, urine, saliva and blood tests. Each of the two ingredients found in Suboxone has a different chemical half-life. Buprenorphines half-life is estimated to be 37 hours. Naloxone has a much shorter half-life of 30 to 60 minutes.
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Suboxone Is Less Habit
Since the early 2000s, addiction treatment specialists have preferred to prescribe Suboxone instead of its MAT predecessor, methadone. Because Suboxone was developed with the express intention of fighting opioid addiction, the medication was engineered to have a far lower risk of dependency than that of methadone. Additionally, the side-effects of Suboxone are usually less severe and tend to be physical instead of mental.
Suboxone Opioid Maintenance Therapy
For some opioid addicts, the short-term use of Suboxone is not enough to prevent relapse while working toward recovery. Ideally, the goal of opioid addiction treatment is to help patients end their use of all opioid drugs. However, those with a high risk of relapsing and overdosing may benefit from long-term Suboxone maintenance therapy.
There is near-unanimous agreement among addiction treatment professionals that prolonged Suboxone use is a safer alternative to heroin addiction. Although replacing one drug with another is never an ideal solution, there is no doubt that, for some opioid addicts, long-term Suboxone use is an effective way to avoid relapse, overdose and death.
In the end, Suboxone can be a powerful tool for opioid addicts in need of a helping hand. However, it is important not to lose sight of the fact the most important benefit of Suboxone is its ability to help addicts become more receptive to comprehensive addiction treatment.
Individuals suffering from addiction must realize that they cannot blame their pattern of substance abuse solely on the drug itself. In order to achieve lasting recovery, addicts must address the underlying psychological issues that led them to abuse opioid drugs in the first place.
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When To Speak To A Doctor
Anyone who thinks they are experiencing substance use disorder relating to Suboxone should speak with a doctor for guidance and supervision.
The doctor will evaluate a persons medical history, their dosage of Suboxone, and how long they have been using it to map out the best treatment plan for them.
After a person starts treatment, they should contact a doctor if:
- they take a different dose than their doctor recommends
- their withdrawal symptoms get worse
- they start using Suboxone or other opioids again
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What Is Suboxone 4 Facts Every Patient Should Know
How does Suboxone help fight opioid addiction? What does it look like? The team at Recovery Care can answer these questions with four essential facts.
Medication-assisted treatment can be accomplished with a variety of medications, but there may be one brand name youve heard more than any other: Suboxone. Suboxone is a combination of two drugs – buprenorphine and naloxone – that work chemically to decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms and reduce a patients dependence on opioids in the long term.
But how does one medication accomplish this daunting task? What does it look like? Is this the only option for MAT, and is it necessary for every patient to fight an opioid addiction? The addiction treatment team at Recovery Care can answer these questions with four essential facts about Suboxone:
Hhs Releases New Buprenorphine Practice Guidelines Expanding Access To Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder
In an effort to get evidenced-based treatment to more Americans with opioid use disorder, the Department of Health and Human Services is releasing new buprenorphine practice guidelines that among other things, remove a longtime requirement tied to training, which some practitioners have cited as a barrier to treating more people.
Signed by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder exempt eligible physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives from federal certification requirements related to training, counseling and other ancillary services that are part of the process for obtaining a waiver to treat up to 30 patients with buprenorphine.
More than 90,000 drug overdose deaths are predicted to have occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in September 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and overdose deaths have continued to accelerate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The alarming increase in overdose deaths underscores the need for more accessible treatment services, and studies have shown that medication-based treatment promotes long-term recovery from opioid use disorder.
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Suboxone Blocks The Opioid Effect
Suboxone is part of a family of medications used in medication-assisted treatment called opioid antagonists, which is the opposite of opioid agonists such as heroin, morphine and oxycodone. When you use an opioid agonist, the drug activates a pain-blocking receptor in your brain, altering your perceptions of pain and releasing endorphins that mimic pleasure. This is known as the opioid effect. When you make an opioid antagonist like Suboxone part of your recovery, the medication will negate the effects of any opioid by preventing them from activating those pain receptors. This helps to manage your cravings and reduce symptoms of withdrawal.
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How Does Suboxone Work
Buprenorphine is whats known as a partial opioid agonistan opioid medication that produces relatively weak opioid effects. This means that buprenorphine reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing the full effect of other opioids , which can make it easier for you to stop using your opioid drug of choice.1
With high binding affinity, it may also block other opioids from binding to and activating your opioid receptors, which can deter misuse of other opioids.1,3
As a partial agonist, buprenorphine also has an upper limit to its opioid effects, even with escalating doses. The risk of misuse and overdose is lower than with other opioids because there is a limit as to how much your opioid receptors can be activated. This helps reduce the potential for respiratory depression , which is a risk and symptom of opioid overdose.1,3
Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist medication that is combined with buprenorphine in Suboxone and similar generic combination formulations. Though naloxone is used on its own to reverse the deadly effects of opioid overdose, it is instead included in this combo to help discourage intentional misuse of buprenorphine, should it be dissolved and injected or inhaled nasallydoing so would result in the rapid onset of withdrawal in opioid dependent individuals.1,3,4
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Myth #: Suboxone Is A Short
Some people do use suboxone on a short-term basis. Others consider it a long-term treatment for a chronic illness.
An individual with a chronic medical illness like diabetes might use medication to manage their condition for life. Why have we chosen to treat chronic addiction differently?
At the end of the day, its up to the patient and his or her doctor to decide how best to use suboxone. The professionals at suboxone treatment centers can help guide you toward a solution that works for your lifestyle and goals. If that involves a long-term treatment protocol, that is an effective and valid option.
Can Suboxone Be Prescribed Online
Many rural communities throughout the United States lack adequate access to substance use treatment and medications for addiction treatment, including those for opioid use disorder. Under the Ryan Haight Act of 2008, controlled substances can be prescribed by way of the internet.14 Under this act, the prescribing healthcare provider must have seen the patient for at least one in-person medical evaluation.14
The SUPPORT Act of 2018, however, requires the Drug Enforcement Administration to create a regulatory pathway for individuals to receive buprenorphine prescriptions via telemedicine, where the provider meets with the patient for a video or telephone consultation, but the DEA has yet to do this. Consequently, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, regulators waived the in-person restriction of the Ryan Haight Act to expand access to those in need of opioid use disorder treatment.14,15 Thus, federal regulatory changes set during the COVID-19 pandemic, may allow some addiction treatment providers, who use telemedicine, to prescribe buprenorphine to their patients without an initial in-person evaluation.16
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Myth #: People On Suboxone Cant Be In Recovery
Often, struggling addicts refuse suboxone treatments because of the belief that taking addiction medication would mean theyre still an addict. This is the result of policing and gatekeeping in the recovery community. Many of these rules are nearly 90 years old, created before medication-assisted recovery was an option.
Who gets to decide how one defines recovery today?
The definition of recovery is changing and expanding to encompass newer, contemporary methods of getting clean. Due to advances in medical science, we have a model that is helping us view opioid addiction as a chronic condition.
The reality is that medication is now a part of recovery. The rules and definitions should be changing, not the addicts.