What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is an FDA-approved prescription medication that is used to help treat opioid addiction. Increasingly popular as a medication-assisted treatment MAT for treating opioid dependence, Suboxone is regarded as a safer option than methadone treatment for opioid use disorders because it’s less addictive. Even so, people taking Suboxone can become addicted to it and require addiction treatment to overcome their dependence.

Suboxone is a prescription drug that contains buprenorphine and naloxone. The drug was developed specifically for the treatment of opioid dependence and addiction. Suboxone is available in tablet form as well as a skin patch (where it is absorbed into the skin) and under-skin implants. It may be prescribed by other brand names and generic versions, including Buprenex, Norspan, Cizdol, Zubsolv, Temgesic, Probuphine, Butrans, and Bunavail.

Suboxone has largely replaced methadone maintenance as the preferred treatment for heroin addiction or other forms of opioid addiction. Not all addiction treatment centers offer medication-assisted treatment MAT like suboxone treatment; however, it can be an effective opioid treatment when combined with other addiction counseling and treatments offered in inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab. Clients enrolled in rehab treatment centers may be prescribed medication-assisted treatment during drug detox as well as during rehab treatment programs.

Suboxone Effects

Suboxone’s two ingredients, buprenorphine, and naloxone, each play important roles in the drug’s efficacy. Buprenorphine treatment, for instance, targets the brain’s opioid receptors. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. It offers much weaker opioid effects than other prescription opioids or illicit drugs like heroin. The result is that the brain experiences opioid effects that block opioid withdrawal symptoms. Clients also experience fewer cravings to use other opioids.

Naloxone is a prescription medication that’s used as an opioid treatment for overdose. Its presence in Suboxone is there to help prevent suboxone abuse. Should someone abuse Suboxone, the naloxone will trigger unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Signs of Suboxone Abuse and Addiction

Because Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, it has abuse potential as rates of emergency department visits involving buprenorphine demonstrate. Buprenorphine related emergency room visits are as serious as other forms of drugs and alcohol overdose. Some common signs of Suboxone abuse and addiction include:

  • Trying to obtain more of the medication
  • Taking more of the drug than recommended
  • Using the drug with the intent to ‘get high’
  • Insomnia
  • Lethargy
  • Obtaining the drug from illegal sources
  • Trying to stop using the drug and failing to do so

Even though Suboxone is a prescribed treatment for opioid dependence, it is, itself, addictive–though, considerably less so than other opioids. Still, users should note that it is a controlled substance and a person’s medical care team will monitor its use closely during recovery coaching to ensure its use as a replacement therapy is an effective substance abuse treatment for the individual.

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

A person can experience withdrawal symptoms when they abruptly stop using Suboxone. These symptoms can include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Development of cooccurring disorders (i.e. anxiety, depression)
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Difficulty concentrating

Long-Term Side Effects of Suboxone Abuse

A person who abuses Suboxone for a long period of time may experience the following long-term serious side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Reduced respiratory function
  • Coma

Hospital emergency department visits involving buprenorphine are not nearly as high as those involving heroin or other prescription opioids like Fentanyl or Oxycodone, but they can be just as serious–and deadly.

Suboxone Addiction Treatment

Although Suboxone can be an effective drug addiction treatment along with other treatment therapies for people who have an opioid addiction, it also has abuse potential and can be addictive. If a person becomes addicted to Suboxone, they need substance abuse and mental health treatment to manage their addiction successfully.

DayBreak offers treatment of opioid addiction at our alcohol and drug addiction rehab. Treatments for opioid use disorders target each aspect of the condition to help clients overcome their physical and psychological dependence on these powerfully addictive substances. We treat opioid addiction with medically sanctioned and holistic therapies. Our behavioral health therapists are highly trained and experienced in the treatment of opioid abuse disorders, including suboxone abuse.

If you are searching for addiction resources or access to treatment, contact DayBreak Treatment Solutions. We can help you if you’ve developed an addiction to Suboxone or other drugs and alcohol. With high-quality substance abuse and mental health treatment, you can manage your addiction and achieve lasting recovery.

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