Is It Possible To Develop Buprenorphine Dependence?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

What Is Buprenorphine Dependence?

Although buprenorphine is an opioid, it is a milder form that lessens the brains craving for the patient’s original drug choice. In spite of being a treatment for patients addicted to opioids, including heroin and prescription pain medications, buprenorphine is also addictive. The withdrawal symptoms are not as severe as those from other opioids.

Buprenorphine Dependence

When buprenorphine is misused by an individual, he or she will become dependent quite quickly. In spite of studies showing a higher treatment success rate than methadone, there are increasing reports of buprenorphine abuse, dependence, addiction, and overdose. Recreational drug use with buprenorphine is on the rise. Those misuse it may crush the pills for snorting, inject it, or just take more pills than prescribed. Injecting buprenorphine is especially dangerous due to the risk of hepatitis and necrosis (cell death). This drug should never be combined with alcohol or other drugs, even in a low dose, due to the possibility of a fatal overdose and other life-threatening reactions.

Signs of buprenorphine dependence include the following:

  1. Becoming defensive when asked about buprenorphine use
  2. Using up your prescription too soon
  3. Irresponsible behavior with finances
  4. Asking for, borrowing, or stealing other people’s medication
  5. Doctor shopping for extra prescriptions
  6. Intense craving for buprenorphine
  7. Missing time at work or poor work performance
  8. Buying illegally from street dealers
  9. Secretly using buprenorphine
  10. Causing stress at home because of behavior

Buprenorphine Treatment For Opioid Addiction

In 2016, there were 42,249 overdose deaths attributed to opioids. These deaths included synthetic opioids, prescribed opioids, and heroin. Buprenorphine treatment for opioid addiction is proving to be effective, but like its precursor, methadone, it can also be abused. When used in the proper setting, buprenorphine is providing many thousands of people afflicted with opioid addiction a road to recovery. Better Addiction Care (BAC), a free referral service, assists individuals and their families when a opioid addiction is recognized and help is sought. A phone call to BAC at 1.800.429.7690 will connect you with a rehab specialist who is anxious to help you or a loved one find the right addiction treatment facility. Accredited treatment centers offer medical detox to provide a safe withdrawal with less discomfort. Psychiatric care and treatment for co-occurring disorders is also available in the top addiction treatment centers.

Buprenorphine For Opioid Dependence

Many people recognize they are developing a dependence on the prescription pain pills they are taking following a serious accident or surgery. This is the best time to seek treatment to avoid the risk of permanent physical and mental problems. A buprenorphine treatment for opioid addiction can get you on the road to recovery more quickly than from an established addiction. Among its benefits are the ability to lessen the potential for misuse, diminishes the cravings and withdrawal symptoms of opioids, and increases safety in the case of an overdose.

Because buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist, it produces a weaker euphoria effect. Respiratory depressions are less and reduces the risk of breathing issues. There is a “ceiling effect” that occurs when the opioid effects level off even if the dose is increased. This effect lowers the risk of dependence and misuse. As with any treatment, buprenorphine is part of an overall program that includes rehab, therapy, life-style changes, and regular counseling.

If you need help with opioid addiction, or you have misused prescribed buprenorphine, call Better Addiction Care at 1.800.429.7690, and speak to a rehab advisor. Help is available, and BAC can connect you with an addiction care facility that meets the specific needs you have.