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Suboxone for Addiction Treatment: What You Should Know

Suboxone has been heralded as the “blockbuster” medication in the opioid crisis. Medically, it has excellent properties that make it ideal for opioid abuse treatment, but it comes at a cost: since it is also an opioid, there is still an abuse risk. However, Suboxone for addiction treatment still gets positive results when other approaches to treatment fail.

4 Minute Read | Published Jan 22 2024 | Updated Jan 22 2024
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In this article, we will discuss the Suboxone for addiction treatment and examine some of the dangers associated with its use.

How Effective is Suboxone for Addiction Treatment?

2011 study aimed to discover the effectiveness of Suboxone for addiction treatment. Their findings showed that 49 percent of the 600 study participants stopped their abuse of prescription pain killers by making use of Suboxone. After the 12-week treatment period, the number of people that were helped by the drug lowered by 8.6 percent after the Suboxone prescription was discontinued. These statistics suggest that it is one of the effective medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

Suboxone Side Effects

Using an opioid to treat opioid dependence seems pointless. However, for some addicts, it’s the difference between going into a rehab center for their medication and finding themselves in dark alleyways injecting heroin with strangers and risking overdose. Since the amount given is controlled, the user isn’t able to properly abuse it as they would other prescription opioids or heroin.

While it has clear medical uses, Suboxone side effects are still possible. They include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Numbness in the mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Tongue pain
  • Irregular heart rhythm

If you have had some of these side effects from taking Suboxone medically, then speak to your doctor so that the appropriate changes can be made.

Signs of Suboxone Abuse

In extreme cases of Suboxone abuse, overdose and death is possible – as with all opioids. Stopping abuse before it reaches such a point is crucial, but how do you know if you or someone you care about is abusing the drug?

The following are common signs that Suboxone abuse is occurring:

  • Unpredictable and erratic moods swings
  • Fever
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Cravings
  • Tolerance
  • Respiratory depression

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioids are a class of drug with highly addictive properties. This is due to the effect it has on the brain, ultimately causing structural changes to occur. Once this has happened, then the best way to deal with the problem becomes opioid addiction treatment at a rehab center.

For most serious addictions, a combination of behavioral therapy and counseling combined with opioid replacement therapy achieves the best results. Behavioral therapy and counseling is essential when using opioid replacement therapy as it improves the effectiveness of the entire process. By itself, opioid replacement therapy is not that effective as it just replaces one opioid for another.

The idea behind replacement therapy is to replace the current opioid being abused with a medication such as Suboxone, which is a combination of buprenorphine (a well-known medication for opioid abuse) and naloxone (used to block opioid effects in the brain). Doses are higher at first and then reduced as time goes by as a way to wean the addict off the substance at a pace that doesn’t cause the full effects of opioid withdrawal. With lowered cravings and withdrawal symptoms, many people find it easier to abstain from drug abuse.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 888-807-0464.

 

Resources

bullet Volkow, N. D., Frieden, T. R., Hyde, P. S., & Cha, S. S. (2014).
"Medication-assisted therapies–tackling the opioid-overdose epidemic. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(22), 2063-2066."
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bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020).
"Medications for opioid use disorder."
Retrieved on July 12, 2018
bullet Amato, L., Davoli, M., Minozzi, S., Ferroni, E., Ali, R., & Ferri, M. (2017).
"Methadone at tapered doses for the management of opioid withdrawal. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3), CD003409."
Retrieved on July 12, 2018
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018).
"Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research-based guide (third edition)."
Retrieved on July 12, 2018
bullet Ling, W., Hillhouse, M. P., Saxon, A. J., Mooney, L. J., Thomas, C. M., Ang, A., … & Annon, J. J. (2016).
"Buprenorphine + naloxone plus naltrexone for the treatment of cocaine dependence: The Cocaine Use Reduction with Buprenorphine (CURB) study. Addiction, 111(8), 1416-1427."
Retrieved on July 12, 2018
bullet Fiellin, D. A., Schottenfeld, R. S., Cutter, C. J., Moore, B. A., Barry, D. T., O’Connor, P. G., … & Kosten, T. R. (2017).
"Primary care–based buprenorphine taper vs maintenance therapy for prescription opioid dependence: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 177(6), 914-923."
Retrieved on July 12, 2018
bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015).
"Federal guidelines for opioid treatment programs."
Retrieved on July 12, 2018
bullet Mee-Lee, D., Shulman, G. D., Fishman, M. J., Gastfriend, D. R., & Miller, M. M. (Eds.). (2013).
"The ASAM principles of addiction medicine (5th ed.). Wolters Kluwer."
Retrieved on July 12, 2018
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