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Suboxone is a medication that helps eliminate withdrawal symptoms from opiate drugs. This medication is commonly used by rehab facilities during the detox phase of treatment, in order to help clients through difficult opiate withdrawals. Individuals wanting to withdraw safely and comfortable from opiates like Vicodin, heroin, morphine, and OxyContin often turn to Suboxone-maintained detox. This method stops the withdrawal symptoms and allows the individual to focus on their recovery.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a form of buprenorphine, and is a partial opiate agonist. This drug works by binding to receptors in the brain that are affected by opiate drugs, keeping the person from being stimulated by these drugs. At low doses, such as during opiate detox, Suboxone suppresses pain and discomfort, helping the patient get through the achiness of detox. In large doses, in the case that the individual would try to abuse Suboxone, this drug actually blocks the receptors in the brain so that it does not produce a high. Suboxone does not cause the feelings of euphoria that opiates do, and therefore it is much less likely to be abused by drug addicts.
Why Use Suboxone for Opiate Detox?
When an individual stops taking opiates abruptly, they experience withdrawal symptoms within the first 4-12 hours. Symptoms of opiate withdrawal are rarely dangerous, but can be painful or uncomfortable. For many people, the fear of going through detox symptoms can be enough to keep them from seeking treatment. Suboxone takes this excuse away and allows individuals to detox much more comfortably.
When Suboxone is used, the individual is given doses of this medication as soon as symptoms arise, and it is continued until the withdrawal is finished. Suboxone suppresses withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings, which allows clients to continue in their recovery program and work on addressing the issues behind their addiction. Most patients in Suboxone therapy need the medication for just 3-4 days, although others might need to take it for a week or two to manage ongoing symptoms.
Symptoms of Opiate Detox:
- Low energy
- Inability to sleep
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches and pains
- teary eyes
- Abdominal cramping
The Suboxone Detox Debate
There has been much controversy over the use of Suboxone during treatment. This is because some treatment centers allow individuals to stay on Suboxone long after withdrawal symptoms should be finished. This long term maintenance on Suboxone can lead to dependence on the drug—in essence replacing one type of drug addiction by another.
The goal of the treatment centers My Recovery Helper works with is to get clients completely off of all unnecessary substances. We help clients find the program that encourages them to live a drug-free life, not relying on substances like Suboxone after recovery.
Suboxone is not used in all cases of opiate withdrawal. The individual must first be assessed to determine their need for this drug, and then be monitored closely while on the substance. Other medications, such as methadone, can be used, but Suboxone is much safer, is much harder to abuse, and is unlikely to cause overdose. Other medications may also be indicated—depending on the client’s situation—to manage anxiety, sleep deprivation, and other symptoms of withdrawal. There are also other ways to manage the discomfort of withdrawal, including acupuncture, yoga, and meditation, and we can refer you to rehab facilities that offer these options for treatment as well.
Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with an opiate addiction, help is just a phone call away. We can find the program that is right for you and that will offer the options for treatment that you are looking for. For more information, contact us at 1.844.867.6835.