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Understanding How Suboxone® Can Be an Effective Treatment for Addiction

Understanding How Suboxone® Can Be an Effective Treatment for Addiction

One of the biggest misconceptions about substance use recovery is that it requires total abstinence. The truth is, the psychiatric community has determined that some people with substance use disorder can benefit from the continued use of a less harmful or addictive form of drug that allows them to better control their opioid use in a healthier manner than they did before.

To that end, some doctors prescribe a medication called Suboxone®, which combines a very weak opioid with naloxone. This combination prevents you from overdosing, a life-threatening emergency we want to help prevent. The providers at 2nd Chance Treatment Center explain more about how Suboxone works. 

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an extremely weak opioid with limited effect. Naloxone prevents you from overdosing.

In addition, Suboxone can also help reduce cravings for more opioids. You feel like your addiction is manageable. You can’t get high from it, which is part of how the drug helps you manage cravings. 

Even if you try taking higher doses of buprenorphine, there’s a built-in “fail-safe.” The drug has an upper limit to how much it can affect you, so you don’t continue to get high as you take more. The naloxone also reverses overdoses, so the potential for abuse is much lower. 

How Suboxone works

You come in to get your Suboxone every day. It’s delivered by a thin film that dissolves on your tongue.

The amounts of buprenorphine and naloxone can vary. The lowest dosage is 2 mg buprenorphine and 0.5 mg naloxone. The highest dose is 12 mg buprenorphine and 3 mg naloxone.

How much you’ll be given depends on which opioid you’re withdrawing from, and whether that opioid is short-acting or long-acting. The goal is to enable you to experience as few withdrawal symptoms as possible. We want to help keep you as comfortable as we can during this process.

Suboxone side effects

Although suboxone can be a part of an effective treatment plan, it does sometimes present certain side effects. Some of the most common side effects of Suboxone treatment include the following:

Some people may experience more serious side effects, even though this is less common. In some severe cases, it can also cause other significant problems. These include the following:

It’s important to remember that if your loved one is taking Suboxone, we keep an eye on their vital signs to catch any such problems early.

Is Suboxone addictive?

You can develop a physical dependency on Suboxone, but a dependency does not equal addiction. Most people are generally pretty good at self-regulating on Suboxone and avoid abusing it, although it’s possible to do so. Most people in recovery prefer to avoid putting themselves back at risk of using again, which encourages compliance with Suboxone.

It’s not about just trading one addiction for another, as some critics have claimed. It gives people control over their own recovery. If your loved one has opioid use disorder and you would like to learn more about Suboxone treatment, call the providers at 2nd Chance Treatment Center, or request an appointment online.

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