Suboxone is medication marketed by Reckitt Benckiser, containing the synthetic opioid buprenorphine
. Suboxone has medical uses for addiction therapy and chronic pain. Although it is sometimes used recreationally, suboxone is not at high risk for abuse. It differs from Subutex, another medication that contains buprenorphine, in that it contains the chemical naloxone as well. Naloxone is a drug that counteracts the effects of opioids on the body. Effectively, ingestion of suboxone both curbs drug cravings with the buprenorphine, and prevents the individual from being able to achieve a high with the naloxone.
Use of Suboxone for Addiction Therapy
Suboxone has become a leading choice for treating those with opioid addiction. Now more popular than methadone, suboxone is prescribed by many doctors and is commonly used at rehabilitation centers. As a opioid, buprenorphine can significantly ease withdrawal symptoms. The cravings to use opioids among users attempting to stop are often what drive them to use again. While on suboxone, the addict does not go through such harsh withdrawal effects as they are still taking an opioid. Also, the naloxone in the pill prevents the user from using suboxone recreationally. Naloxone blocks the opioid from affecting the body, so the user is not able to achieve a high off their drug of choice either, whether it is morphine, heroin, oxycontin, or any other opioid.
Suboxone Side Effects and Withdrawal
Although suboxone is taking precedence as the superior choice for opiate withdrawal, there are some criticisms. One major criticism of suboxone is the withdrawal from it is sometimes quite harsh. Some users experience much of the same symptoms from its withdrawal as other opioids. Generally, since buprenorphine is a short acting and partially active opioid, withdrawal symptoms are a bit less severe when stopping suboxone. Symptoms of suboxone withdrawal may include nausea, vomiting, and anxiety.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Although suboxone may provide effective means for curbing drug cravings, therapeutic work is often required to maintain sobriety. Drug addiction has deeper roots than a physical craving, as addicts usually are running from emotion or psychological pain, trauma, or a mental illness. Often, those who struggle with drug addiction also struggle with depression
, bipolar disorder
, or any number of psychological disorders. There are many options for drug treatment, and each treatment route has different pros and cons. Residential treatment facilities offer an environment free of temptation and staffed with full-time professionals. However, the addict must be willing to take a break from everyday life for a period of time, and this may be a struggle for those with jobs or in school. Outpatient treatment programs offer similar services, such as therapy, family workshops, and support services. However, the individual is not required to be a resident, and may return home at night. There are also a number of transitional living opportunities for those new in recovery, as well as support groups such as twelve-step groups.
Suboxone is a good option to consider for those who are struggling with an opioid addiction, but it should not be taken unless prescribed by a medical professional. Also, you should consider taking action to ensure your sobriety by attending some form of treatment. With the variety of options available, research should be done and phone calls should be made before deciding which choice is right for you.