Suboxone is a drug marketed by Reckitt Benckiser for treatment of opioid addiction. Aimed to ease withdrawal symptoms of opioids, Suboxone is prescribed after the individual has stopped abusing opioids. A mixture of the chemicals buprenorphine and naloxone, Suboxone provides both a fast acting opioid and an opioid antagonist. Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid that is quickly metabolized. It is only a partial opioid activator, which means it does not activate as many receptors in the brain as full activators such as heroin, morphine or oxycodone.
The low activation of buprenorphine results in lower addiction rates and less severe withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone it is still an opioid; withdrawal symptoms, abuse potential and potential addiction are all characteristics of opioids. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that is included in small doses in Suboxone tablets. The opioid antagonist property of naloxone prevents the user from being able to achieve a high through opioid abuse while taking Suboxone. The naloxone also keeps the user from being able to abuse Suboxone safely.
The detoxification from opioids is not only painful and strenuous, but can cause irreversible damage. For those who have abused opioids heavily or for a long period of time, detox without medical supervision is dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms generally occur from 6-30 hours after discontinuation of the drug, depending on drug of choice, quantity used and frequency of use. Suboxone must be prescribed by a medical professional with a special license.
Opioid Detox Symptoms Include:
- Cold sweats
As suboxone is only a partial activating opioid, its detox procedure is not as harsh. Suboxone detox does not normally require residence in a medical facility as with most opioids. Suboxone detox withdrawal symptoms are identical to other opioid detox, except that the intensity of the symptoms are severely lessened. Anxiety, irritability, and fatigue are the most common effects of Suboxone detox.
Suboxone use is usually never abruptly stopped by a medical professional. Patients are generally weaned of the medication under medical supervision. As the person slowly tapers their dosage, their body becomes more accustomed to having less opioids and begins to function normally. Suboxone detox is generally a relatively painless process. Doctors who prescribe Suboxone at hospitals and clinics have claimed success rates from 30-80%. Detox from Suboxone less strenuous compared to the detox of long acting, full-activating opioids.
Suboxone substitution alone will not keep an addict from using again. Suboxone detox can be hard for some individuals, and it is important that they have necessary resources to handle the detox process when it occurs. For some individuals, doctors may prescribe Suboxone for up to six months.