Suboxone is a sublingual tablet prescribed to aid those experiencing opioid withdrawal. The main active ingredient in Suboxone is buprenorphine, which is a partially activating opioid with strong binding power. The partially activating aspect of buprenorphine allows it to curb withdrawal symptoms by providing opioids to the brain. Buprenorphine does not bind to all opioid receptors negating the euphoric side effects of opioids. Mild effects of euphoria, fatigue and nausea may be experienced. If opioids are consumed while on Suboxone their effects will be limited or non-existent. Other substances with less binding power cannot reach the brain because buprenorphine blocks opioid receptors.
Another ingredient in Suboxone is naloxone, which is a opioid antagonist. When Suboxone is taken as prescribed naloxone’s effects are unnoticeable. If Suboxone is taken in large doses, the naloxone takes effect, removing opioids from receptors in the brain. Instead of achieving euphoria, the patient will experience rapid opioid withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is also activated when it is taken incorrectly, such as intravenously or through insufflation.
Suboxone for Addiction Therapy
Opioid addiction is one of the most dangerous addictions due to its high risk of physical and psychological dependence. Withdrawal symptoms may include nausea, fever, weakness, fatigue, and irritability. Length and frequency of opioid abuse directly affects the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone is usually prescribed several days after the patients last opioid use to ensure rapid withdrawal symptoms do not occur. While taking Suboxone patients do not exhibit withdrawal symptoms and experience less severe opioid cravings. A person may take Suboxone as a short-term treatment while they detox or as long-term treatment to continue the supply of opioids. Long-term treatment ensures the patient will never experience withdrawal symptoms. Studies are currently being conducted to assess the effects of long-term Suboxone use but no conclusions have been reached.
In order to administer the medication Suboxone doctors must meet certain criteria and become DATA-2000 certified. This certification allows physicians to prescribe Schedule III, IV, and V medications to patients suffering from opioid withdrawal. Suboxone doctors must exhibit significant experience and understanding of opioid withdrawal in order to receive certification. The DATA-2000 certification requirements have been put in place to ensure that potentially harmful substances like Suboxone are not administered incorrectly. Incorrect Suboxone use can be dangerous and in some cases fatal. Suboxone doctors can be found in online treatment directories and most addiction related facilities employ DATA-2000 certified physicians.