Suboxone is a popular medication that is used for helping patients recover from opiate addiction. The use of suboxone not only dramatically reduces the risk of fatal opioid overdoses, it can also help to prevent cravings – and allows individuals to return to a life that is finally free from addiction.
This treatment is a combination medication consisting of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication, also known as a narcotic, and it can help to alleviate severe pain. Naloxone blocks the effects (such as the euphoric “high”) of the opioid medication, thereby helping to reduce opiate addiction.
Suboxone works by tightly binding to the same receptors in the brain as do opiates, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. Suboxone is therefore used to treat opioid dependence and is also an effective aid in pain management. It is a Schedule III substance, making it safer and less addictive than methadone (which in previous years was the favored drug to treat opiate addiction).
Unfortunately, myths surrounding the use of suboxone have created a barrier for some people who seek effective treatment from opiate addiction. Let’s take a look at a few of the myths and who you can talk to in order to find out more about addiction treatment.
Suboxone – Common Myths
Myth #1: “If you take suboxone, you’re not really in recovery”
Addiction is a health condition that requires medical treatment. Although the use of suboxone is a medication-assisted therapy and does not follow an abstinence-based treatment program, suboxone does have a lowered risk of abuse.
It also has a proven success rate in weaning individuals off of addictive opioids gradually, without the debilitating withdrawal symptoms commonly associated with recovery from an opiate addiction. Suboxone can be an effective and safe way to transition from a life of addiction to a normal and stable lifestyle.
Myth #2: “Like opiates, it is easy to overdose on suboxone”
It is very difficult to overdose on suboxone alone. Suboxone is only a partial opiate receptor agonist, meaning it doesn’t fully bind to the opioid receptors in the way that heroin, morphine, or oxycodone does. It has a built-in ‘ceiling’ effect which causes less receptor activation and causes the analgesic activity to plateau. It limits the effect on the opioid receptors, meaning there is far less chance of sedation.
When people do overdose on suboxone treatment, it is most often a result of mixing it with other medicines such as benzodiazepines, which slow down breathing. As with all medications, it is not safe to combine suboxone with certain other medications. It is important to make your doctor aware of all other medications you are taking prior to starting a suboxone treatment program.
Myth #3: “Suboxone is often abused”
Because it is only a partial opiate receptor agonist and has a built-in ceiling effect, it does not cause the same euphoria as do other opiates. It is therefore much less likely to be abused.
Myth #4: “Suboxone shouldn’t be taken long-term”
There are different medical opinions as to how long suboxone treatment should last. There is evidence to suggest that individuals who take suboxone for only a short period, such as a month, are more likely to relapse and return to opioid abuse as compared with those who take it for an extended period, such as 6 months to 1 year. For a successful recovery from opiate addiction, suboxone treatment should be closely monitored by a physician and should be reduced gradually over time.
Myth #5: “Suboxone alone will overcome opiate addiction”
Although suboxone is a successful medication-assisted therapy to combat opiate addiction, it isn’t always effective on its own. For most people who are trying to overcome an addiction to opioids, counseling and self-help programs are essential to prevent relapse.
Suboxone Treatment in Eatonton, GA
If you would like to find out more about suboxone treatment, talk to the experienced doctors at Lake Oconee Concierge Medicine. We offer the very best personalized medical care, and we will work with you to create a customized treatment regimen designed specifically for you.
Our focus is on prevention, early detection of health issues, and overall wellness. We offer 24/7 physician availability as a specialty concierge medical practice.
For more information about the services we offer, call our friendly staff today at (706) 484-9824. You can also sign up now by filling out our online form. We look forward to being your personal healthcare partner for a lifetime of total wellness.