There will always be differing opinions about the best way to help substance abusers get sober and stay sober. The opioid addiction has reached almost crisis levels in the country, so there needs to be something done in order to help. However, there are some treatments that are more controversial than others. One of these treatments is suboxone. This treatment is considered a medication-assisted therapy (MAT), but it can also turn into MAT substance abuse.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is the brand name for a combination medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone and can be used to treat opioid addictions. It is considered a partial opioid agonist, which means that it produces less intense effects, unlike morphine or heroin, but it still does produce some of the effects. Since it does produce the effects of opioids, it can be habit-forming. This drug is more difficult to abuse than other medication-assisted therapies, such as methadone, but it can still be abused. Some people can benefit from this treatment while others may need something else.
The Pros of Suboxone in Addiction Treatment
This medication is most effective if it is combined with other treatment options, such as 12-step meetings. This drug can be prescribed in a doctor’s office or from an addiction clinic, so it is more accessible, which allows more people to get help they need. The drug has been proven effective and has a better success rate for treating opiate addiction since it can reduce withdrawal effects and does prevent addicts from getting high. There is a lower potential for abuse with this drug. There are lower side effects when compared to methadone or other drugs, making it more difficult to abuse. If the tablet is snorted, then the naloxone in the drug will block the brain’s receptors, which will help prevent any sort of high. Using this drug can also help taper the addiction. The goal of recovery is to get clean and stay clean, and the use of replacement drugs will allow doctors to control the amount of drug you are getting. Doctors eventually lower the drug every day to prevent some of the withdrawal symptoms.
One of the other benefits of this drug is that it can help reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal will happen when the body isn’t getting what it’s used to. Withdrawal from opiates can be a challenging process. Some of the withdrawal symptoms include sweating, trouble sleeping, nausea, abdominal pain, and anxiety. With these symptoms, many people want something that can help, which is why this drug is prescribed. When withdrawal symptoms are lessened, users can start focusing on what caused them to start using opioids in the first place. This allows them to focus on getting clean and beating addiction.
The Cons of Suboxone and Medication-Assisted Treatment
There are some risks to taking this drug. Users who are recovering from addiction will need to be on the drug for a long time. As people start to maintain their recovery, they can start to taper off the drug. How long someone will need to be on the drug will depend on their treatment plan and how he or she is responding to treatment. Since the drug does create desirable effects, it can cause dependencies in some people. Once you stop this drug after forming a habit, there may be a withdrawal period. This is still the risk of overdose with this drug. While doctors prescribe how much of the drug should be taken at any one time, patients can still be tempted to take more than prescribed, especially during times of stress. The naloxone in the drug will help prevent intravenous use, but addicts can find other ways to use the buprenorphine in the drug to facilitate abuse. Some addicts even trade this drug for street drugs, since drug dealers can sell buprenorphine to other addicts. This not only creates more crime but also feeds into another addiction and the patient isn’t actually getting clean. If patients are abusing this drug, then they won’t see the benefits and it won’t be helpful to them in overcoming their addiction. It can be harder to kick Suboxone without any professional help.
Some say that switching from basically one opiate to another doesn’t do anything to heal the neurological aspects of an addiction or any emotional factors that play into addiction. Some addiction experts stay that you aren’t considered clean if you are using this drug for long term maintenance of sobriety. The science says is that as long as there are opioids in the system, then the body is manufacturing a lower level of endorphins and increasing the number of receptors in the brain. The tolerance will continue to build and higher doses are needed.
Get Help for Addiction at Rise in Malibu
A medical professional, like those at Rise inn Malibu can help you determine if this treatment is the right fit. Even though there are some drawbacks, there are fewer dangers than with different medication assistance therapies and other forms of treatment.
Call us today at 1-866-229-5267 to get started on your journey to recovery or get started now by verifying your insurance benefits.