Suboxone, a partial opioid agonist, is a prescription medication that has two primary ingredients – buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine is classified as a partial opioid agonist. This ingredient is effective in stimulating the same receptors in the brain that other opioids do, however it does not create the same effects (such as an uncoordinated high). Once buprenorphine is in a person’s system, it blocks the receptors in the brain in ways that help stop withdrawal symptoms and cravings that would otherwise be present.
Naloxone, the other ingredient in Suboxone, is considered an opioid antagonist, or an “opioid blocker.” The presence of this ingredient makes it so individuals do not have to experience the negative side effects of opioids. It helps an individual avoid experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms and overwhelming cravings to use that would otherwise occur.
n immense amount of research has shown that Suboxone is effective in the treatment of opioid addiction. Those who have incorporated Suboxone into their treatment plans report that the medication was successful in keeping withdrawal symptoms and cravings at bay. Suboxone does not produce opioid-related side effects, like extreme euphoria, which makes it less likely to be abused by those who are taking it within a medication assisted treatment program. However, should an individual attempt to abuse Suboxone by taking more than prescribed or using it recreationally, he or she will be unable to get high as he or she would by using other opioids, such a Vicodin or OxyContin.
Defeating an opioid addiction can be incredibly difficult. As soon as an individual becomes hooked on an opioid, he or she will go through a period of withdrawal once his or her use has stopped. Knowing that withdrawal is ahead is often what keeps these individuals continually using. However, through the implementation of a Suboxone treatment regimen, these withdrawal symptoms can be prevented, allowing individuals to view recovery as a worthy option. Not only will Suboxone help these individuals avoid withdrawal symptoms, but it will also assist in decreasing cravings to use opioids.
Yes, Suboxone can be immensely helpful in treating an opioid addiction, however it is not the sole solution to the problem. In addition to the use of Suboxone, it is recommended that individuals also participate in group and individual therapy sessions, as doing so can help establish longevity in recovery. For example, participating in group therapy allows individuals the opportunity to learn from others’ experiences, all while seeing that they are not alone in the challenges they are facing. This aspect of group therapy can help relieve individuals of feelings of isolation and help establish solid confidence in recovery. Similar to group therapy, individual therapy is also beneficial, as it encourages individuals to work through their issues with a counselor on a one-on-one basis. In this safe setting, individuals and their treatment can be monitored by their counselors, and they can also begin feeling supported and heard.
When you take any medication, it is always possible that side effects can develop. Suboxone is no different, as use of it can lead to certain effects. Some of the side effects of Suboxone can include:
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Painful tongue
- Numb mouth
- Blurred vision
- Attention disturbances
- Back and abdominal pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Coordination problems
- Runny nose
If you experience any of these side effects, make your physician aware so that he or she can continually track your physical health during treatment.