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Suboxone: Buprenorphine and Naloxone

Suboxone is a prescription drug that is a mix of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. When we say “Suboxone,” we’re really talking about two drugs that are mixed together: buprenorphine and naloxone.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid antagonist. This means that it can cause effects like that of other narcotics (it binds to the same receptors in the brain as heroin and methadone do), but not to the same extent. The feel good feeling is considerably less pronounced and also not as habit-forming according to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The abuse potential is much less for abuse.

Buprenorphine is used to help wean addicts off their current opioids such as painkillers and heroin by providing them with a less harmful alternative. There still are risk factors involved when dealing with any opioids and that is why the other ingredient is needed, Naloxone.

Naloxone is a narcotic but also souly just an opioid antagonist. This means that it actually undoes the effects of other narcotics. But there is a reason heroin addicts are not simply prescribed a course of naloxone: the reversal effects can be so severe that patients can experience withdrawal symptoms immediately and this is also known as precipitated withdrawal.

These may include:

Nausea

Vomiting

Agitation

Sweating

Restless Legs

Suboxone Addiction

A downside of suboxone is that even in normal dosage it can become habit-forming, especially in those whose dependence on narcotics has left them particularly vulnerable to any kind of opioid influence.

In most Addiction Treatment Programs, a taper of suboxone is done before completion of treatment to ensure there are no long-term withdrawal effects. Each detoxification process varies according to the user and length of use. We see many individuals who have been prescribed suboxone for a long period of time if they were considered chronic relapsers. These individuals will have a more difficult time withdrawing and detoxing than those who have only used the drug for a number of weeks.

If not, these are common effects the withdrawal can have on an individual, very similar to any opioid withdrawal process.

What to Expect During Suboxone Detoxification

Detox from suboxone is often uncomfortable, and the withdrawal symptoms are divided into two phases: early and late.

Initial Symptoms of Suboxone Withdrawals

Agitation

Insomnia

Runny Nose

Anxiety

Muscle cramps/aches

Sweating, Hot Flashes

Yawning

Additional Symptoms of Suboxone Withdrawals

Dilated pupils

Abdominal cramping

Nausea

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Bone pain

Because of the length suboxone stays in the system, withdrawal effects may not be visible for sometimes up to after 37 hours.

Onset of symptoms depends upon the degree of dependence prior to stopping oxycodone usage. The longer and more frequent the use, the shorter the onset of symptoms.

More dependent users experience withdrawal symptoms within a shorter time period than less dependent users. However, psychological symptoms of withdrawal can last longer.

Along with Withdrawal, Addiction to Suboxone Poses Many More Dangers

Going “Cold Turkey” with suboxone is highly unrecommended. The “Cold

Turkey” method of detox is when an individual tries to quit the drug use independently. We see this so unsuccessful majority of the time because of the cravings combined with an extremely unpleasant withdrawal. This can be so uncomfortable, it is often unable to be tolerated without medications, guidance and encouragement. The Beaches Treatment Center, we combined medication and counseling to get the client the maximum support that is required.

When the drug use continues for weeks, months or even years it has many negative results on physical health. As previously mentioned, suboxone messes with your body’s natural endorphins, this creates depression, anxiety, stress, and physical pain. The threat of this pain is a main deterrent for those seeking treatment for addictions to any opioid based drug.

During a withdrawal from suboxone, physical pain should be expected and is often severe. The withdrawal process is so great that most times a “cold turkey” detox is unsuccessful because of the high levels of uncomfort. Without having a medical detox, the desire to use will be strong and without 24/7 care return to use of the drug happens more than not.

The sick feelings of nausea and vomiting that come from an suboxone detox will also make it difficult for you to eat and drink. Dehydration is a common symptom that makes the unsupervised detox the most dangerous. An unsupervised detoxification process allows you to go through pain that you do not have to go through while your wellbeing is at stake. A proper treatment program for suboxone addiction under the care of a trained medical and clinical staff is always the best option.

The Beaches PRP and IOP Levels of Care for Suboxone Addiction

At The Beaches all of our highly trained therapists use evidence-based treatment practices with all of our clients suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. Common medications used at The Beaches are EMDR Trauma, Mindfulness Cognitive, Cognitive Behavioral, Creative Arts Groups, and many more. If you look under our Therapies section, you can read more about the specifics of each therapy.

The PHP and IOP levels of care provided by The Beaches is important because in order to prevent relapse it is suggested a 60-90 day rehabilitation process is completed. We offer an individualized treatment program because it is essential to begin treating the root causes of drug use and addiction and everyone’s care is different.

Our goal here at The Beaches Treatment Center is to support our clients during their recovery journey and always encourage their continuous growth. We know that the more supported our clients feel, the more courage they will have to continue in their battle against OxyContin addiction.

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