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What is Suboxone Like?
Suboxone is an approved medication for MAT. As stated on the Harvard Health Blog:
Suboxone, a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, is one of the main medications used for medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for opiate addiction. Use of MATs has been shown to lower the risk of fatal overdoses by approximately 50%. Suboxone works by tightly binding to the same receptors in the brain as other opiates, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. By doing so, it blunts intoxication with these other drugs, it prevents cravings, and it allows many people to transition back from a life of addiction to a life of relative normalcy and safety.
There are a few myths concerning Suboxone that we can dispel for you.
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One of the myths is that by taking Suboxone, you are not really in recovery. This is far from the truth. Just because you are using an FDA approved medication does not mean you are simply trading one drug for another. Abstinence is not the only way to recovery even if some believe so. If a person who has Type 2 Diabetes is on insulin, it does not mean that they are not trying to maintain their blood glucose levels. The Suboxone is a medication just like any other.
Some people are under the impression that many people abuse the Suboxone. While it is like an opiate and can be abused, there is a difference. Suboxone is a partial antagonist. What this means is that it does not create the same level of euphoria as an opioid such as heroin. For the most part, some may “abuse” it to manage their withdrawals better.
You can overdose just like with an opioid. While an overdoes may be possible under the right circumstances, it is extremely rare that someone would. This is because as mentioned above – it is only a partial antagonist. Not only are there a limited number of opioid receptors but it does not create the same slowed breathing as other opioids. It has its own ceiling effect due to its composition as a partial antagonist.
You should take it briefly. Just like someone on any type of medication, you take it as long as you needed. There is no discernible research stating that it can only be taken for a short period.
An obstacle in treatment is that not everyone can afford it or has insurance. Some people are only able to receive the Suboxone without counseling and therapy. This is where we come in to help. Combined, the MAT program works best along with counseling, therapy, and a good support group.
Now there is a drawback with taking medication used to help control withdrawals and make recovery easier. This is the wait time between the drug and the medication.
One of the issues is that a patient has to be off of any and all opioid or opioid-type products typically for one week or up to two full weeks. This also includes the use of methadone.
Let’s say a patient is addicted to oxycontin and is on methadone. They cannot immediately be placed on another type of medication or product. Nor can a person come right out of detox and be immediately put on a Medication Assisted Treatment. There is a specific reason for this. The antagonist has much more of a correspondence for the mu receptors in the brain. What this means is that if the person does not wait the full time and there are opioids occupying those receptors, when the antagonist is used it kicks off the opioids. This means that the person suffers from extreme withdrawal symptoms.
And therein lies the problem for some people. They feel they cannot or will not choose to not use for the time needed, whether it’s a week or two weeks. They may not want to go through the withdrawal symptoms of doing without for even a day or so, let alone up to two weeks. So that is why although the program is successful, it is sometimes a challenge for patients to accept.
The good news is that suboxone has a shorter wait time. It depends on the type of drug being used but the longest time is a week. The shortest time wait is 8-12 hours for morphine. Each type of drug has a different wait time. For example:
- Morphine: 8-12 hours
- Heroin: 12-24 hours
- Oxycodone and hydrocodone: 12-24 hours
- Oxymorphone: 24-30 hours
- Methadone: 36 hours to a week
There is something called precipitated withdrawal. This is the rapid onset of opioid withdrawal symptoms brought on by taking a medication such as Suboxone before the last of the other opioids are completely out of your bloodstream. And this is why the wait time is important so that these precipitated withdrawal symptoms do not occur.
Medication-Assisted Treatment should be tailored to the individual. Not everyone is the same, nor does everyone respond to the same treatment. Yet, by reducing the stigma about treatment and finding the support that is needed for those with an opioid disorder, help can successfully be achieved.
Freedom Now cares about you and getting you the help you need. We know how busy and hectic life can get. Our unique, individualized treatment programs are designed to fit your lifestyle while getting you the immediate help you deserve. Our board-certified addiction psychiatrist and team of medical and clinical professionals will help get you started on a plan geared toward long term freedom.
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SUBSTANCE ABUSE & MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT OPTIONS:
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