Suboxone: A Tool for Opioid Addiction Recovery

Suboxone: A Tool for Opioid Addiction Recovery

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Discover how Suboxone aids in opioid addiction treatment, easing withdrawal and curbing cravings. Learn about its benefits, considerations, and journey to recovery

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a prescription medication approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Opioid use disorder (OUD). It contains a combination of two medications called Buprenorphine and Naloxone.
Buprenorphine, a partial Opioid agonist, blocks the Opioid receptors in the brain that helps to reduce significant withdrawal symptoms from Opioid detox and can help reduce a person’s urges for Opioids in recovery when used under medical supervision.
The second ingredient, Naloxone, was created to reverse the dangerous symptoms of Opioid overdose. The inclusion of Naloxone with Buprenorphine is to assist with long-term recovery goals by making it difficult to abuse as a substance. This has helped to make Suboxone a safer alternative medication for those with OUD who benefit from continued long-term use as a form of Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT).
In recent years, Suboxone has become the preferred treatment medication for OUD. It is prescribed more often than other medications, such as Methadone, which has been known to be habit-forming in nature.

Using Suboxone for Opioid Recovery

Suboxone is widely used to help with Opioid problems, whether from prescription meds like OxyContin or strong synthetic drugs like Heroin or Fentanyl. Professionals decide when to use it, following certain guidelines.
First, during withdrawal, Suboxone is given after 12-24 hours of stopping other Opioids to avoid bad symptoms. It helps people feel better within days or hours.
After managing withdrawal safely, treatment options are discussed, which might involve gradually reducing Suboxone doses to quit. In some cases, using Suboxone alongside therapy is suggested for better recovery.

Suboxone Side Effects

Suboxone helps with Opioid addiction, but it’s essential to know it can make you dependent. Medicines like this need caution because they can be habit-forming and need a doctor’s supervision.
Also, don’t stop taking Suboxone suddenly without talking to your doctor. It can cause bad effects and make you feel like you’re going through Opioid withdrawal, causing things like:
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Feeling very irritated
  • Big pupils in your eyes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling jittery
  • Having a runny stomach

If you notice any problems while using Suboxone, talk to your doctor. Some issues it can cause include:

  • Feeling like you have the flu
  • Throwing up
  • Sweating a lot
  • Stomach hurting
  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Teeth problems
  • Shaky feelings
  • Hard time breathing
  • Hurting, including nerve pain

Pros and Cons of Suboxone: What to Know

  1. Helps with withdrawal: Suboxone helps people addicted to drugs transition to a drug-free life by easing withdrawal symptoms.
  2. Reduces cravings: Suboxone contains buprenorphine, which can reduce the urge for drugs by attaching to the same brain parts as opioids.
  3. Safer choice: Suboxone is safer than other opioids, having a lower risk of causing severe breathing problems or overdose.
  4. Improves life quality: Suboxone treatment can make life better for those with opioid addiction by helping avoid the bad effects of drug use.
  5. Less shame: Suboxone treatment can be less embarrassing than other treatments, like methadone, as it can be given by a regular doctor and doesn’t need special clinics.
Things to be careful about (Cons):
  1. Can cause dependency: Suboxone is an opioid, like other drugs in this category, making it possible to get hooked and dependent on it.
  2. Has side effects: Suboxone can lead to issues like constipation, feeling sick, throwing up, dizziness, sweating, and tiredness.
  3. Possible overdose: Even though Suboxone is safer than other opioids, taking too much can still be harmful, especially when mixed with other similar medications.
  4. Can be expensive: Suboxone might cost more than other addiction treatments, making it hard for some people to afford.
  5. May not be everywhere: Suboxone might not be available in all places or might only be given through certain programs, limiting who can get the help they need.
Is Suboxone a controlled substance?

Is Suboxone a controlled substance?

Yes, Suboxone is a controlled substance. It’s classified as a Schedule III prescription drug. This means that it has an accepted medical use, but it may cause physical or psychological dependence and has a risk of being misused. (Misuse refers to using a drug in a way other than how it’s prescribed.)
The government has created special rules for how Schedule III drugs can be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacist. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more.
Doctors can only prescribe this drug for opioid dependence after receiving special training and certification through the U.S. federal government.

Suboxone for withdrawal

Suboxone is sometimes prescribed off-label to help manage opioid withdrawal symptoms as part of a detoxification program. It may help reduce how severe symptoms are.
Detoxification programs are generally short-term, inpatient treatment plans that help people stop using drugs such as opioids or alcohol.
Opioid dependence treatment, on the other hand, is a longer-term approach to reducing dependence on opioids, with most of the treatment being done on an outpatient basis.

Withdrawal timeline

Reports of Suboxone withdrawal showed that most symptoms typically peak by the third and fourth days of withdrawal, and could last up to 2 weeks.
Below is a chart showing possible Suboxone withdrawal symptomsTrusted Source and a timeline of how long they may last.
Symptoms lasting about 24 to 72 hours:
  • muscle and joint aches or pain
  • cold-like symptoms
Symptoms lasting up to 1 week (including withdrawal day 5):
• anxiety
• restlessness
Symptoms lasting up to 10 days (including withdrawal day 9):
• increased tear production
• pupil dilation
• yawning more than usual
• runny or stuffy nose
Symptoms lasting up to a few months:
  • opioid cravings
  • general discomfort
Symptoms lasting about 24 to 72 hours: Symptoms lasting up to 1 week (including withdrawal day 5 Symptoms lasting up to 10 days (including withdrawal day 9
muscle and joint aches or pain anxiety increased tear production
cold-like symptoms restlessness pupil dilation
yawning more than usual
runny or stuffy nose

Where Is Suboxone Available?

To access Suboxone, a prescription from an authorized doctor is necessary. It should only be used as directed for approved conditions, and regular check-ins with the doctor are usually essential due to its specific components.

Looking for a place to start?

With GloFusion Take the first step towards recovery with Suboxone—reach out to a healthcare professional to discuss if it’s the right choice for your journey to a drug-free life.