Buprenorphine, the partial opioid in Suboxone, is a partial opioid that at one time was thought to deter addiction. For a select few people, though, a “mild euphoria” can come from the drug and thus lead to the same addiction and drug-seeking behavior that sometimes comes about with recurring use of opioids. Suboxone has two drugs in one: Naloxone and Buprenorphine. When these two drugs are combined into what is known as Suboxone, it’s the Naloxone that is there to deter abuse.
Naloxone is said to block the opioid effects of Buprenorphine, meaning that even if you take large doses of Suboxone, you’re eventually going to hit the ceiling of effect and not experience an increasing euphoria. Despite the way science says this is supposed to work, some people do become addicted to Suboxone and do experience withdrawal effects when they’re coming off of it.
The Benefits of Suboxone
When someone is addicted to opiates like heroin and fentanyl, life becomes a roller coaster ride of physical and emotional anguish. Drug-seeking behavior makes people do things they wouldn’t normally do, resulting in an increasing number of losses and even physical pain depending on how bad the addiction gets. Treatment with Suboxone works for some people. Since the non-opioid drug in the compound blocks most of the effects of the opioid, you don’t get a major high as you do with regular opiates. This can satisfy the craving for an opiate without giving you the addictive euphoria opiates normally give users.
Suboxone clinics and even psychiatrists will sometimes prescribe this medication as a sort of “lesser evil” to people who are badly addicted to stronger opiates like Fentanyl and heroin. And for some clients, Suboxone will work because the client won’t become addicted to it and will be able to slowly ween off of the stronger opiates. For other more unfortunate people, this medication itself can become a problem.
Using Suboxone As Directed
When Suboxone is used as directed and a patient follows the directions of the doctor, the drug may be successful in treating opiate addiction in the short-term. Once the more uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms of a strong drug like heroin or Fentanyl are in the past, the patient is then slowly weaned off Suboxone and can withdrawal more comfortably than they would have been able to without the medication. Addiction only becomes a problem if you begin abusing Suboxone the way you would another opiate.
Since the non-opiate agent in this medication blocks most of the effects of the opiate in the medication, there is less likelihood for abuse than you would find with other opiates. That doesn’t mean that a person can’t abuse Suboxone or even become addicted to it over time if they take too much of the medication or don’t follow a doctor’s orders while undergoing Suboxone treatment. Just like any other opioid, even a partial opioid can be destructive if you don’t follow a doctor’s orders and begin to abuse the drug.
Hope For Recovery
If you’ve read about Suboxone and feel like there may be a need for it in your treatment, it’s wise to call on a counselor who is familiar with the drug and how it can help you recover. If you’re addicted to this medication, that same counselor can slowly begin to help you overcome your addiction and move on with your life, just like you would with an addiction to anything else. Like any medication, Suboxone works for some people but not for others. For some, it eases the symptoms of physical and emotional withdrawal from drugs and allows them to more comfortably transition to a drug-free life. For others, Suboxone itself can become an addiction.
Since Suboxone does cause some mild euphoria for some patients, it’s vital that you take it as prescribed by a doctor. Don’t take extra of this medication under any circumstances. For some folks, this is easier said than done, and if a full-blown addiction has developed, it’s time to call a counselor for help, someone who knows about Suboxone and how to deal with any dependence you might have developed on it. When you trust your recovery to a good counselor, miracles can happen, whether you’re coming off of heroin or Suboxone, and even if you’re coming off of Suboxone itself. There is always hope for a brighter tomorrow when you reach out for help.
If you’re ready to learn more or get help, our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions. Call 800-737-0933.