Is there a safer alternative to Suboxone detox? Other than a detox with no opioid medication at all, the answer is probably no. Suboxone is very safe when prescribed by medical professionals. It will ease your way through withdrawal and allow your brain to adjust to the absence of your opioid of choice. It’s one of the best ways to get through the opioid withdrawal process, hands down. Suboxone is much safer than methadone. If your drug of choice is heroin and you’ve been injecting it, just about anything is safer than that. You’re risking your life because the heroin could be cut with fentanyl without your knowledge. Dirty heroin could also carry dangerous bacteria to your heart valves and result in a life-threatening infection. Even snorted or smoked heroin could cause a fatal overdose if fentanyl is present.
The only other way to detox, other than cold turkey, would be to do a taper with your drug of choice. This is only an option if your drug is pharmaceutical and you get it from a pharmacy. Of course, this means you’re abusing your prescribed opioid medication, but this is common. You could plan a taper using your own medication.
First, you will need a trusted person to hold the pills and give you only what you need for that day. If you’re on a higher dose, try cutting your dose in half to start. If this produces withdrawal symptoms, go up towards your normal dose until symptoms abate. Then, start from there. Limit dose reductions to no more than 10 percent a week to avoid withdrawal symptoms. If you can tolerate it, you can go faster, but it’s not a race. It will take as long as it takes. This taper plan assumes you get enough pills to taper with. If not, you’ll have to tolerate some withdrawal symptoms or else see a detox professional or methadone clinic doctor for a supervised taper using only those medications.
Talk to your Doctor
Another alternative would be to ask your prescribing doctor for a taper plan. Just tell him or her you’d rather stop the medication. You don’t have to say why. If you admit you’re addicted, you’ll cross a legal line and your doctor will be obligated to refuse to prescribe the medication to you anymore, so be aware of that. The problem with a self-taper plan is that few people who are addicted can stick to the taper because they’ve lost the ability to control their drug use. This is why someone else must keep the pills where you can’t access them.
After your drug of choice is gone from your life and even while you’re doing your taper, there will be a big hole in your life where the drugs used to be. You will need to fill this with something else, such as work, volunteering, new hobbies, new friends, spending time with your animals, hiking, riding horses or whatever else you enjoy. If you don’t do this, you’ll likely find yourself sliding back into drug use. Every former addict is under constant threat of relapse no matter how long they’ve been sober. No one is safe.
Sobriety requires constant vigilance and the tools you will only learn in substance abuse rehab treatment. You will need professional help to stop using your drug in the long run. Detox is only the first step. By itself, it means little.
Suboxone and Methadone
These are both good options to a self-taper. You won’t become addicted to them during a taper because you won’t be taking them long enough and in high enough doses for that. Your treatment professional will begin reducing your dose slowly but immediately. Addiction under these circumstances is unlikely. Of course, many people take these medications for the long term. This is not cheating and doesn’t mean you’re not clean. Some people simply can’t get by without some kind of opioid substitute because their brains have been altered by their past opioid use.
Many former opioid users will describe this as feeling like something is missing. This feeling goes away when Suboxone or methadone is present. Neither of these drugs causes euphoria for former opioid abusers. You will just feel normal and free of withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you different. They’re wrong.
For More Information
There are many roads to sobriety, but they all begin with detox and drug rehab treatment. We’re here 24 hours a day at 844-903-2111 to help you get your life back on track through referrals to the best drug detox and treatment in your area. We’re here to help.