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12.01.2017

How Long Should I Be On Suboxone To Get Completely Clean?

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist that is comprised of both buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is capable of partially binding to opioid receptors in the brain, helping to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Naloxone (the main ingredient in Narcan) is a full opioid agonist that completely blocks opioid receptors. It is effective in preventing misuse, overdose, and the potential revival of those who have suffered an opioid overdose.

Suboxone is most often consumed via a sublingual film, but is also available in a sublingual tablet. Once taken, it reaches the opioid receptors in the brain and starts binding and interacting to them. That action results in minimized withdrawal symptoms (such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, etc.) and manageable cravings, if any. If you are including Suboxone into your overall treatment plan, you will begin to benefit from it in these ways, but only if you take it as prescribed. If you miss a dose, the National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment (NAABT) recommends taking it when you remember, but only if it’s only been a few hours since you forgot. Taking Suboxone doses too close together isn’t harmful, rather it is just ineffective.

How Long Should I Be On Suboxone?

Heroin is a dangerous drug derived from the opium poppy. It is illegal in the United States. Heroin is highly addictive. Drug rehab centers often use another drug, Suboxone, to help people break their heroin addictions. Read on for more information on Suboxone and its use in treating heroin addiction.

When you abuse a drug like heroin, your body develops a tolerance for it. This means that you must take increasing dosages of heroin in order to get the same high. When you attempt to quit using heroin, you experience withdrawal symptoms, including the following:

  • Feeling jittery
  • Vomiting
  • Getting chills
  • Muscle aches and pains

Suboxone is a drug that contains buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is used to treat not only heroin addiction but other opioid addictions, too. Buprenorphine, a partial agonist to opioids, produces a mild form of the effects of opioids. It basically fools the brain into thinking your opioid craving has been met, though it does not produce the same high. However, because Buprenorphine and Suboxone do not create the same high as opioids, Suboxone and Buprenorphine are difficult to form an addiction to. Naloxone, another component of Suboxone, works as an antagonist to opioids.

Length of Use for Suboxone

Suboxone is a drug that must usually be taken for a long time to promote opioid recovery. Because Suboxone is a partial agonist, it still allows people to form some opioid dependence. When addicts attempt to stop taking Suboxone, they need to taper their dosage under the care of a medical professional.

People who take Suboxone for a short period, such as a month, usually end up relapsing and returning to opioid abuse. Thus, Suboxone should be taken for an extended period. Taking it for six months to one year is the norm, and many people take it for even longer. However, every patient is different. A medical professional can monitor the patient’s progress and advise on how long each patient should take Suboxone.

Dangers of Long-Term Suboxone Use

While taking Suboxone can be highly beneficial in your recovery, using it long-term can be dangerous. This is a drug that is only meant to be used for the short period of time when your body is detoxing from opioids and is adjusting to that physiological change. When Suboxone is used more than that, it can produce the reemergence of withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of motivation
  • Joint and muscle pain 
  • Sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Long-term Suboxone use can also cause the development of psychosis, which is characterized by mental health symptoms that signal a loss of touch with reality. The National Alliance on Mental Health (NIMH) reports that psychosis can result in the following symptoms:

  • Incoherent speech
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Problems with general functionality
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations

Suboxone Therapy & Treatment in Florida

Suboxone should be used only under the guidance provided in a professional treatment program or under the care of a healthcare professional. Rehab clinicians can administer the correct dosage, and Suboxone can also be prescribed by a doctor. By pairing Suboxone with other therapies, clinicians and physicians can help addicts fight their addictions. Genesis House in Florida helps individuals struggling with long-term Suboxone use live a life free from addiction. Call us today for help at 800-737-0933

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