Suboxone is a useful tool that is often implemented to fight addiction. Suboxone is a brand-name drug that is a mixture of buprenorphine (an opioid alternative that is not as addictive as traditional opiates) and naloxone (an opioid-reversal drug that treats symptoms of withdrawal and overdose). Classified as a schedule III (3) drug, Suboxone itself does have the potential for physical and/or psychological dependence, and in rare cases can even be misused and abused. It’s important for potential Suboxone candidates to be aware of this so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they feel Suboxone would be an appropriate and effective tool to use during recovery. Suboxone is available in both dissolvable oral films and traditional tablets.
When used in conjunction with traditional addiction therapies, as well as both regular and random drug testing, providers have reported a higher rate of success among their patients. When used in this fashion, Suboxone is considered to be MAT – medication-assisted treatment.
How does Suboxone work?
Suboxone works in two ways. First, the buprenorphine, which is a type of opiate, functions in the brain the same way other opiates do – by binding to opiate receptors and tricking the brain into thinking it is being treated by a traditional opiate. Secondly, the naloxone stays present in the body to prevent both withdrawal from traditional opiates, as well as overdose. Buprenorphine is technically a partial opioid agonist, and in the brain, it works as a step-down from traditional, stronger opiates. In taking the place of other opiates, the buprenorphine in Suboxone both tricks the brain into thinking it is still receiving traditional opiates and protects against withdrawal and overdose thanks to the inclusion of naloxone.
Why Suboxone is effective in aiding addiction recovery.
Suboxone is effective because it replaces traditional opiates, while not being nearly as dangerous nor as addictive as traditional opiates. Federal mandates have made Suboxone both accessible and affordable, and with the film version specifically, a lack of pre-authorization requirements means no hoops to jump through in order to obtain Suboxone. Doctors and psychiatrists alike are licensed to prescribe Suboxone, and addiction clinics are able and willing to set up clients with both therapy and MAT – Suboxone as medication-assisted treatment.
How to use Suboxone: dosage and frequency.
Since Suboxone works in the brain in a similar fashion as regular opiates, users report pain relief, calmness, a lack of both cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and an improved overall sense of well-being. However, it is important to take Suboxone as prescribed and to be aware of how long it lasts in the body, in order to achieve optimal effectiveness.
Once in the body, it can take up to 37 hours for Suboxone to wear off, and a full eight days before blood and urine tests no longer detect traces of the drug. With such a long half-life, users report needing less Suboxone in relation to other opiates. Of course, there are factors that determine how much Suboxone a user will need, and how long the medication will last in their system. These factors include body weight, age, and abuse history. It is for this reason that it is best to undergo a thorough physical prior to being prescribed Suboxone. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.
No two addicts — nor their addictions — are alike. And depending on how you respond to Suboxone, as well as changes in your body, health, and lifestyle, you may find that over time you may need to increase or decrease the amount of Suboxone you take in a day, or even in a dose. Some users respond best from one dose in a 24 hour period, while others, particularly users who have digestive mal-absorption issues, may do better with splitting up one dose into two or three smaller doses.
Most importantly, work in conjunction with your therapist and doctor to ensure you are on the proper Suboxone prescription. Take your medication as prescribed, and if you do experience any cravings or withdrawal symptoms, report these right away so that your medical providers can adjust your dosage — and perhaps your therapy regimen — accordingly. Call us today at 800-737-0933.