Tag Archives: buprenorphine

Do Any Detox Programs in South Florida Use Alternative Medications Like Buprenorphine?

If you live in southern Florida, and you’re considering entering a drug treatment program for opioid addiction, you’re probably wondering what the detox procedure will be like. You probably already know that opioid withdrawal is painful. It’s only natural to wonder what types of medications are used to ease the opioid withdrawal process. Do any southern Florida rehab facilities use buprenorphine for opioid withdrawal?

The answer is, yes, many of them do. But what is buprenorphine? What benefits does it have?

Buprenorphine is a synthetic opioid. It’s most commonly combined with another medication called naloxone. This combination medication is known by its brand name, Suboxone. Naloxone is actually a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses. It’s widely known as Narcan. It’s included in the Suboxone formulation to discourage intravenous abuse of the buprenorphine. When taken by mouth as directed, the naloxone in Suboxone will have little to no effect. However, if the Suboxone is injected, the naloxone will act to block any euphoric effects from the buprenorphine. Similarly, buprenorphine produces little to no euphoria when taken orally.

How Buprenorphine Works

Buprenorphine eases opioid withdrawal symptoms by occupying certain opioid brain receptors. It has a high receptor affinity. This is a fancy way of saying that buprenorphine will block the euphoric effects of any other opioids which may be taken concurrently. Buprenorphine also has a very long half-life. This means that a single dose can last for a full 24 hours.

Buprenorphine can be used as both a detoxification agent and as a maintenance drug. When given in decreasing doses over a period of time, the drug can greatly ease withdrawal symptoms. Many South Florida rehab facilities use buprenorphine to gradually and comfortably wean their clients off of their opioid drug of choice. It can also be used as a take-home opioid maintenance drug. It must be prescribed by a specially licensed Suboxone physician, but it can be filled at any pharmacy. The patient then takes their daily dose in the privacy of their own home. Although addictive in itself, buprenorphine is certainly better than injecting illicit opioids such as heroin. It allows many former users to live a normal life once again.

If you Need Help with Opiates

Now that you know that buprenorphine therapy is available to you, it’s time to give us a call. A lot of South Florida rehab facilities use buprenorphine as part of their treatment plan for their clients. Let us help you find the right rehab for you. Call us at 800-737-0933 at any time of the day or night. You will find reassurance and guidance. We look forward to your call.

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

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.

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. Call us today for help 800-737-0933

FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Approval of Implanted Buprenorphine

FDALast week a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel recommended the approval of a new medication designed to treat opiate addiction, called probuphine. While the main ingredient of the drug, buprenorphine, isn’t new, the controversial delivery method definitely is. The way the drug is administered is by implanting under the skin, where it then slowly releases lower doses of buprenorphine into the blood stream.

Currently, buprenorphine is one of the most popular medications to help alleviate the extreme cravings that are associated with heroin and prescription painkillers as well as to lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms if used in a tapering process. With the continuation of the opioid epidemic, many physicians and treatment specialists welcome new methods of addressing this deadly issue.

Having an implanted device that controls the release of the drug allows for more precise administration as well as prevents skipping doses, thus theoretically reducing relapse. However, as critics pointed out, the information presented to the FDA wasn’t thorough enough.

“It is disappointing that the advisory committee set such a low bar for safety and effectiveness. Is probuphine effective? We still don’t know because the study was poorly designed and missing data,” said Tracy Rupp, a pharmacist and director of public health policy initiatives at the National Center for Health Research.

“This is not the real world of opioid addiction,” Rupp continued. “Many of these patients will require treatment for years. We need long-term safety data from diverse populations. Patients will require a new incision every 6 months, creating an ongoing risk of harm due to bleeding and infectious complications.”

There is a strong argument for medical intervention when it comes to opioid abuse, however probuphine may not be the answer. It appears that the FDA may be willing to move forward with the implant, but only with addicts who have been on buprenorphine stably and would benefit from the new way of administering it.

The President Targets Opiate Addiction

obamaopioidsDespite the fact that elected officials in several states have openly vowed to address the prescription painkiller and heroin problems, there hasn’t been much talk coming from the White House on the subject. Some people in the drug rehab and prevention field have criticized the President for this, as the problem has escalated substantially over the last several years.

However, President Obama recently announced an initiative while at a public appearance in West Virginia that described an approach to target more of the system than individual users. For example, there is the commitment that more than half a million healthcare professionals will complete opioid prescriber training over the next two years. This is an effort to reduce the unnecessarily large amount of opioids being given to people, especially when other treatments might be more effective and much less dangerous.

At the same time, the White House aims to double the number of doctors who are certified to prescribe buprenorphine for opiod addiction over the next three years. That would push the total to around 60,000 physicians. Additionally, the intent is to double the number of providers that prescribe naloxone and the number who are registered with their prescription drug monitoring programs.

“More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do from motor vehicle crashes,” Mr. Obama said. “The majority of those overdoses involve legal prescription drugs. I don’t have to tell you, this is a terrible toll.”

Many in the treatment industry are applauding these efforts, but some are wondering if they are sufficient considering the size of the problem.

The nation is currently in the process of a drug policy overhaul, and the heroin and prescription narcotic crisis is one of the main catalysts forcing this change. It will take a major commitment on many fronts to have a significant impact and reverse the trends, though there are some recent signs that opioid addiction may at least be leveling off instead of increasing.

Of course on an individual level, finding a successful treatment program like Genesis House is one of the most effective first steps toward ending the abuse.