How It Works and Is It Safe?
Comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone, Suboxone is a prescription medication given to individuals struggling with an opioid addictions. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist and works with the same brain receptors that opioids do. Buprenorphine, however, does not create the same euphoric high that opioids do, which allows patients to experience lower opioid cravings as well as a reduction in withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that works by offsetting any adverse effects that opioids have on the body. When a patient takes Suboxone they will not experience the painful symptoms of withdrawal nor will they crave any additional opioids. Research has confirmed that when utilized within a medication assisted treatment program, Suboxone is an extremely safe and effective method for those struggling with an addiction to opioids to pursue.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Research has proven that Suboxone is a safe and effective method in treating opioid addiction and dependence. Since Suboxone does not create a euphoric high as opioids do, individuals are able to focus on recovery rather than being consumed by opioid cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, Suboxone is not likely to be abused by patients. Studies have confirmed that when taken as part of a comprehensive treatment program, Suboxone provides patients with the physical relief required so they are able to focus on the emotional components of recovery. By discussing Suboxone with your treatment provider, you will be able to determine if Suboxone is the appropriate medication to incorporate into your treatment plan.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Overcoming an opioid addiction is an extremely difficult task. Once an individual becomes addicted to opioids, he or she will experience extremely uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal once the use of opioids ceases. Knowing that these symptoms will inevitability take place will cause many individuals to continue using. The cycle of addiction entraps many individuals into its tight grasp. By incorporating Suboxone into a comprehensive treatment plan, patients are able to avoid many painful symptoms of withdrawal, while lowering opioid cravings. By tackling the physical components of recovery, Suboxone allows patients to focus on the other elements of treatment.
While Suboxone can aid patients in overcoming the physical aspects of addiction, patients must also obtain support for the emotional components as well. By implementing both group and individual counseling into a comprehensive treatment plan, patients are given the tools required to achieve long-term sobriety. Group therapy provides patients the opportunity to gain support and encouragement from others who understand the struggles associated with addiction and recovery. Patients feel less alone in the recovery process when given the opportunity to converse with others going through treatment as well. Individual therapy sessions allow patients the opportunity to discuss their treatment progress in a safe one-on-one environment with a qualified counselor. Individual sessions provide patients the chance to confidently discuss any concerns that may arise during treatment, as well as track their progression throughout recovery.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction not only affects the individual consuming the substance, but also his or her loved ones as well. If someone you love is battling an addiction to opioids, it is important to remember the following as they progress in their medication assisted treatment program:
- Educate yourself on the medication assisted treatment, as well as Suboxone, so you are able to understand what your loved one is going through during the entire process of recovery.
- Urge your loved one to attend any appointments that they may have scheduled.
- Show your support by asking how his or her therapy is going, how the medication is affecting him or her, etc.
- Commend your loved on all successes no matter how small
- Remember that lasting recovery does not happen overnight. The path to recovery may include multiple setbacks along the way, but it is important to share your hope with your loved one when he or she begins to feel overwhelmed or frustrated.
- Obtain support for yourself.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Participating in a medication assisted treatment program is a fantastic first step on the path towards recovery. It is important for patients to take an active role in the entire therapeutic process and keep the following in mind throughout your treatment:
- Follow and accept any and all recommendations and directions given to you by your treatment provider regarding the process of treatment.
- Consistently show up for your appointments to receive Suboxone.
- Follow any guidelines that are provided, such as abstaining from alcohol while taking Suboxone.
- Play an active role during group therapy sessions in order to obtain the most out of the group therapy experience.
- Pledge to openly communicate with your counselor during individual therapy sessions. Remember, your counselor is here to help you, not hinder your progression. Your open and honest communication will benefit you throughout the recovery process.
- Openly communicate any questions, concerns, or issues that may take place while taking Suboxone. By communicating any issues that may arise, your treatment provider will be able to make the appropriate adjustments to your dosage to ensure the highest quality of care is received.
- Avoid taking opioids while taking Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
As is the case when taking any medication, there are potential side effects that can take place while taking Suboxone. Side effects that have been known to take place while on Suboxone are as follows:
- Generalized pain
- Painful tongue
- Low blood pressure
- Numb mouth
- Blurred vision
- Attention disturbances
- Runny nose
- Coordination problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Back and abdominal pain
If you experience any of these side effects, it is important to report them immediately to your physician. Adjustments to your dosage can be made should side effects occur.
The dedicated and compassionate team at San Diego Comprehensive Treatment Centers is here to provide individuals struggling with opioid addiction with the most effective care possible. Please contact us today to learn more about Suboxone, as well as the treatment options available at San Diego Comprehensive Treatment Centers.