Treating Opioid Addiction: Your Guide to Suboxone Addition Treatment

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In 2019, there were more than 70,600 overdose deaths in the United States. The number has only continued to climb because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the availability of drugs like heroin. These people may not think they have any reason not to use these drugs — they may feel isolated and helpless.

Suboxone addiction treatment is a way to help these people to stop abusing dangerous drugs. Suboxone mimics intense drugs like heroin, tricking the body into thinking a person is still using. This way, they can safely reduce the amount they use until they ultimately stop using entirely.

Keep reading below to learn more about Suboxone and how it can help people struggling with substance abuse.

Suboxone Addiction Treatment Is For Short-Term Opioids

It’s easy to confuse Suboxone with a similar kind of treatment — Naloxone. Both of these medicines treat the physical changes from opioid addiction. They interact with people’s opioid receptors, helping repair important parts of the body that regulate everything from digestion to the heartbeat.

However, Suboxone is a medicine used for a long time to help people struggling with short-term opioids. This can include heroin and painkillers, whose effects can wear off over a relatively short time. They have intense effects that wear down, creating an urge for people to seek more drugs and return to the high.

Suboxone mimics some of the ways opioids interact with the body. It binds to the same receptors using two kinds of chemicals: Naloxone and Buprenorphine.

Naloxone helps reverse the effects of opioids, quickly helping receptors recover from abuse. That’s why it’s commonly used to treat overdose cases — it can essentially bring the body back into rhythm. The other chemical, Buprenorphine, blocks receptors.

By doing this, Suboxone reduces a person’s opioid cravings while helping their bodies recover.

Treating Opioid Addiction Means Taking Controlled Opioids

It is ironic that the medicine to treat opioid addiction is itself an opioid. Suboxone is processed the same way other kinds of opioids would be processed in the body. It even mimics some of the basic effects of opioids, reducing small amounts of pain.

But the key difference is that Suboxone is strictly controlled. It is prescribed by doctors and medical teams who have a person’s best interests in mind. Suboxone is difficult to get a hold of, and hard to abuse.

It can be comforting for many people to have a team of people at their side. Many users started taking drugs in the first place because they felt isolated and alone. In another twist of fate, recovery from opioid addiction means having a lot of people at your side, ready to help however they can.

A Suboxone Treatment Plan Can Last Years

Recovering from drug addiction is never an easy process, and it can feel like recovery isn’t worth it at times. One of the reasons medical professionals prescribe Suboxone is because it makes the tough times easier. It reduces the chances that someone will pick a needle back up.

The medication mimics some of the effects of the opioids, but at far reduced levels. That small amount of opioid interactions in the body can be enough to help people stay away from harder drugs. However, it also makes the process last a lot longer.

Months down the line, people can seem much healthier. But the underlying dependence can still be there. At this point though, doctors may start finding ways to wean people off of Suboxone completely, taking the final step towards complete recovery.

Starting Suboxone Can Mean Starting Withdrawals

The early stages of recovery can be the most challenging for people. It’s when people’s bodies first have to start dealing with the absence of a drug it has grown so accustomed to. Their bodies started to treat heroin and opioids as a necessary part of life.

Without it, they may start feeling severe nausea or headaches. In the worst cases, withdrawal can even lead to death. Or, people may decide they can’t take it and simply return to using drugs.

They start happening because opioids interacted with a critical part of a person’s nervous system — opioid receptors. These are the parts of the body that receive chemicals signaling basic bodily functions like hunger, tiredness, and even heartbeats.

The more people used opioids, the more they interfered with the natural balance of these receptors. Using drugs for too long can essentially fray these kinds of receptors, and they will need to recover over time. By suddenly having fewer opioids in the body, some of the receptors may also die.

This can effectively damage the way organs communicate with the brain, causing symptoms like nausea and sweating. But with a team beside you, the symptoms can be managed.

Managing Withdrawal Can Be Difficult, and Even Deadly

In the absolute worst cases, opioid withdrawal can be deadly. Receptors may not be able to fully recover, or people may not take care of themselves while going through withdrawal. They may forget to drink water or eat, causing even more issues on top of the withdrawal symptoms.

It’s important to take steps that guarantee your safety when going through withdrawal. Keep water close by and drink it routinely — set a timer for when you need to take a sip if you think it will help. Most of all, have someone at your side.

Facilities Offer More Than Just Beds

The best way to go through withdrawal is to be at a medical facility designed to help you. Starting Suboxone already connects you with a team of medical professionals. They will want to help you recover, and they will be ready to help whenever you call for them.

By staying at a medical facility, you will be surrounded by trained professionals who know how to help. They will also help make sure you take your Suboxone medication on time, helping you continue your recovery journey safely. There are also tons of other services that they can provide, like talk therapy or financial support.

Suboxone Is Used With Other Kinds of Treatment

Suboxone is rarely used alone; most of the time, doctors recommend it with other kinds of treatment. Since it can interfere with many different medications, those treatments usually aren’t physical. Most of the time, people who are prescribed Suboxone also go to therapy.

This can vary from group therapy sessions to talk therapy. Regardless of the kind, all therapies are meant to address the underlying causes of substance abuse. They help people come to terms with why they started using in the first place and show them a life without drugs.

If you’re prescribed Suboxone, also expect to go to therapy sessions. Make sure to participate and be truthful in your answers to therapists, too. They just want everyone else wants — to help you recover from drug addiction.

You Can Overcome Addiction

Suboxone addiction treatment is a complex and heavily regulated way of helping someone overcome addiction. Since the substance is technically an opioid, doctors need to watch people carefully as they go through their recovery journey. It also involves other kinds of treatments.

Regardless of whether you take Suboxone or go through other kinds of treatment, it is possible to overcome addiction. You are not alone in this journey. Sometimes, people just need help recovering.

Just reach out to us if you need help, and we will take the first steps towards recovery together. 

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