How It Works and Is It Safe?
As a partial opioid agonist, Suboxone includes a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that works with the same receptors in the brain that are typically activated by opioids and will not cause patients to experience the same symptoms as opioids. When taken, buprenorphine will cause patients to experience relief from the physical symptoms of withdrawal while keeping cravings for continued opioid use at bay. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist (“opioid blocker”) that counteracts the negative effects that opioids have on a person’s system. When taken, Suboxone provides patients with relief from the discomforts of withdrawal while also providing them with the mental clarity that is required in order to productively progress in treatment. Extensive clinical research has confirmed the safety and effectiveness of Suboxone when taken as directed within a medication assisted treatment program.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Extensive clinical research has proven the effectiveness of Suboxone in treating opioid dependence. Patients who have utilized Suboxone within their medication assisted treatment have noted that their withdrawal symptoms were eliminated as well as cravings for continued opioid use. Should a patient attempt to abuse Suboxone during the course of treatment, he or she will not experience the desired high that would normally result from abusing opioids.
By consulting with a medical professional, you will be able to determine if Suboxone is the appropriate medication to incorporate into your treatment based on your individual needs. Studies have confirmed that when Suboxone is utilized in treatment, patients are able to achieve the mental clarity that is required in order to productively play a role in progressing in their recovery.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Successfully achieving recovery after battling an addiction to opioids is a large hurdle to overcome. Once addicted to opioids, individuals will experience the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal once he or she ceases use of the substance. Knowing that these symptoms will take place often causes individuals to continue abusing opioids in order to avoid experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal. However, by incorporating Suboxone into a patient’s treatment plan, that individual can avoid experiencing the discomforts of withdrawal like craving additional opioid use.
Although the use of Suboxone can play an instrumental role in treating addiction, lasting recovery requires treatment for both the physical as well as the emotional components of addiction. By taking part in therapeutic interventions such as individual and group counseling sessions, patients are able to address the underlying factors that may have contributed to their addictive behaviors in the first place. These sessions are led by highly qualified counselors who provide patients with the education, support, and guidance that are necessary for a person to properly progress in treatment. These sessions also allow patients that opportunity to work through any issues that may arise throughout the course of treatment.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction affects everyone that is involved; not just the individual who is physically abusing a substance. If someone you love is struggling with an addiction to opioids, it is important that you play an active role in his or her treatment. Please keep the following in mind:
- Learn more about Suboxone and medication assisted treatment so that you are able to understand what your loved one is experiencing as he or she navigates through treatment.
- Remind your loved one to attend any appointments that he or she may have.
- Show your support by inquiring about how his or her treatment is going, how his or her medication is affecting him or her, etc.
- Applaud your loved one on all successes – big and small.
- Never forget that lasting recovery takes time, dedication, and patience. Although there may be bumps along the way, openly share your hope that your loved one will be able to achieve his or her goals.
- Obtain support for yourself.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Making the decision to take part in medication assisted treatment is an excellent first step towards a recovered life. It is important for patients to remember that they must play an active role throughout their entire recovery process. Patients are encouraged to keep the following in mind throughout their journey to recovery:
- Adhere to all directions given to you by your treatment provider regarding the treatment process as a whole.
- Consistently show up for all appointments to receive your medication.
- Follow all guidelines that are provided including abstaining from using alcohol while taking Suboxone.
- Play an active role in individual and group counseling sessions.
- Openly communicate with your counselor. He or she is there to help you progress in your treatment. Your honesty will help you move forward towards your goals.
- Communicate any issues, questions, or concerns that may arise throughout the course of treatment. Your treatment provider can only make adjustments to your treatment plan and medication if he or she is made aware of issues that arise.
- Do not use any illegal substance while taking Suboxone.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
Like most medications, there is a risk of side effects when taking Suboxone. The following side effects have been reported by patients who have been prescribed this medication:
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Numb mouth
- Painful tongue
- Blurred vision
- Runny nose
- Coordination problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Back and abdominal pain
- Attention disturbances
Patients should openly discuss any side effects with their physician so he or she can make adjustments if necessary.
The dedicated team of professionals at Western North Carolina Comprehensive Treatment Centers is devoted to providing patients with the highest quality care possible. Our goal is to assist each patient that walks through our doors in achieving long-term recovery. Please contact us today to learn more about the treatment options that we offer.