Opiate addictions are on the rise at its estimated that nearly 2,000,000 Americans in the year 2014 had some type of prescription painkiller use addiction. Doctors commonly prescribe painkillers to individuals that suffer from chronic injuries and unfortunately when their prescription begins to run out they can often begin to source their need for painkillers on the street. What commonly ends up happening for those that are unable to obtain a prescription for opioids is that they end up taking illicit substances that are not prescribed to them. This can often lead to more serious addictions like heroin as a last-ditch effort to obtain opioids.
Whether a person has been prescribed opiates like OxyContin or they have been regularly abusing heroin over many years, developing an addiction to either of these substances often requires the use of medical assisted detox.
One of the most common treatment options used in medical assistant detox through drug replacement therapy is Suboxone. Suboxone works by activating opioid receptors in a similar way to other opioid painkillers. The only difference is that Suboxone does not produce the same overwhelming symptoms of euphoria and it is time released to ensure that it is less likely to be habit forming.
Suboxone can still lead to addiction however and while it’s far less likely to be abused over other medications like methadone the drug does have potential for chemical abuse especially if users are going to be taking Suboxone over a long period of time. The overall goal of Suboxone is to continue weaning people off into smaller doses. If someone continues to take Suboxone it only continues to be addictive.
Suboxone is a buprenorphine based medication that also contains Naloxone. The drug is completely man-made and it was designed for treatment in opioid addiction specifically with drug replacement therapy. Millions of individuals have undergone Suboxone treatment with the help of medical supervision.
Suboxone is different from other types of opiates because it is called an opioid partial agonist. Suboxone works to bind to the brain receptors just as opioids would but without the same type of affects. Suboxone is used to replace much more harmful drugs such as heroin and in some cases abused prescription painkillers.
Suboxone is only designed to reduce the cravings from opioids as well as suppress any symptoms of withdrawal. Suboxone is often prescribed in a medical setting in order to get someone to stop using opioids and to get through the process of recovery. It has had FDA approval since the year 2002 and it was first sold under the formula of Subutex which was discontinued in the year 2011. Suboxone also has a number of other brand names in its main formula which can include:
Suboxone can resemble a tablet form or a small white pill. In some cases today Suboxone is also delivered in a film which resembles the look of a postage stamp. These differences in the look of Suboxone do not diminish its usefulness. New applications of Suboxone are also available including Butrans which resembles a nicotine patch, Buccal film and an under the skin implant called Probuphine.
In most cases with Suboxone the idea is to treat an individual who is just coming off of opioids. It’s often not a good idea to take suboxone if you’ve already experienced most of the major withdrawal symptoms. The ultimate goal of Suboxone is to slowly taper down the dosage of opiods to reach a stabilized nation point. Most people start with 12 to 16 mg of Suboxone and will begin to wean their dose off as soon as they reach a stabilized point where they no longer experience may cravings or side effects of withdrawal.
The length of time that Suboxone stays in someone’s system depends on the individual but in many cases the Suboxone strip has one of the longest half-life’s done in testing thus far. The buprenorphine strip of Suboxone can last for up to 37 hours in the body and results are similar but not quite as long lasting in the tablet form of Suboxone.
Suboxone can often last in a person’s system for up to two weeks after they take their last dose. It may regularly take an individual longer to detox from Suboxone if they regularly took it in quite high doses. Suboxone isn’t regularly included in drug screening panels as it is deemed as a recovery medication but it can be detected with select blood tests, hair samples as well as urine samples.
Many individuals wonder if it is possible to be addicted to Suboxone and it is definitely possible. Rates of Suboxone addiction are fairly low compared to other opioids but it is possible to experience withdrawal symptoms if a person quickly quit Suboxone or potentially take steps to manipulate the drug.
Suboxone is a mixture of both buprenorphine and naloxone. The naloxone within Suboxone works as a opiate antagonist which can block the brains opiate receptors and trigger immediate withdrawal symptoms for individuals who might attempt to directly inject Suboxone, snort it or manipulate the medication by taking too much. Buprenorphine works as a partial opiate agonist and this ensures that once opiate receptors are filled to a certain capacity, a person will only experience a feeling of stability rather than the euphoric feeling that they might receive on other opioids.
When using Suboxone as a partial opioid the main problem that can persist is that a person can continue to crave opioids and never discontinue their use of Suboxone or never wean off their usage of Suboxone. By following a prescription with a doctor and consulting a doctor regularly the chance for addiction with Suboxone is relatively low; however, as soon as an individual deviates from doctors’ orders the chance for Suboxone abuse increases.
Even though Suboxone is intended as a recovery drug overdose can still occur if the drug is manipulated or potentially used against doctors’ orders. Injecting Suboxone is one of the most dangerous ways to take the medication and this can sometimes lead to the symptoms of overdose. It’s also possible to overdose on Suboxone if a person takes a high enough dosage of Suboxone at one time. The amount of Suboxone required for overdose depends on a number of physical conditions but generally an overdose does not occur with doctors orders.
Some of the main symptoms of overdose can include:
If you have spotted any of the following overdose symptoms for a person that is regularly taking Suboxone it’s extremely important that you contact an emergency department as soon as possible. Even though Suboxone does contain a major medication that is used for treating overdoses, medical treatment will be required to prevent permanent or serious damage for a person who has overdosed on Suboxone. Rehabilitation is also an important treatment method for individuals who have abused Suboxone or gone against prescription directions with their Suboxone treatment.