Suboxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Suboxone is a prescription medication used in treating those addicted to Opioids, illegal or prescription. Suboxone works by tightly binding to the same receptors in the brain as other opiates, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. By doing so, it blunts intoxication with these other drugs, prevents cravings, and it allows many people to transition back from a life of addiction to a life of normalcy and safety. Suboxone is a medication that contains two distinct drugs: one that stimulates receptors in your brain and one that blocks them. The first helps to wean the user off of the “high” experienced from the use of an opioid, and the second dulls the feeling of intoxication, reduces the cravings for drugs, and allows them to progress recovery and transition back to a drug-free life. As with all medications used in treatment, Suboxone should be prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and other services to provide patients with a whole-person approach.
If you’d like to explore whether Suboxone is right for you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at Epic Health Partners or use our online booking tool to schedule a confidential consultation.
Myths About Suboxone and its use to treat substance use disorders
Since being approved by the FDA in 2002, Suboxone has proven to be one of the most effective treatment tools available for the treatment of substance use disorders. Unfortunately, there are many myths and negative stigmas surrounding addiction and substance use in society and the role it plays in addiction treatment. To address these misconceptions, education can address the most common myths surrounding Suboxone in order to set the record straight and increase understanding.
Myth One: Suboxone is just as addictive
Even though Suboxone is technically an opioid, it also contains an antagonist that radically lessens the euphoric effects of full agonists, such as fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, and morphine. For the opioid addict, there is already a negative stigma from those that do not understand addiction and its effects on the body, as those with an opioid use disorder crave much more potent drugs. Suboxone has been scientifically proven to decrease the desire to use more intense substances. Enduring the occasional judgment from a misinformed public should not deter someone from seeking the most effective treatment.
Myth Two: Suboxone just replaces one drug with another
Opioid addiction and treatment look very different from other recovery processes where recovery means total abstinence from the substance of choice. The failure of that method, especially when done without supporting therapies, such as stringent monitoring, therapy, and other supports, has led the medical community to reconsider the use of medication-assisted therapy for addiction to opioids. When addiction is seen as a chronic medical condition, it makes more sense to treat the condition with medication, just as you would treat high blood pressure with medication. A huge hurdle to recovery when it comes to opioid use is withdrawal, which is so unpleasant that it often causes those who are interested in recovery to use to find relief, with Suboxone, withdrawal symptoms are greatly minimized, allowing the ability to wean off the opioids.
Myth Three: Once Suboxone is prescribed, it will be used, indefinitely, for life.
This is not true. Healthcare providers have a responsibility to treat the individual, and the bottom line is that every person is different, meaning that time frames are not the same for everyone. Suboxone is not a magical, fairy-tale potion that instantly cures addiction, nor is it a lifelong solution. While some may take Suboxone for a span of six to nine months, others may need a year or even more of treatment. A healthcare provider can assist in determining a medication regimen to fit a person’s specific needs.
Myth: Suboxone, alone, is the cure
No. Opioid use disorder is an exceptionally intricate disease that captures the mental, physical, and behavioral health in a cage of negative thoughts, withdrawals, and maladaptive coping skills. To release the individual from the chains of addiction, recovery must be approached from a holistic angle. Suboxone is a powerful treatment for addiction, but it works even better when combined with other traditional treatment methods, such as individual counseling, group therapy, and community mental health services. Using these pieces together can assist in the healing and recovery of the person, as a whole. Science supports the idea that the more support a person receives, the more positive outcomes can be expected.
Opioid Treatment in Danville and Martinsville, VA
At Epic Health Partners, our goal is to partner with our patients in Danville and Martinsville, Virginia, to educate them about their substance and mental health care needs. If you are interested in more information on opioid treatment or treatment for yourself or a loved one, our certified mental health providers can complete Comprehensive Needs Assessments and create a tailored, individualized treatment plan to assist individuals in meeting the long-term goal of an opiate-free life and recovery.
If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal ideation or thoughts of self-harm, getting immediate help is vital. Please contact emergency medical services at 911 immediately, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). Alternatively, text HOME to 741-741 or call 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Hotline.