The misuse of opioids in the US is on the rise – and so is the use of suboxone. Suboxone is a prescription-only drug from the class of opioids used to treat dependence on opioids.
Suboxone contains two important drugs: buprenorphine, four parts, and naloxone, one part. It is available as a film and tablet andcan be taken orally, i.e.,it can be placed under your tongue (sublingual) or between your cheeks and gum (buccal) cavity.
How does Suboxone Treat Opioid Addiction?
Suboxone isapproved by FDA to treat opioid dependence, while its off-label use involvesthe management of opioid withdrawal symptoms and pain treatment.
Before looking into how suboxone treats opioid addiction, let’s talk about the mechanism of action of drugs that make suboxone.
The drug, buprenorphine, present in the suboxone,is an opioid itself, so it produces some of the effects as opioid drugs do. However, it also blocks some of the other effects of opioids, due to which it’s less likely to cause a high compared to other opioids. As a part of suboxone, this drug reduces opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
The other drug present in suboxone is naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist – a drug that blocks the effect of opioids. This drug can produce dangerous withdrawal symptoms; therefore,it is taken as a film or tablet, not an injection.
The two drugs work together to treat your opioid addiction. Buprenorphine makes your brain think that you’re receiving a full dose of an opioid drug, while naloxoneblocks the activation of the opioid receptor and thereby prevents the buprenorphine from producing euphoric (pleasure and reward)effects.
Phases of Opioid Addiction Treatment
Suboxone treats your opioid addiction in two phases: induction and maintenance.
During the induction phase, the use of an opioid is decreased or stopped, producing withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone reduces these withdrawal symptoms.
It is used only in people who are addicted to short-acting opioids like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and heroin.
Suboxone is given to the patient when the effect of such opioids begins to wear off, and withdrawal symptoms begin.
In the maintenance phase of opioid addiction treatment, a stable dose of suboxone is given to the patients for an extended period. This dose helps keep cravings for the opioid drug and withdrawal symptoms under control as the patient goes through the treatment program.
On completion of therapy, the suboxone dose is slowly tapered to stop the suboxone treatment. Dosage tapering is necessary as it prevents withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, headache, muscle aches, insomnia, sweating, drug cravings, etc.
Suboxone in Danville and Martinsville, VA
At EPIC Health Partners, our highly skilled and licensed psychiatrist,who is also certified in addiction medicine, offers office-based opioid treatment (OBOT). Our provider will work closely with you to treat your opioid dependence and employ all the necessary interventions to guide you along the path to recovery.