Medical-Assisted Treatment uses FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to attend to substance abuse. The approach is meant to treat the whole patient to provide better results in getting sober. One of the ways that opiate abuse is managed is through the prescription drug, Suboxone. Buprenorphine and Naloxone are mixed together to produce Suboxone in the form of a sublingual tablet or film.
Suboxone belongs to a class of drugs that are referred to as opioid-partial agonists that are instrumental in opiate withdrawal. Patients that have abused drugs such as heroin and narcotic prescription pills typically have a difficult time weaning off opiates without receiving assistance. By using Suboxone to taper off opioids safely, the Naloxone acts as an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of narcotics and assists in alleviating the uncomfortable symptoms that can occur during withdrawal. The Buprenorphine operates as a milder and weaker catalyst of an opiate replacing the use of a full-opioid agonist. Purposely the Buprenorphine will reward the brain’s opioid receptors without producing a high.
Buprenorphine will reach its ceiling effect through taking the moderate dose. Even with an increased dosage, its greatest potential is still much less than that of a full-agonist opioid especially with Naloxone as part of the mix since its primary purpose is to divert the misuse of Suboxone. Without the Naloxone, the patient will suffer from withdrawals especially if Suboxone is crushed or injected because the Buprenorphine is not in full effect any longer.
Seeing that there are now over fifteen million people that suffer from opioid addiction, there needs to be more solution in hopes of having these people proceed into recovery. Although Suboxone may not be answer for everyone, only 10 percent of people are actually getting treated for opioid abuse. Suboxone increases the options for those who either do not have many options for treatment or present an alternative treatment for someone that has continued to relapse with other methods of cessation.
Controversy surrounds Suboxone with whether someone is considered sober when taking it due to the Buprenorphine that is incorporated into the prescription drug. Even though it is prescribed by a doctor, Suboxone is considered a mind-altering drug in Narcotics Anonymous because it constitutes as a partial-opioid agonist and can create a high if taken improperly.
A patient that is advised to take Suboxone should be under a doctor’s care for the duration of their medical-assisted therapy. Their solution may consist of taking Suboxone to get to achieve long-term sobriety in the spirit of “it takes what it takes”. Going to any lengths in recovery is important and with taking Suboxone it is no different.
Serenity Oaks Wellness Center is a partial-care rehabilitation program that assists someone who is struggling with drugs and alcohol to get sober. Our medical and clinical staff work together to foster the best treatment plan available for each individual to adorn their soul in recovery.
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