An Opioid Addiction is one of the most difficult drugs to quit, and a common solution that is prescribed in treatment, at a rehab facility, or at a traditional doctor’s office is to prescribe Suboxone. Almost all across the board, medical professionals believe that Suboxone is one of the most successful ways to treat those who are addicted to opioids. Not only is it highly addictive and some fall prey to becoming too accustomed to taking it, but the side effects can be gruesome. So, why do so many physicians believe that this drug is the right way to treat addiction? Suboxone seems to paint a pretty picture to those who know of its powers, but is it really the miracle drug most believe it to be?
The death rate from an opioid overdose has increased overwhelmingly in the past decade and has taken the lives of over 50,000 last year. The opioid addiction is a life and death situation and many professionals that work at treatment centers believe Suboxone to be essential for treatment. Although the Food and Drug Administration placed high restrictions on the accessibility to individual’s retrieving prescribed painkillers at the beginning of the new millennium, that effort was thwarted easily and we now have an epidemic unlike we have ever seen. With the outbreak of fentanyl appearing in every drug on the market, including heroin, opioid addicts go and seek more illegal drugs on the street that are more powerful and fatal than prescription medication regardless.
No matter how hard the Administration has tried to overcome this battle, the opioid market defeats them at every turn because addicts will always find a way around the system. As researchers scramble for solutions to stop the rampant scourge that is killing a large percentage of our nation, they create Suboxone and claim that it is the antidote that will save lives. Because it is such a common medication, it will most likely be prescribed to an opioid addict; getting more information to better comprehend what Suboxone is and what it actually does for the body is necessary so you can choose the most successful treatment center with full knowledge of their plan in treating addiction cases.
Suboxone is also known as Buprenorphine and basically, it is in actuality a synthetic opioid. The goal is for Suboxone to battle the addiction. That was the title purpose of it’s origination. When an opioid addict decides to quit taking opioids they go through a torturous withdrawal period. Opioids are literally a pain reliever, so the adverse effect, when an individual ceases to take them, is when they go through a significantly lengthy period of pain and discomfort, hence the term withdrawal. As the opioid-addicted withdraws from the drug their mind is raging and the cycle of addiction continues if the addict cannot break through this period of utter anguish and sickness.
The purpose of Suboxone is to ease the awful symptoms that come from withdrawal so the patient will have a better chance of getting through it and moving forward in their journey towards long-lasting recovery. Scientifically, Suboxone and opioids both reach the same receptors in the brain, so Suboxone puts a block on these receptors. Going back and trying to use an opiate again won’t cause the addict that sense of euphoria that the drug makes them feel in the moment. That is why addicts continue to use opiates. It gives them a sense of bliss that they find they cannot live without and because the opiates themselves are powerfully strong and physically addicting they are on a rollercoaster and can’t disembark. Suboxone is an agonist and antagonist to the receptors that normally receive the opiate, thereby displacing it.
Unexpected Side Effects of Suboxone
There are different ways to consume suboxone. They come in the form of a pill, an implant (where the drug is implanted in the patient releasing up to 6 months of the drug in the body), a dissolvable strip that melts under the tongue, or an injection.
Suboxone is like any form of meditation and has a set of side effects. The fact that Suboxone has an opiate component, the side effects of withdrawal from opiates are similar to the aftermath of taking Suboxone. Some of the side effects include pounding headaches, constipation, stomach cramps, incessant sweating, vomiting, and insomnia. And that is just to name a few. If an opiate addict takes Suboxone in close proximity to when they last ingested the opiate then they will immediately go into precipitated withdrawal.
If being watched by a form of medical care, then these minor symptoms are distressing but can be managed. Ordinarily, a patient takes suboxone at an inpatient detox center or treatment facility so there are doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and staff that are able to control the environment, medication, and make sure that someone is always watching and taking care of the patient in all circumstances.
What is less talked about is the more severe side effects that can occur while taking Suboxone. Sometimes a patient’s medication might not bond well in the body and can produce: abnormal breath patterns, difficulty in swallowing, a seriously upset stomach, frequent bruising, abnormal bleeding, rashes or hives can flare up that causes grave itching and scabbing, debilitating energy loss, loss of appetite where the patient does not consume any food, yellowing of the eyes and/or skin, and pressing flu-like symptoms combined.
If you happen to be taking Suboxone on your own and you are currently reading this while experiencing these symptoms, call your doctor immediately because they might have to take you off of Suboxone and provide you with a medication that is not Buprenorphine.
Suboxone: A Terrible Fate
To recall, the goal of Suboxone was to relieve the pain and discomfort of the withdrawal from opiates. That was the purpose of certified doctors and researchers bringing this medication to fruition. The problem lies in the fact that Suboxone and opiates reach the same receptors in the brain. Therefore, in principle, it should keep addicts from continually using opiates and other drugs.
It seems like this would be the perfect scenarios, a win-win! Contrastingly, if the treatment of the Suboxone regiment is not properly administered and cared for, there are euphoric side effects of Suboxone that can become just as addictive as opiates. Many addicts who take it on their own fall prey to this outcome. Instead of opiate addiction an addict will replace it with Suboxone dependence. One addiction is just traded for another, because the addict still has addictive behaviors if they are not treated properly after the Suboxone treatment and thus, the cycle continues.
The overuse or missing a dose of a drug makes the drug less effective. Suboxone is no different; there is much truth to this. In fact, Suboxone has the capability to affect an addict’s life in extremity. Their strength is not as potent as per say: painkillers, heroin, or fentanyl, and yet the drug can be just as harmful. Worst case scenario, it can be life-threatening.
Finding More Answers:
To try to avoid the feared side effects and misuse from the addictive qualities of Suboxone, many professionals will prescribe a short-term solution for a patient’s treatment plan. The goal is to use a Suboxone taper, in other words, using small doses of it and then scaling the milligrams down as the days go by while the withdrawal symptoms from the opioid become less severe. Additional forms of treatment are also in play traditionally with support groups and therapy gearing towards mending and changing the thought patterns that brought the addict to this situation so that their choices in the future will be better down the road and lead to long-lasting recovery.
The larger issue at hand is: why pick up the substance in the first place? Why did the addict choose to cope with their problems this way? The substance is just a symptom of the bigger picture. There are core values, beliefs and thought patterns at work behind the scenes and treatment uncovers and brings to light the answers to all of these questions so that the addict’s supposed solution to use the drug is realized to be a detriment to their lifestyle.
Instead of primarily using a medication, a temporary solution, to fix these problems, the treatment process prevails above all else.
The Solution: Treating Addiction
To determine whether to choose the treatment or not, treatment should be chosen every time. The choice in deciphering which treatment center to send your loved one to should come with the knowledge that medication should not be the epicenter of the solution is imperative. There is a wide range of answers to be uncovered that medication will not provide, leaving the addict with a low chance for long-term recovery. There are facilities like Hawaii Island Recovery that provide a dynamically holistic approach to treating the disease of addiction.
To find out about the programs that provide opportunities for growth and success we offer for our clients, do not hesitate to call us today!