What Happens During a Suboxone Withdrawal?
After helping you through opioid withdrawal, suboxone takes its turn on your body.
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If Suboxone is the miracle drug that some claim it is, why do people experience a Suboxone withdrawal? Isn’t the point of the medication to help people avoid opioid withdrawals? Doesn’t it seem somewhat counterproductive to experience what you’re trying to avoid?
It might not make sense at first but the side effects of a Suboxone taper are worth it in the long run. People who attend medication assisted addiction treatment usually have the opportunity to benefit from the medication during detox. If you hope to learn more about the suboxone withdrawal process, continue reading.
Opioid Withdrawal and Suboxone Withdrawal
Opioids are a powerful drug made either from the poppy plant or produced synthetically in a laboratory setting (called “synthetic opioids”). They are known for their pain relieving side effects as well as the relaxing, euphoric state they cause when you take more than you’re supposed to.
Drugs classified in the opioid class include:
- Prescription painkillers (OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, etc.)
Opioids are known as one of the most addictive drugs available and also for how difficult it is to quit using them. These types of drugs work by interacting with opioid receptors in your brain responsible for your perception of pain.
When you use them heavily for a long period of time, your brain adapts to the large amount of opioids it receives. This process, known as developing a tolerance, occurs because your brain creates more opioid receptors. Over time you need more of the drug to achieve the same effect.
Side Effects of Opioid Withdrawal
Once you suddenly stop using opioids, your body goes through physical and psychological responses called withdrawal symptoms. They range from mild to severe, from uncomfortable to completely debilitating. Their severity depends on how much you used, whether you used for a short time or a long time, and more.
Side effects of opioid withdrawal include:
- Irritation, frustration, or anger
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Insomnia or other difficulties sleeping
- Teary eyes
- Muscle aches or spasms
- Runny nose
- Stomach cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
The Benefits of Suboxone
Suboxone is one type of brand name medication for two drugs called buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid receptor agonist, meaning it acts on opioid receptors in the brain. By acting on these receptors, suboxone and other medications trick your brain into thinking it’s still receiving opioids.
On the other hand, the naloxone in suboxone blocks the effects of any additional opioids. If you try to get high on any painkillers, heroin, or other opioid drugs, the naloxone sends your body into immediate withdrawals. These side effects relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid detox. They also keep more people from trying to get high while in the early stages of recovery.
The medication comes either as a strip placed under the tongue to dissolve, an implant, or an injection. But still suboxone isn’t without its faults. Suboxone withdrawal and other downsides come along with it.
Suboxone’s Darker Side
Suboxone has a notorious reputation among more serious drug addicts, though. Despite doctors’ best efforts to keep people from abusing it, people still find ways to abuse it. If you take more than prescribed or find a way to reject it, you get a weak high off of it. Some go as far as to say that a suboxone maintenance plan doesn’t truly count as being clean.
Ultimately, your decision to use suboxone is between you and your doctor. Suboxone helps you manage your withdrawal symptoms if you use it as prescribed. If you don’t use it as prescribed, though, you might find yourself addicted to the medication meant to help you stay clean. Then suboxone withdrawal becomes the next problem you need to deal with.
What Causes Suboxone Withdrawal?
If your doctor prescribes suboxone for you on a long-term basis, you develop a tolerance to it just like you do to opioids. Your body becomes used to receiving the medication and when you stop using it, suboxone withdrawal kicks in.
The withdrawals from suboxone are not as severe as opioid withdrawals but still cause discomfort. It’s most common for doctors to taper people off of the medication, or slowly decrease the dose until they’re off of it completely. This causes the least number of uncomfortable symptoms possible
Medication Assisted Treatment
Again, suboxone usually comes as a part of a medication assisted treatment program, either in detox or in a residential treatment program. Doctors prescribe suboxone on an outpatient basis but it’s easiest to stay accountable when you use it during inpatient treatment.
If you want to find a rehab facility that uses suboxone as a part of their program, you can search online for various sites that compile lists of rehabs. You could also consider calling Hawaii Island Recovery, a treatment facility specializing in helping addicts and alcoholics free themselves from their substance dependence.
Call HIR admissions office today at 877-721-3556