Suboxone is only able to be prescribed by around 16,000 doctors in the entire United States. It’s not as dangerous as an opioid drug, but it is still a partial agonist, making it possible to become addicted.
Between 2006 and 2011, the number of buprenorphine-related visits to the emergency rooms in the U.S. quintupled. That just shows how serious Suboxone addiction can become if it’s left unchecked.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a prescription medication that is used to help treat opioid addiction. It combines two medications, buprenorphine, and naloxone, to help reduce the body’s cravings for opiate drugs.
Suboxone is an opioid partial agonist, which means it can relieve symptoms of withdrawal without the same side effects of an opiate drug.
Why Is Suboxone Used?
Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction by switching patients to Suboxone. The drug substitutes for the other opiates, like heroin or Vicodin, which have more serious risks of side effects. Quitting opioids without tapering can lead to relapse, so using this drug is safer for patients. It reduces the side effects of withdrawal and curbs cravings, helping patients stay sober longer.
Does it Have Side Effects?
Yes, it does. While it’s not a full dose of an opiate, it still has some opiate-based effects. It can cause:
- Stomach pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Upset stomach
- Extreme fatigue
- Low energy
- Difficulty breathing
Why Is It Addictive?
Suboxone is still an opioid, even though it’s only a partial agonist. It provides similar effects to opiates even though it does help reduce withdrawal.
It is addictive because it has buprenorphine as part of its makeup. Buprenorphine is a low-level opiate, but it still has the potential to be abused.
Using Suboxone over other kinds of opiate drugs is typically preferred because its benefits outweigh the risks of other more dangerous drugs. The potential for addiction is also lower for Suboxone than with other kinds of opioid drugs.
It is generally administered in a controlled setting, so it won’t be easily abused. Patients typically:
- Given the medication each day at a medical facility while in inpatient or outpatient therapy. The drug itself is kept locked up, so patients can’t access it without the assistance of a doctor or nurse.
- Get Suboxone from a pharmacy in a small quantity, so the patients never have more than they need.
- Receive a prescription and have a third party monitor the drug supply in their own homes.
What Are Some Signs of Suboxone Addiction?
Suboxone addiction may appear suddenly, and like many other drug addictions, it has symptoms that are recognizable. Some include:
- Drug-seeking behaviors
- Lying about drug use
- Stealing medications
- Changes in behavior
Can You Overdose From It?
While it’s very hard to overdose from it, it’s not completely unheard of. Combining it with other drugs or substances like benzodiazepines or alcohol can result in an overdose.
Some symptoms of an overdose include:
- Struggling with a lack of coordination
- Extreme drowsiness
- Slurred speech or slurring some works together in a garbled way
- Intermittent losses of consciousness
- Problems with your vision
- Sluggish reflexes
- Slow or unperceivable breathing
If any of these symptoms appear in yourself or to others who have taken Suboxone alone or with other medications, it’s important to seek out medical treatment immediately.
How is Suboxone Addiction Treated?
Like with any opioid drug, Suboxone abuse has to be treated in stages. The first stage consists of detox, where you begin to rid your body of the drug. With Suboxone, you’ll slowly be tapered off the drug over a period of a few days or weeks, depending on your level of dependency.
Once you are completely withdrawn from it, it’s time to start rehabilitation. This part of the process includes steps like therapy and counseling, which help you explore why you became addicted to drugs and help you psychologically prepare to live without them. You’ll participate in courses like cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy. You may choose to be an inpatient or outpatient, depending on your personal needs during rehab.
Once your rehabilitation period is over, you can join a peer support group or forum to stay connected to those who have also gone through similar challenges in their lives.
How Can I Get Help?
Suboxone can be helpful when you want to get off harsher opioids, but if you can’t seem to stop this drug, it’s time to seek out help. We can help you get the treatment you need. Call our helpful specialists to learn more about addiction by dialing 1-866-802-6848 or visit us online at www.coastaldetox.com.