Suboxone can provide relief for those attempting to recover from heroin addiction. It does this by reducing heroin cravings. However, this medication has to be used as part of a comprehensive professional treatment program. Only experienced clinicians are qualified to determine a what the correct dose is when using Suboxone. They can combine the use of this medication with appropriate therapy, allowing an individual to establish resistance to the temptation of heroin use.
Heroin comes in several different types. Pure heroin is cut and sees combined) with some other substance, such as starch or sugar. When combined with these other substances, pure heroin is a white powder that can be smoked for snorted. It is not injected. Another form of heroin known as black tar is injected. It has a dark color and is either hard or sticky. It’s dark appearance is a consequence of impurities produced from processing.
Heroin is classified as an opioid. This places it in the same class as a number of legal prescription medications, such as codeine, hydrocodone and oxycodone. These legal drugs are often used for pain relief, since they can bind to the opioid receptors found in the brain. In this way, they can increase an individual’s tolerance to pain and reduce the intensity of pain. When an individual uses heroin, it goes to the brain, converts into morphine and binds to the opioid receptors. This produces of rush for the heroin user. After a few hours, the rush is replaced by drowsiness, as well as reduced breathing, heart rate and cognitive ability.
How Does Suboxone Help with Heroin Addiction?
Suboxone is a prescription medication often used by doctors in treating opioid dependence. It contains buprenorphine and naloxone, both of which are useful in treating heroin dependence. Buprenorphine acts as a so-called “partial opioid agonist.” This means that it provides the user with a mild form of the same effects produced by opioids. In essence, buprenorphine binds to the brain’s opioid receptors in the same way that opioids do, but does so without producing the same kind of high. The fact that it cannot produce a full-blown opioid high makes it very difficult for anyone to abuse Suboxone. This cannot be said for methadone, which is one of the alternatives to Suboxone.
Naloxone – included in Suboxone – is also an opioid antagonist. In the event that a user attempts to crush and snort one of the Suboxone tablets, the naloxone will bind to the opioid receptors in the brain and prevent the individual from receiving any sort of high. This helps to discourage users who might be considering snorting a crushed pill.
Another advantage that this particular medication has over methadone in the treatment of heroin addiction is that – unlike methadone, which can only be provided at treatment centers – Suboxone can be prescribed by a doctor. This is a very important point, since very few people suffering from opioid dependence are currently being treated for their addiction. The availability of Suboxone via prescription makes treatment available to those who might otherwise not have a treatment option in their area. And a good deal of research has demonstrated that Suboxone can be very effective in treating heroin addiction.
Some of the benefits offered by using Suboxone for heroin addiction treatment include:
• Reduced risk of abuse
• Greater accessibility
• High rate of success in treating opioid dependence
Potential Dangers in Using Suboxone
Although Suboxone is an effective option for anyone trying to recover from an opioid addiction, just like any other medication it has certain disadvantages as well. Even apart from potential side effects, users find that with Suboxone they have to continue taking the drug for a long time in order to maintain their recovery. And since this drug is a opioid agonist, there is at least some partial dependence for users. This means that when users finally try to get off of Suboxone they will need medical supervision to gradually reduce their dose.
Also note that just like any other medication-based treatments for heroin addiction, Suboxone cannot be considered a cure. Also, this drug should only be used as part of an overall treatment program. Further, it needs to be used under medical supervision, since it can produce a degree of dependence in those who use it. At the same time, because Suboxone is milder in its effects and has a slower onset than any full opioids, it is far less likely to produce the same kind of addictive behaviors.
During early treatment, when Subutex is more often prescribed – rather than Suboxone – users can sometimes get a high from the buprenorphine by crushing or injecting the Subutex to get faster onset of an opioid reaction and pleasurable sensations. But with Suboxone, the naloxone included in the tablet does not allow this to happen. This means that there is very low risk of addiction with Suboxone.
Suboxone is a prescribed medication that can help relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms by filling in the brain’s opioid receptors. In this way, this drug can aid heroin users in transitioning in their treatment program. It does this by helping them avoid the often painful symptoms of withdrawal associated with kicking a heroin habit. In the early stages of this treatment regimen, Subutex is usually prescribed at first, but then the user is transitioned to Suboxone. The primary difference between these two drugs is that the latter includes naloxone to discourage users from abusing the medication.
If a user tries to take some other opioid when taking Suboxone, the opioid receptors in the brain will be blocked by Suboxone. This will prevent them from getting the high they normally expect from taking heroin or some other opioid. This can break the positive reinforcement that they normally get from using heroin, since they will no longer receive the reward they expect. Users can avoid the severe withdrawal symptoms they would normally experience by stopping heroin use.
If you or a loved one are dealing with substance abuse, please feel free to contact us at 866-802-6848. Our experienced and professional staff will be happy to help and advise you.