There are countless substances available that can be addictive to anyone who uses them. From heroin and cocaine to prescription painkillers and alcohol, people all over the world are using these substances and, in turn, becoming addicted to them.
Addiction can be an extremely painful disease to experience. Regardless of what substance an individual is abusing, addiction has the potential to devastate all areas of one’s life. Addictive substances can cause serious physical consequences that can be deadly. It can also lead to severe psychological effects, as well as social problems, too. And, when an individual reaches a point where he or she is ready to obtain treatment, getting sober and beginning recovery can be challenging as well.
Thankfully, there are several different treatment options available throughout the United States. Many treatment centers offer care for those who are addicted to opioids like fentanyl, heroin, and oxycodone, and that care often begins with detoxification.
What Is Detoxification?
Also known as “detox”, detoxification is the process of clearing the body of addictive substances like opioids. When an individual stops his or her opioid abuse, it is extremely common for him or her to experience several withdrawal symptoms, such as muscle aches and pains, vomiting, and migraines. To help make the detox process more comfortable, most treatment centers that provide detox offer medications like Suboxone.
Suboxone has been used for years as a drug that curbs the intensity of withdrawal symptoms for those who are detoxing from opioids. In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Suboxone for use in medication-assisted treatment programs.
Suboxone is a combination of the two medications buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is known as a partial opioid agonist, which means that it triggers the opioid receptors in the brain but not as strongly as opioids like heroin and painkillers do. Buprenorphine can be used on opioid-addicted patients because it produces a much less degree of euphoria, dependence, and potential for misuse. It can also minimize symptoms of opioid withdrawal and prevent cravings. The goal of prescribing Suboxone to a patient who is trying to stop his or her opioid addiction is to help him or her slowly wean off opioids while doing so in a relatively comfortable manner.
Naloxone, which is the other main ingredient in Suboxone, is slowly but surely becoming a household name. Naloxone, which is known by the brand name Narcan, is used to help revive those who have overdosed on opioids. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it does not cause any effects related to opioids, but instead blocks opioid agonists. Opioid agonists are drugs like Vicodin and Percocet that activate the opioid receptors in the brain, producing a high. Many facilities will provide those recovering from opioid addiction with Suboxone primarily because of how naloxone can help prevent overdose.
How Do People Get Addicted To Suboxone?
The truth of the matter is, even drugs that are designed to help those who have the disease of addiction can be addictive to an extent. Even though Suboxone has been deemed a very low risk for addiction, people can still become addicted to it. And while it is rare, it does happen and can cause just as many problems like addiction to other substances can.
Some people find themselves addicted to Suboxone, as it has become a major part of their medication-assisted treatment. And when the time comes to fully taper off of it, an individual might begin doctor shopping for more or visiting emergency rooms to get his or her hands on these pills. Others might simply buy Suboxone from dealers on the street.
Since Suboxone does not produce nearly as strong of a high like other opioids do, many people feel as though they have developed a psychological dependence on it. On the other hand, many also develop a physical dependency that causes withdrawal symptoms to occur when Suboxone is not being used. Some of these symptoms can include nausea, insomnia, anxiety, fever, depression, and gastrointestinal problems. Withdrawal from this medication can last upwards of one month.
Signs Of Suboxone Addiction
If you have a loved one who was addicted to opioids but has been utilizing Suboxone for maintenance, you might not even be looking for signs that he or she is abusing this medication. However, it is important to understand that while not too common, Suboxone addiction is a real possibility. Some of the signs and symptoms that your loved one might display when abusing Suboxone can include:
- Respiratory depression
- Mood swings
You might also notice that your loved one has many prescription bottles around, possibly with different doctors’ names on them. Your loved one might also begin slipping back into his or her behaviors that he or she displayed prior to treatment, such as isolating him or herself, being manipulative, being deceitful, or pulling away from previously enjoyed activities.
The most important thing you can do is always remain vigilant of your loved one’s behaviors. You likely already know which behaviors signal that he or she is potentially using again, which is why keeping those symptoms on your radar can be life-saving.
Treatment For Suboxone Addiction
It might seem strange to think about getting treatment for Suboxone, a medication used to treat addiction, however it does occur. In many cases, those who are addicted to Suboxone participate in a medically assisted treatment program, where they will be carefully tapered off of Suboxone so that their withdrawal symptoms do not become uncontrollable. Some medically assisted treatment programs will still prescribe medications like Suboxone to help with the detox process, as studies show that this process does work.
As with any other drug, an individual who has detoxed from Suboxone will likely begin therapy either in an outpatient or inpatient setting. Through therapy, he or she can understand why he or she became addicted to Suboxone and how to prevent use in the future. Following a steady aftercare plan can be extremely beneficial in up keeping recovery.
Do You Need Help?
If you are addicted to Suboxone, you do not have to go it alone. By contacting us, we can help you determine what level of treatment you might require, as well as help you connect to the right people in the right places. Our goal is to help you find your way into recovery so that you can finally put your addictive tendencies behind you.
Call us right now. We are happy to help you start over with a clean, sober slate.