IOP for Suboxone Addiction
Can I Get Addicted to Suboxone?
Suboxone and its effects
Many of us associate addiction with substances like alcohol, heroin, prescription painkillers, benzodiazepines, and cocaine. These are the substances that we know to be highly addictive; however, there are actually a number of people addicted to some of the less likely and least-suspected substances, including ones that are more commonly used as an aid to addiction recovery. Much like methadone, Suboxone has helped numerous people to achieve lasting sobriety, but it can also be abused to devastating effect. At Serene Beginnings, our intensive outpatient program for Suboxone addiction can be a valuable resource for individuals who find themselves suffering from addiction to this very unusual medication. While there are many substances that continue to be problematic today, opioids are some of the most highly publicized. Ever since the release of OxyContin in the 1990s, opioid abuse has continued to climb with many referring to current rates of opioid abuse and addiction as an “epidemic.” As it was one of the most powerful prescription painkillers ever prescribed, OxyContin gained popularity among substance abusers; however, changes to healthcare policy and practice led to OxyContin and other painkillers being much less readily available, resulting in numerous people deferring to heroin, which was more readily available, less expensive, and even more powerful than OxyContin. With opioid abuse at record highs and continuing to climb, professionals in the addiction treatment industry sought new and innovative ways to treat opioid addiction. This led to the use of medications like methadone and Suboxone. Anyone who’s familiar with Suboxone will recognize it as a substance that’s been used in replacement therapy, an increasingly well-regarded form of treatment for opioid abuse. Although methadone is the more common medication used in replacement therapy, Suboxone is prescribed to individuals addicted to heroin and other opioids, allowing them to cease their use of illicit drugs without having to deal with withdrawal and the detoxification process. Specifically, Suboxone is a medication that is comprised of two substances: Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid substance that’s commonly used in both opioid addiction treatment as well as in treating physical pain. Meanwhile, Naloxone works to block the effects of opioids, which it does due to its ability to readily create strong bonds with the opioid receptors in the brain. Thus, individuals who take Suboxone or other substances containing naloxone will not experience the intoxicating effects of other opioids, making them much less likely to use street opioids. Much like Methadone, Suboxone still has significant potential for abuse since it is basically an opioid drug itself. Even though Suboxone blocks other opioids from bonding with receptors in the brain, people can take larger amounts of Suboxone in an effort to experience a “high” from the medication. Additionally, it’s important to remember that one of the substances in Suboxone — buprenorphine — is an actual opioid; therefore, when individuals take large amounts of Suboxone, they are at risk of overdosing despite the fact that they’re not experiencing much in the way of intoxication from the drug. And no matter how Suboxone is used on a day-to-day basis, anyone who takes Suboxone regularly for a period of time is likely to become dependent on the substance.