More than 2.1 million people in the United States have an opioid use disorder, and over 120,000 deaths worldwide (the majority of which occur in the U.S.) are attributed to opioid abuse. Opioid addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome, but thanks to world-class medications like Suboxone, recovery is more attainable today than it ever has been before.
Suboxone is a prescription medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that binds to and occupies opioid receptors, reducing withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. Naloxone is added to the medication to prevent its misuse. Naloxone is an opioid agonist that prevents the psychoactive effects of opioids and creates a “ceiling effect” so people can’t get high by taking other opioids or by abusing their medication.
A multitude of studies has proven that medications like Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) reduce opioid use as well as criminal behavior associated with drug use and the risk of overdose, infectious disease transmission, and treatment retention. Patients who take buprenorphine are nearly twice as likely to stay in treatment and far less likely to test positive for opioid drugs on drug tests.
If you struggle with opioid addiction, you may be wondering if addiction treatment with Suboxone is right for you.
3 Signs Suboxone Treatment may be Right for You
Suboxone treatment may not be right for everyone. It’s important to speak with a doctor before taking Suboxone and to only take it as directed. Taking Suboxone too early can result in dangerous symptoms of precipitated withdrawal and abusing Suboxone can be dangerous.
Three signs that you may be a prime candidate for Suboxone treatment are:
1. You Meet the Diagnostic Criteria for an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)
Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) is prescribed to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), which is the formal diagnosis for opioid addiction. Before starting treatment, your doctor will assess you for symptoms of opioid addiction by determining whether or not you meet certain diagnostic criteria.
People who have 2-3 or more of the following symptoms in the last 12 months may have an OUD:
- Taking larger amounts or taking opioids over a longer period than intended.
- Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control opioid use.
- Spending a great deal of time obtaining or using the opioid or recovering from its effects.
- Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use opioids
- Problems fulfilling obligations at work, school, or home.
- Continued opioid use despite having recurring social or interpersonal problems.
- Giving up or reducing activities because of opioid use.
- Using opioids in physically hazardous situations.
- Continued opioid use despite ongoing physical or psychological problems likely to have been caused or worsened by opioids.
- Tolerance (i.e., need for increased amounts or diminished effect with continued use of the same amount)
- Experiencing withdrawal (opioid withdrawal syndrome) or taking opioids to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
2. You’re Committed to Completing a Treatment Program
Suboxone can reduce symptoms of opioid withdrawal and alleviate cravings during detox, but it cannot cure opioid addiction. Recovering from opioid addiction involves comprehensive holistic and behavioral treatment. As a result, Suboxone is most effective when combined with an integrated treatment program consisting of behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support.
If you are expecting Suboxone to be the ultimate solution to your addiction and mental health issues, you will be disappointed. Success in your recovery involves taking your medication as prescribed and actively participating in a treatment program.
Suboxone treatment can happen on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on the level of care you require. Treatment will involve group and individual therapy, self-care, relapse prevention counseling, and more. But if you aren’t committed to completing a treatment program and putting effort into your recovery, Suboxone may not be right for you.
3. You have Relapsed or Overdosed in the Past
Relapse is, unfortunately, very common among people struggling with opioid addiction. However, relapse is also very dangerous. When you get addicted to opioids, your tolerance increases, so you begin taking larger doses of opioids or stronger drugs. When you get sober for any period of time, your tolerance decreases and goes back to normal. Many people who relapse go back to using high doses of opioids which increases the risk of overdose.
People who experience one overdose are likely to experience another if they don’t get help. Suboxone can greatly reduce your risk for relapse and may prevent you from facing an overdose. As a result, it can be an important part of your treatment plan.
Who Should Not Take Suboxone?
According to the official Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) prescription label, you should not take Suboxone if you suspect you may be allergic or have had a known allergic reaction in the past to either buprenorphine or naloxone.
You should also avoid taking Suboxone if you are still under the influence of other opioids like heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, or methadone. You should only take the medication after the effects of other opioids have worn off completely and you have already started experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Some medical conditions require careful consideration and monitoring in patients taking Suboxone. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions:
- Lung problems
- Addison’s disease
- Problems urinating
- Liver, kidney, or gallbladder issues
- Head or brain injury
- Mental health problems
- Enlarged prostate gland
- Adrenal or thyroid gland problems
- Tooth problems
If you think Suboxone may be right for you, speak with one of our dedicated admissions coordinators today.
Find out if Suboxone Treatment is Right for You Today
The ultimate goal of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with Suboxone is to enable patients to live sober, healthy, and self-directed lives. Some patients may only take the medication during detox and residential treatment, while others will take it for months or years into recovery. The duration of the medication varies from one person to the next, and individuals should never stop taking Suboxone without consulting with their doctor, first.
To find out if you are a good candidate for treatment with Suboxone, contact us today.