Suboxone is a combination of two medications, Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Suboxone is used to help adults with opiate dependence stop using opiates and is a man-made class CIII Narcotic. This means it comes with a high risk of addiction and dependence and is best meant as a short-term treatment, in conjunction with psychosocial and emotional support therapies.
How Suboxone Works
You can take Suboxone three ways: sublingual, buccal, and transdermal. Each of these has its own dosage recommendations.
This combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone works by binding to and then blocking the opiate receptors in the brain. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, this means that it binds to the opiate receptors, producing a similar effect as an opiate, without the feeling of euphoria, when taken as prescribed. Naloxone is an opiate blocker. It blocks the receptors so that a high cannot be achieved. When taken as prescribed, along with therapy, this medication can help treat opioid dependence.
Suboxone has been shown to be an effective treatment option. When individuals in a study conducted by Richard D. Blondell, MD, and colleagues were enrolled in either an opioid discontinuation program or an opioid replacement program, use of buprenorphine in the replacement program predicted better adherence to the treatment protocol.
Overall, the benefits of Suboxone are:
- Lower potential for abuse
- Greater accessibility
- High success rate in the treatment of opiate dependence
The buprenorphine in Suboxone has both major and minor side effects.
Common minor side effects include:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Fever or chills
- Back pain
- Painful urination
Major side effects of buprenorphine include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Drowsiness and unusual fatigue
- Blurred vision
Can Suboxone Be Abused?
The short of it, unfortunately, is – yes. Suboxone is classified as a CIII narcotic and can be abused if not taken explicitly as prescribed by your doctor. Suboxone is a very highly regulated drug, and there are things in place to attempt to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, nothing is failsafe, and Suboxone is commonly abused.
As with any medication taken for a prolonged period of time, taking Suboxone for longer than the recommended short-term treatment time, causes the body and brain to become dependent on the drug. If stopped abruptly, opiate withdrawal will begin almost immediately. Typically, suffering from these withdrawal symptoms can worsen underlying issues such as anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Often, Suboxone withdrawal can be overwhelming, which can send those suffering back into a tailspin of Suboxone use, often abusing it and creating dependency. It is best to speak with the prescribing physician about any dosage changes you would like to make before making them.
Suboxone, if used correctly, can be a very efficient way to assist opiate dependent adults to wean off, and eventually stop opiate use altogether. This is medication is a regulated class CIII narcotic, and because of this, there is an increased risk of dependence and misuse. Suboxone is a temporary, short-term treatment for opioid dependence and as such, works well for many people. If you or someone you know is struggling with Suboxone addiction, call Sober Nation today at: 866-651-7889