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Of all that you go through in your battle with drug addiction, the withdrawal process is arguably the one thing that addicts fear the most. No matter what the drug or how long you have been abusing your drug of choice, the physical and psychological pain that you can feel coming off drugs can be a nightmare.
Opiates such as heroin and morphine have some of the most withdrawal symptoms on the planet, and in the drug treatment process great care needs to be taken to ensure the health and safety of the addict. Fortunately, medications such as Suboxone can help minimize the effects of withdrawal and get the addict on the right track with recovery.
While suboxone is indeed an effective tool to help in recovery, users can experience withdrawal symptoms as they gradually wean themselves off the medication. It is important to understand how suboxone works and know the ins and outs of withdrawal from this medication.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is synthetic opioid medication which was developed as an alternative treatment to methadone, which for decades was the medication of choice for those withdrawing from opiates like heroin. While highly effective in helping minimizing withdrawal symptoms, methadone was found to be highly addictive and those recovering from opiate addiction soon developed a methadone addiction.
Those who take suboxone will experience less of a high in comparison to methadone and the drug stays in a recovering addict’s system for a longer period of time. Additionally, the ceiling effect of suboxone is lower than methadone, which means that an increase in dosage will not increase the effects felt by users.
As a result, users won’t experience significant intoxication and users are less likely of experiencing dangerous side effects such as respiratory distress, which can be seen in methadone users.
Suboxone Withdrawal: What You Need to Know
While suboxone is a safer medication in comparison to methadone, those who take this medication can experience withdrawal symptoms. Since suboxone stays in the bloodstream for up to 36 hours, the onset of suboxone withdrawal symptoms will typically not be felt until a couple of days after the last dose.
The early withdrawal symptoms can be flu-like and include the following:
- Muscle aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Decreased Appetite
This early withdrawal phase from suboxone can last up to a few days and can be accompanied by insomnia, irritability, agitation and increased drug cravings. After this early withdrawal period, users start feeling better physically and psychologically but can hit a wall and experience a secondary wave of suboxone withdrawal. This is often called PAWS (Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) can this symptoms can be felt off and on for a few weeks or even months. The symptoms of this phase are the same as was experienced during the acute stages of suboxone withdrawal.
Managing Suboxone Withdrawal
Withdrawing from suboxone is not life-threatening. However, if users are feeling withdrawal symptoms they should seek medical detoxification. If needed, the same behavioral therapies used previously in drug treatment are beneficial.
In order to minimize any residual effects of suboxone withdrawal, it is recommended that users do the following:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Maintain a structured sleep schedule
- Engage in regular exercise
- Engage in meditation and yoga practices
- If you need further help, look for help
The withdrawal process from any drug can provide anxiety for anyone undergoing drug treatment. Knowledge is key to alleviating any fears, and Sober Nation can provide you the information you need. As the world’s largest addiction and recovery database, we give you the pertinent information you need to become informed, aware and empowered to overcome any addiction.