Treatment with Suboxone
If you have battled a substance use disorder for any length of time, you know that persistent cravings and withdrawal symptoms are, without a doubt, two of the most challenging barriers to abstinence and recovery. You desperately want to stop using opioids, but the sickness and pain of withdrawal are overwhelming, and the only thing that provides relief is another dose. You tell yourself that if you could have even a short reprieve from these debilitating effects, that you would be able to gradually cut down your opioid use; medications like Suboxone are designed to assist opioid users in this situation.
Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) is one of very few medications specifically approved for the long-term treatment of opioid use disorder. As an agonist, per the National Advocates of Buprenorphine Treatment, it activates opioid receptors in the brain. And ss part of a comprehensive treatment plan, Suboxone can help patients successfully manage their opioid addiction while providing them with the time and motivation to develop a program of recovery and healthy lifestyle.
How Safe is Suboxone?
Suboxone is an opioid-based medication, so there is potential for abuse and diversion however, there are safeguards designed to make the drug more difficult to misuse and restrict access. Treatment must be monitored closely by a physician or nurse practitioner who has completed certification and training before being approved to prescribe Suboxone. While Suboxone does carry a certain level of risk, responsible monitoring can decrease these risks.
How Does Suboxone Treatment Work?
While each individual’s Suboxone treatment will vary according to their dependency and history, treatment generally consists of three phases:
Induction – Patients begin Suboxone treatment under the careful supervision of the prescribing healthcare provider. Prior to induction, Suboxone patients must be in moderate withdrawal and clearly communicate with their physicians to identify a dose that is safe and effective for their physiology and care.
Maintenance – Maintenance is initiated when patients are no longer experiencing intense cravings , withdrawal symptoms, or other side effects. During maintenance, patients are taking their medication daily as prescribed. It’s important that they comply with all elements of the treatment plan including responsibly storing and handling the medication, refraining from illicit drug use, participating in some form of therapy and group recovery.
Tapering – The decision to discontinue Suboxone should be agreed upon by the patient and patients’ treatment provider as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. It’s important that you work with your physician or nurse practitioner to identify the right time to gradually lower your dose, with a focus on minimizing withdrawal symptoms.
Patients should consult their provider about symptoms and effects before making any dosage changes. Suboxone treatment is usually reserved for patients who have struggled with a persistent opioid use disorder; have tried and failed other forms opioid treatment; or are dealing with intense and lingering withdrawal symptoms as a result of a prior detox.
Find Out About Suboxone Treatment Today
Clearpoint applies professionalism and strict adherence to clinical safety and appropriateness when prescribing Suboxone or other medications as part of a medication assisted treatment program for alcohol or opioid use disorders. If you or someone you love is suffering from a cycle of opioid or alcohol relapse and withdrawal, find out if Suboxone is right for you.
To schedule a comprehensive alcohol or drug evaluation, call us today at 1-203-293-1723.