How Do I Stop Taking Buprenorphine?
Despite the reasons, you are choosing to take buprenorphine, there are effective ways to stop using it. Whichever approach is used, you should be coordinating with your medical provider, or whoever has prescribed you buprenorphine. When treatment is gotten for opioid addiction, it is not uncommon for an opioid addict to be prescribed buprenorphine. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there was a steady increase in the rate of opioid prescriptions starting in 2006. This peaked in 2012, with more than 255 million prescriptions, which was a rate of 81.3 prescription per 100 persons. According to an article written in the American Journal on Addictions, prescription to buprenorphine had a substantial increase between 2003 and 2013. Choosing to take buprenorphine is replacing one drug with another drug. However, this is a common approach used, coined as medication-assisted treatment. This can be frustrating for some families and even addicts, who want to become completely drug-free. However, this is still possible, because buprenorphine is meant for short-term use.
It is possible to become dependent on buprenorphine, because it is an opioid, and does create the same effects, but not as potent. Addiction to buprenorphine is not uncommon, but not as frequent as with methadone. The ways to stop buprenorphine will involve either detox or tapering of the drug with your prescribing doctor. There is a risk when you choose to stop buprenorphine without the help of a medical professional. When a patient is monitored by a doctor, the medication can be taken safely and stopped safely. Stopping it cold turkey can send the person into immediate withdrawals and will increase the body's need for opioids. This could potentially lead the patient returning to other opioids to manage the withdrawal symptoms. If you are taking buprenorphine, eventually stopping the drug should be the end goal. The best time to do this is when you are in treatment, as a residential drug rehab center could detox you completely off the drug. Being drug-free while going through aftercare is far more effective, and you will see better results.
You should also stop taking the drug if you are showing signs such as an allergic reaction, having trouble breathing, or exhibiting the signs of an overdose. This is especially important if you are showing signs of continued addiction, as this defeats the purpose of taking a drug like buprenorphine. If you are taking buprenorphine through an outpatient center, you would have to be tapered off the drug. This tapering process may not be easy, and it can take time. However, this is an effective way to stop taking buprenorphine. When you finish drug rehab, you should also consider aftercare treatment, such as sober living homes, individual or group therapy, family counseling, and 12-step groups. Staying involved with your recovery does help manage cravings, but more importantly you are gaining new abilities to stay sober. Medication-assisted treatment should not necessarily be considered a long-term solution. However, when you choose to detox off buprenorphine, you should do it under the supervision of medical professionals.