What Is Suboxone?

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Created On: Saturday, 12, October 2019
Modified On: Saturday, 12, October 2019

Suboxone is a brand name for a drug that is made up of buprenorphine and naloxone. The drug is used to treat opioid dependency and addiction. When it is prescribed, it comes as an oral film that is placed under the tongue and dissolves in the mouth. Suboxone is used to reduce opioid misuse and helps people stay in treatment for opioid addiction. Suboxone is a controlled substance and is classified as a Schedule II prescription drug. The drug is accepted for medical use but could cause physical or psychological dependence if abused. The drug can only be prescribed by doctors and gotten through a pharmacy, and it can only be used for opioid dependence. The effects created by suboxone are similar to opioids but much weaker. Suboxone would be considered a partial agonist, yet the presence of naloxone decreases the chances of misuse. Naloxone is a drug that is used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose. It specifically counteracts the depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system. Naloxone only works when a person has opioids in their system, which is what buprenorphine is. Naloxone has no potential for abuse, which is why suboxone is used for longer-term treatment within medication-assisted treatment services.

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The use of suboxone does create some side effects, such as common ones like headaches, anxiety, insomnia, sweating, nausea, weakness, and depression. Suboxone will also create opioid withdrawal symptoms, such as abdominal cramps, body aches, and rapid heart rate. The serious side effects caused by suboxone are not common but include allergic reaction, breathing problems, liver damage, abuse, dependency, and severe withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone was designed to deter the abuse of buprenorphine. For example, if suboxone is injected the user will immediately experience withdrawals, because of the naloxone. Suboxone is used in combination with medication-assisted treatment, which can be done through inpatient or outpatient settings. Most residential drug rehab centers will detox a patient off suboxone when they are done the treatment. The purpose of rehabilitation is to address the underlying issues connected to the addiction. When this is done effectively, it will make it easier to maintain a drug-free life. Having to rely on medication should not be the end result of treatment. An outpatient program can taper a person off suboxone when they have finished drug rehab.

Aftercare treatment would also be an effective solution, so the former addict can continue to work on his or her sobriety. Aftercare programs have proven successful in helping former opioid addicts maintain his or her sobriety. Suboxone may be an option during treatment, but the end goal should be to be completely drug-free. The long-term use of suboxone will still create dependency because of buprenorphine. These types of drugs are not necessarily meant for long-term consumption, and should only be taken in combination with treatment.