The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 78 people in the United States suffer a fatal opioid overdose each day. It’s a tragedy on a horrific scale, and it’s easy to give way to hopelessness.
However, tools for overcoming opioid dependence are obtainable, and one of the most promising is called Suboxone.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone, which is itself an opioid, is a drug that can prevent opiate overdoses. In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared Suboxone safe for battling opiate addiction. It’s been available in the United States for this purpose since 2003.
Patients receive Suboxone in the form of thin strips. All you have to do is lift your tongue and place one of the strips beneath it. Your doctor will tell you how often to perform this task.
Once a strip is in position, the Suboxone will slowly enter your bloodstream. Meanwhile, you could go about your typical routine and not feel anything unusual.
The Relief That Suboxone Provides
Suboxone helps people deal with the withdrawal effects that come with giving up opioids. Cravings, of course, can be overwhelming. But, when Suboxone eases them, a person can better focus on his or her responsibilities and on building a life that’s free of addiction.
In particular, an ingredient called buprenorphine weakens urges and painful withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine can stay in a person’s system for anywhere between 24 and 72 hours.
After patients have been taking Suboxone for a while, their doctors will slowly wean them off of it. Once they’re no longer taking it, they’ll likely still face the lingering physical effects of withdrawal, but those symptoms will be substantially reduced and much easier to put up with.
Suboxone by itself won’t eliminate opioid addiction. However, in concert with counseling and other forms of drug abuse treatment, it can be a uniquely powerful weapon in this fight. Indeed, 12-step and other addiction programs that don’t provide medications frequently see high percentages of their patients leaving before they complete their treatment.
Suboxone on the Rise
In many places, Suboxone is replacing methadone as an opioid treatment. The main reason for this wide-scale substitution is that methadone can only be distributed at certain facilities, which are often referred to as “methadone clinics.” In some cases, people who are recovering from an addiction are reluctant to go to such a clinic because they’re afraid to be seen there.
Patients could also miss a methadone appointment due to an illness, inclement weather or some other situation. As a result, they might face intense cravings and then relapse. By contrast, once a doctor prescribes Suboxone, a person can take the drug in the comfort and privacy of his or her own home.
Also, there is a misconception about Suboxone that you should be aware of: that it can make a person violent. This idea is completely untrue — the drug doesn’t lead to hostility or personality changes.
Across the globe, Suboxone has helped hundreds of thousands of people. And, as awareness of this drug spreads, it will likely help a great many more. AMC Treatment Center is proud to offer Suboxone. If you need medical care for an opioid addiction, or if you need to help a loved one, give us a call or stop in to see us today.