How It Works and Is It Safe?
Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist that contains a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. Working with the same receptors in the brain that are typically activated by opioids, buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that provides patients with relief from the physical symptoms of withdrawal. When taken, buprenorphine takes over the opiate receptors in the brain without causing patients to experience cognitive impairments. The naloxone portion of Suboxone is an opioid antagonist (“opioid blocker”) that counteracts the negative effects that opioids have on the body. When ingested, Suboxone provides patients with relief from craving additional opioids while also eliminating the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
Extensive clinical research has confirmed the safety and efficiency of Suboxone when taken as directed under the guidance of a trained medical professional.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Suboxone has been clinically proven to be a safe and effective treatment option for individuals who are struggling with opioid addiction. Patients who have utilized Suboxone have reported experiencing a decrease in cravings for continued opioid use while noting diminished withdrawal symptoms. Since Suboxone will not cause patients to experience the same feelings of euphoria that typically take place due to opioid use, they are able to play an active role in daily obligations such as work, school, and their treatment. Patients who attempt to abuse Suboxone will not experience the same desired high that they would typically experience when abusing opioids.
While studies have confirmed that Suboxone can provide patients with the mental clarity that is required to focus on recovery, this medication is not the appropriate choice for everyone. By working closely with your treatment provider, you will be able to determine the appropriate form of treatment based on your individual needs.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Once addicted to opioids, individuals will experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms should they attempt to immediately cease use. Because of this, many individuals find themselves trapped in a dangerous cycle of addiction in an attempt to avoid experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal. However, when Suboxone is incorporated into a treatment plan, patients are able to focus on recovery without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Although Suboxone can provide patients with relief from withdrawal symptoms, taking a comprehensive treatment approach provides patients with the highest chances of succeeding in recovery. At Anchorage Treatment Solutions, we provide patients with the opportunity to take part in both individual and group therapy sessions. These sessions give patients the opportunity to work closely with our highly qualified counselors in order to address and treat the underlying factors that may have contributed to their addiction in the first place. Group sessions bring patients together with their peers in order to provide and receive support and encouragement from individuals who understand firsthand the struggles associated with addiction and recovery. Sessions allow patients to openly discuss their struggles, triumphs, emotions, and concerns in a safe and supportive environment.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Addiction affects everyone who is involved, not just the individual who is physically abusing the substance. If someone you love is battling an addiction to opioids, the best role that you can play in his or her treatment is one that is supportive. By being an active part of your loved one’s recovery process, you will be able to provide him or her with the support that he or she needs throughout his or her recovery journey. Please keep the following in mind:
- Learn more about Suboxone as well as the other treatment options so that you understand what your loved one is going through during his or her treatment process,
- Remind your loved one to attend any appointments that he or she has.
- Show your support by regularly asking your loved one how his or her therapy is going, how the medication is affecting him or her, etc.
- Congratulate your loved one on all successes.
- Remind yourself that lasting recovery takes time and may include setbacks along the way. Remain optimistic and share that optimism with your loved one, especially when he or she may feel discouraged.
- Obtain your own support.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: The decision to take part in treatment at Anchorage Treatment Solutions is a brave and wonderful first step. By actively playing a role in your entire therapeutic process, you will be able to commit to your recovery on a personal level. The following are suggestions as to how to successfully navigate your journey to lasting recovery:
- Follow all of the guidelines set in place by your treatment provider and adhere to any suggestions that he or she may offer regarding the treatment process as a whole.
- Consistently show up for all appointments in order to receive your Suboxone.
- Refrain from consuming alcohol and/or other substances while taking Suboxone.
- Play an active role in group therapy sessions which will allow you to benefit from the therapeutic experience
- Openly and honestly communicate with your counselor during individual sessions. He or she is there to help you achieve your goals, not to hinder your progression.
- Communicate any questions or concerns that may arise throughout the course of treatment. Voicing any issues that may take place is important in order to properly monitor your progression in treatment. Changes to your medication can be made by our physicians if deemed appropriate.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
As is the case with most medications, there is a risk of side effects due to the use of Suboxone. The following side effects have been reported:
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Numb mouth
- Painful tongue
- Blurred vision
- Runny nose
- Coordination problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Back and abdominal pain
- Attention disturbances
Please report any side effects that may take place to your physician so that he or she can adjust your dosage or transition you onto another prescription if necessary.
The dedicated and professional team of medical experts at Anchorage Treatment Solutions is here to provide you or loved one with the highest quality of care available. Please contact us today to learn more about the treatment options that we offer as well as to answer any questions that you may have. We are here to help you achieve the healthy, happy, and opioid-free life that you deserve to be living.