Is Suboxone right for you?
Most people can’t just walk away from opioid dependence. They need help to change their thinking, behavior, and environment. Quitting opioid use without help can be very challenging and has a very poor success rate. Only 25 percent of individuals who try remain clean for a full year. Fortunately, medication-assisted treatment is available.
Suboxone is the brand name for the combination of the drugs Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Buprenorphine suppresses withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids, while Naloxone blocks the effects of problem opioids, such as heroin and painkillers, for at least 24 hours. Buprenorphine is considered a partial opioid antagonist meaning it produces a milder form of the effects produced by opioids. Essentially, it fills the brain’s opioid receptors without producing the same high as full opioids. The potential for abuse of Suboxone is much lower than with other opioid abuse medications because Suboxone does not cause euphoria in patients with opioid addiction.
Think of Suboxone as a stepping stone. Since it suppresses withdrawal and cravings, it can help you remain in treatment and gain control over your opioid addiction without the distraction of cravings or fear of withdrawal. Typically, when an addict is trying to quit opioids, he or she will go through withdrawal as well as post-acute withdrawal – hazy, tired, and feeling depressed.
Suboxone allows you to overcome your addiction by breaking up the recovery process into more manageable steps. You can start Suboxone and then build the foundation for sober living without having your mind clouded by withdrawal and cravings, and then begin to taper off of Suboxone once positive changes are made.
By having withdrawal symptoms and cravings controlled, overall treatment can focus on resolving issues and avoiding situations that can cause you to relapse. You can also work with your physician to address the issues that may have been contributing to your use of opioids such as depression, anxiety, or other psychiatric conditions.
Approaching recovery with Suboxone gives you a higher chance for success in overcoming your addiction.