Addiction is a very complicated, destructive disease. It occurs as a direct result of one’s substance abuse, developing as a person consumes more and more alcohol or drugs. When it develops, there’s no curing it. A person who becomes addicted carries the disease for the rest of his or her life. While that sounds bleak, there’s actually a silver lining: There are many resources available that were designed to help addicts get sober. With the right combination of treatments, therapies, and other resources, a person who was seemingly a slave to alcohol or drugs can regain his or her independence and live a life free from substance abuse and its resultant effects.While the good news is that recovery is very attainable, it’s not the most straightforward process. Every person who becomes addicted to a chemical substance will require different treatments in order to achieve sobriety. Some can get sober with a period of outpatient treatment while others require a longer period of inpatient care. There’s also differences in the recovery process for different substances as some as are more addictive and more difficult to overcome than others. In particular, opioid substances are extremely addictive and are widely considered one of the most difficult substances to overcome. And that’s where Suboxone comes in.
What Exactly is Suboxone?
Most people are familiar with Suboxone, either having heard of it used in treatment, heard of it being abused on the street, or heard of how addictive it is. However, most aren’t aware of what Suboxone is in terms of what it’s made of. Suboxone is a pharmaceutical drug that consists of two main ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. The buprenorphine is the main ingredient of Suboxone and is a derivative of thebaine, which itself comes from the opium; however, thebaine is a stimulant opiate rather than a depressant, so buprenorphine doesn’t offer the same types of effects that opioid substances are known for.Buprenorphine is an opiate that has a better and stronger bonding capability with the brain’s opiate receptors, but, again, without many of the opioid-like effects. Meanwhile, the other component of Suboxone—naloxone—is a pure opioid antagonist, which means that it’s able to reverse the effects of central nervous system depressants such as opioids. In particular, naloxone is known for its use in emergency situations when a person has overdosed on heroin or opiate painkillers. By taking the naloxone, the opioids in the body are forcibly expelled from the system and saving the person who might otherwise have died.
What’s the Purpose of Suboxone?
Due to the effects of its primary ingredients, Suboxone has some very specific uses. The most well-known and common use of Suboxone is in medication-assisted therapies and opioid replacement therapy programs. In opioid replacement therapy, an opioid addict is given some pharmaceutical substance—typically either methadone or Suboxone—that will effectively prohibit withdrawal symptoms, allowing the addict to cease usage of illicit drugs without the negative side effects that typically occur when an addict suddenly ends consumption. Although methadone is more traditionally used in replacement therapies—in what’s referred to as methadone maintenance programs—Suboxone is a newer substance that’s become preferred for a few key reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Suboxone blocks an addict from experiencing the effects of any other opioid substances while taking Suboxone. This has resulted in significant success for many addicts who would otherwise be too intimidated by withdrawal to pursue opioid addiction recovery; as an alternative to abstinent recovery, Suboxone essentially eliminates the worst part of recovery by making a narcotic user into someone who doesn’t need to use heroin or opioid substances an instantaneous transition.
When You Want to Stop Taking Suboxone
Although many people have experienced success in recovery as a direct result of Suboxone, there are many opponents of Suboxone who do not consider non-abstinent recovery to be actual sobriety. In other words, they feel that a person who is still taking Suboxone can’t claim to be sober or fully recovered, which has lead to many people wanting to go off Suboxone as the last step of their recovery processes. In some cases, these individuals have been on Suboxone maintenance for years, either as long or longer as they had been dependent on opioid drugs; alternately, some people simply want to be free from the responsibility of having to take Suboxone—known to be an expensive pharmaceutical substance—on a daily basis and, instead, want to come off the drug so they won’t be dependent on Suboxone any longer. However, Suboxone isn’t a substance that one can just stop taking abruptly. It’s important that anyone wanting to stop taking Suboxone go about it in the correct way.
Getting Off Suboxone the Right Way
First, it’s important to be aware that while the abuse potential for Suboxone is much lower than opioids like heroin and prescription pain medication, there’s still a limited potential for abuse. Buprenorphine is an extremely potent opiate that causes a person’s tolerance to opioid substance to increase considerably, becoming even greater than one’s tolerance while in active opioid addiction. Therefore, mixing buprenorphine with heroin and painkillers is dangerous because it means a person will have much higher-than-expected levels of drugs in his or her system, which leaves him or her vulnerable to overdose. Moreover, taking such a potent opiate on a daily basis for an extended period of time inevitably results in physical dependence; as difficult as it is for people to overcome heroin and painkiller addictions, it’s actually more difficult to overcome physical Suboxone dependence and could potentially be more unpleasant, which is why it’s essential for those who want to stop taking Suboxone to enroll in a Suboxone detox program. During this program, the individual will have continuous supervision and care, ensuring his or her safety throughout the process while also mitigating any discomfort that might occur through a combination of medicinal treatments, diet and nutrition, meditation, neurofeedback, and many other possible therapies.
Call the Palm Beach Institute Today and Begin Your Journey to Health
If you or someone you love would like to discuss the available treatment options for Suboxone addiction or some other type of chemical dependence, call the Palm Beach Institute at (855) 960-5456. We’re available anytime, day or night, to help you or your loved one takes the first steps on the journey to lasting sobriety.