We recently discussed the opioid epidemic facing our nation, and the treatment options that are available. One that we highlighted was Suboxone. Suboxone is a narcotic, but it is also an effective treatment for opioid addiction, imitating the effects of opioids, while also reducing drug cravings.
The treatment has been around for about 10 years, but it has become more widespread recently with the recent increase in opioid abuse and addiction. We believe it’s a viable tool for treating opioids, and that it’s essential to have all the information available to you before committing to this treatment. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this treatment plan:
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is actually two drugs: Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Buprenorphine is a narcotic, while Naloxone suppresses the opioid effects.
How Does It Work?
Essentially, the Buprenorphine produces a similar chemical reaction in the brain as other opioids, but the Naloxone suppresses both the euphoric and withdrawal symptoms. This leaves the patient feeling relatively normal, avoiding the vicious cycle driven by withdrawal cravings and side effects.
Is Suboxone Effective?
While all treatments can vary from patient to patient, there have been studies that demonstrate suboxone’s efficacy over intensive counseling. From our own anecdotal perspective, we see it as a highly viable treatment method particularly when combined with other methods, including counseling.
Is Suboxone Safe?
Like all narcotics, suboxone carries the risk of abuse and addiction. That said, suboxone abuse is far less widespread than other narcotic treatments, such as methadone. And like most other narcotics, misuse can lead to overdose, while combining alcohol or other drugs with suboxone can even be lethal. Lastly, there are some medical conditions where suboxone may not be a viable treatment method. It’s always best to consult with a medical professional to determine if it is safe for your specific situation.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Yes, patients can experience a variety of side effects such as shallow breathing, confusion, weakness, loss of coordination, blurred vision and/or speech, liver problems, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and others.
If Suboxone Is Addictive? Am I Trading One Addiction For Another?
When suboxone treatment is successful, the patient stops experiencing withdrawal symptoms, but also stops experiencing cravings and the loss of control over behavior associated with addiction. The patient ultimately will no longer be physically dependent on opioids, and can eventually be weaned off suboxone to become entirely drug-free.
If you or someone you know may be dealing with an opioid addiction, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a private and confidential consultation.
In Maryland call 301.703.8767, or call 724-603-3560 in Pennsylvania to make an appointment or use the form on our site to send us a message.