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Is Treating Opioid Addiction With Suboxone A Safe Option?

on Monday, 25 August 2014. Posted in Breaking News

Is Treating Opioid Addiction With Suboxone A Safe Option?

Physicians treating addiction to heroin or prescription opoids are usually able to see a better success rate when providing medication. Recovering from the abuse of a highly addictive drug like heroin can be too difficult for long time users who are attempting to quit "cold turkey". Fewer than 25 percent of patients quitting opoids are able to remain abstinent for a full year. Addiction recovery can be more successful with medication-assisted treatment utilizing drugs like methadone, naltrexone or Suboxone.

These types of medications can benefit patients in staying sober while also reducing the side effects of withdrawal as they complete their detox treatment. Options like Suboxone can be a safe alternative to methadone which has a higher rate of dependency.

Reducing the Chance of Relapse

Opoid addiction recovery can mean experiencing some of the most difficult and painful withdrawal symptoms of any type of drug. Cravings can be especially intense during detox and even months after getting clean. Medications like Suboxone can work effectively to manage withdrawal symptoms and make detox as comfortable as possible.

It can also bring down the kind of cravings that can often lead to relapse in patients without any assistance from medication. Suboxone can be used during detox and in the months afterwards while patients attend rehab.

People can take Suboxone to complement their education, counseling and other support measures that will help them in the process of addiction recovery. Medication alone may not be effective in achieving sobriety but it can supplement an existing program to keep patients more stable and less likely to give into cravings.

Medication without Dependency

Although abuse of Suboxone can occur, the potential for dependency is much lower than that of methadone. Suboxone effectively reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings but it does not cause any euphoria in an opoid-dependent patient. Taking this kind of medication can also block the euphoric effects of other opoids for 24 hours so that a patient is less likely to seek problem drugs.

Suboxone has had high success rates for patients staying sober for a full year with as many as 40 to 60 percent in some studies. Treatment with this type of medication is easier to access because patients are not required to participate in a highly regulated federal program as they would be in a methadone clinic. Doctors can more easily prescribe Suboxone and patients can administer the medication in private by simply dissolving it under the tongue.

The medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream within a few minutes. Suboxone is administered in safe doses which are reduced over a period of time so that there is no possibility of abuse or dependency.

While Suboxone overall is considered a safe way to treat opiate addiction there are instances in which people begin to abuse the medication and end up experiencing withdrawal. Prolonged use of the medication can lead to withdrawal symptoms like stomach pains, irritability and restlessness, muscle aches and pains, and nausea and vomiting. These symptoms typically only occur if the drug is being abused or taken for a long period of time without reducing the dose.

As long as patients follow their prescription precisely and are able to gradually taper off their use of the drug there should be little to no withdrawal symptoms. Even though abuse is possible and there is the potential for withdrawal, Suboxone does not lead to the kind of dependency that can occur with methadone.

Recovering from opoid addiction can be too hard for long time users without the help of medications to reduce cravings and manage withdrawal symptoms. If Suboxone is used properly, addicts stand a much greater chance of achieving a completely recovery from their abuse.

photo credit: Billy Wilson Photography via photopin cc

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