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Suboxone Withdrawal

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Suboxone Withdrawal

Suboxone Withdrawal & Detox Treatment

Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that 2.9 million Americans aged 26 and older were non-medical users of prescription pain relievers during some point in that year. Because non-medical use of prescription pain relievers can quickly lead to addiction that usually requires detox, medications such as Suboxone are prescribed to ease the withdrawal symptoms of people who suffer from a physical dependence to opioids. However, as with all opioids, it can be abused and Suboxone withdrawal symptoms occur when use stops.

When used carefully and under supervision as a detox medication, suboxone can be effective in weaning patients off of their drug of abuse. However, when suboxone is administered without any regulation, addicts can replace their current addiction with a suboxone dependence. It has been said that suboxone withdrawal is extremely  painful, long-lasting, and can be dangerous without proper oversight. To avoid suboxone dependence addicts wishing to begin a medical maintenance treatment program should contact a reputable facility experienced in medical maintenance therapies.

What is Suboxone?

It is a medication that has sedative chemicals and abusing it can cause Suboxone withdrawal symptoms. It is typically prescribed to people who suffer from an opioid dependence, although Suboxone withdrawal symptoms can occur if the medication is abused in non-medical ways. It has a similar, although milder, effect to opioid medication that is prescribed for pain relief; due to the agonist Buprenorphine. Buprenorphine in Suboxone is coupled with the antagonist Naloxone that blocks certain opiate receptors in the brain. This helps to eliminate the potential for abuse by not allowing the user to feel any increased effects despite an increase in dosage.

The drug is intended strictly for opiate withdrawal and not pain relief. The danger of abusing this drug in non-medical ways is a risk of addiction. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use this medication as it has potential to cause the baby to become dependent on the substance too. Mixing this medication with alcohol has the potential to increase the effects of both substances once they have been metabolized; this can lead to unintended and hazardous situations.

Central nervous system depressants are highly dangerous if consumed while under the effects of Suboxone. Some depressants are known to decrease respiratory function and if coupled with this drug, it can further decrease respiratory function resulting in difficulty breathing. Many of the withdrawal symptoms that are experienced when suffering from opioid withdrawal are very similar to those that are endured when suffering from Suboxone withdrawal. Some of the withdrawal symptoms of this drug include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Cravings
  • Sweating
  • Lethargy
  • Digestive distress

The worst of the withdrawal symptoms typically occur within 72 hours after the last dose is consumed. During the 1st  week after that, there is generally bodily discomfort such as aching joints and muscles potentially coupled with insomnia and mood swings. Depression and cravings can occur for months after the final consumption of the medication. It is important that this medication only be used as prescribed by a healthcare professional so that they are able to keep track of the dosage and length of time that the patient is using the medication. If any deviation is made from the prescribed dosage or method of consumption, the healthcare professional will be able to pick this up and can advise on different treatment options if they are necessary.

Treating Suboxone Addiction

Treatment for this addiction is very similar to that of any opioid addiction. It can be done through either inpatient or outpatient programs depending on the patient’s availability and finances among other things. The first stage may consist of a detoxification whereby the patient must endure the withdrawal symptoms of the substance until they are able to cope and treatment may progress. Among other treatments, cognitive-behavioral therapy can then be used during the treatment program to help a patient change their behavior and thought processes so that they are able to cope with the stress of everyday life without abusing substances.

If you would like to get help for you or someone you know that is suffering from addiction, reach out to a professional substance abuse treatment center that specializes in chemical dependence and addiction treatment. Addiction treatment comes in many forms and there is a program out there that can help you successfully recover.

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