When it comes to addiction recovery, making a choice to get clean is of the utmost importance. However, choosing your method for recovery matters as well. It is essential to be fully informed about every option available. Many people are asking, “What is buprenorphine?” and wondering how can it help with opioid addiction treatment.
An Overview of Buprenorphine
Buprenorphine is a drug that is used to treat various opioid addictions. It is different from other popular medications like methadone because it does not require as much observation. When taking buprenorphine, patients can be treated at doctors’ offices, community hospitals, and health centers. Therefore, this drug is highly versatile and widely accessible to those trying to recover from opioid addiction.
How Buprenorphine Works
There are several versions of buprenorphine. Some variations are combined with other drugs and may be taken as a film or tablet. Regardless of the form, this drug has specific properties that make it a common choice for opioid addictions. It has been shown to reduce physical dependence on opioids and protect people in case of an overdose. Because this drug is a partial opioid agonist, it produces a mild euphoric effect for patients.
Side Effects of Buprenorphine
Although there are some positive aspects of buprenorphine, the drug has significant drawbacks. While on buprenorphine, patients may experience nausea or constipation. There may be muscle aches, food cravings, and insomnia. Patients have also reported distress and fever. Patients are warned only to take buprenorphine under supervision. It may interact with other medications, illegal drugs, and alcohol. There is also significant evidence that people abuse buprenorphine, which defeats its therapeutic purpose.
Recommended Uses of Buprenorphine
Not everyone should take buprenorphine. It is only recommended when there is a legitimate opioid dependency. Patients must be ready to follow a strict treatment plan and have no other health problems. Treatment with buprenorphine typically happens in three phases. First, patients must be introduced to the drug. It can be taken as little as 12 hours after opioid usage. After this, patients must stabilize their usage. At this phase, patients should have stopped or significantly reduced their opioid usage. Buprenorphine doses may be adjusted as needed. Finally, patients must maintain their treatment. Some patients can be weaned off buprenorphine. Others may take the drug indefinitely under supervision.
Other Treatment Options
There are reasons to consider buprenorphine when trying to overcome opioid addiction. However, taking another drug to get over your addiction is not always the best approach. Many patients discover that a more holistic approach offers distinct advantages. Therefore, you should ask yourself, “What is buprenorphine, and can it help me with my addiction?” Then, you should consider what treatment will work best for you.
Ocean Hills Recovery looks at addiction treatment as a personalized journey that you choose to make. We work with our clients to help them develop the tools they need to personally address their addiction daily. We use a powerful combination of treatment options. You may recover through individual counseling, group support sessions, lifestyle changes, personal accountability, and more. To discover how we can help you on your path to recovery through holistic healing, contact our trusted team today.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.