Opiate addiction is a growing problem in the U.S. Many opiates (including codeine, oxymorphone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone) are prescribed or are readily available to individuals by other means. These are highly addictive, making them challenging to quit. One drug is often seen in the treatment of opiate addictions is Suboxone. This drug can help users overcome their opiate addictions, but it can also be highly addictive. If you’ve never heard of it before, you might wonder, “What is suboxone?” Although it is a valid question, we prefer to use holistic healing to make people well without other drugs.
How Does Suboxone Work
Many people haven’t heard of the drug and might be wondering, “What is Suboxone?” It’s a brand drug that contains two generic drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. The buprenorphine in Suboxone binds to receptors in the brain that opiates normally bind with to alleviate pain. Suboxone binds to those receptors without creating a feeling of being high. Essentially, buprenorphine only affects neural pathways to a certain level, and after a certain saturation point, the drug doesn’t have a more significant effect. Naloxone is another drug in Suboxone that binds to opiate receptors to further block neurons from absorbing opiates.
Can You Get Addicted to Suboxone?
Even though there’s a cap on how much buprenorphine that the receptors can absorb, it’s still possible to get addicted to Suboxone. This drug is intended for short-term use only, but it’s still an opiate, which means that there’s always the potential for dependence on the drug. Patients are supposed to take it only under the supervision of a doctor, but patients may continue to use it after the initially prescribed timeframe. When someone discontinues the use of Suboxone, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Some people believe that there are forms of the drug that are less addictive due to clever marketing schemes. For instance, Indivior created and marketed a Suboxone film that the user puts under the tongue as less addictive than pill forms. However, the drug is the same regardless of how someone uses it.
What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Suboxone?
Like many opiates, Suboxone withdrawal has a whole list of withdrawal symptoms, including mood swings, anxiety, depression, and irritability as some of the significant changes in mood. Users can also experience flu-like symptoms, such as diarrhea, watery eyes, fever, chills, and a runny nose.
What Are the Side Effects of Suboxone?
Even while taking Suboxone, there are adverse side effects. While users typically don’t experience negative moods, there are several flu-like symptoms that many people experience, including nausea and vomiting, headache, constipation, and sweating. Some users might also experience pain on the tongue and numbness in the mouth.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to opiates, there’s help available. We treat people who have opiate addictions without the use of Suboxone. We believe that patients should heal through a holistic approach that doesn’t introduce them to a new drug. If you would like to learn more about your approach to treatment, make the call to talk to one of our counselors.
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.