what is buprenorphine

What Is Buprenorphine?

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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[1] 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[2]. 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[3] 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.


[1] https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/08/13/741113454/its-the-go-to-drug-for-opioid-addiction-so-why-won-t-more-pharmacists-stock-it?fbclid=IwAR33umUwGpXYjN_l1vPc8O2FnXcc5Q2lo-wa4mWqhBsRwWI5zpsSNF8SOSc

[2] https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_buprenorphine_buprenex/drugs-condition.htm

[3] https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment/buprenorphine

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