It’s often said that the United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, but the point bears repeating. Across the United States, more than 2 million people have an addiction to opioids, and the number is rising alarmingly quickly. Moreover, opioid addiction is incredibly dangerous, with more than 33,000 deaths attributed to opioids and heroin in 2016 alone.
While the crisis is widespread, it feels deeply personal when it hits close to home. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to opioids, suboxone services can help. This medication helps people recover from addiction when used in combination with therapy and other supports.
While any treatment for addiction is difficult, it’s important to remember the consequences of not getting help. Dependence on opioids can cause lead to imprisonment, financial troubles, homelessness, and even death. People who love someone with an addiction should do what they can to get their loved one treatment, which may include suboxone services.
How Does Suboxone Treat Opioid Addiction?
Suboxone combines the prescriptions naloxone and buprenorphine. These drugs work together to help people get through this difficult transition. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which turns around many of the effects that opioids have on the body. This is what emergency personnel administer to people who have overdosed on opioids.
Meanwhile, the buprenorphine in the concoction gives patients relief from the many symptoms of withdrawal. The idea is to make getting sober easier, giving patients a better chance at success.
Although suboxone can be incredibly helpful in treating opioid addiction, it can cause some negative side effects. Patients should not take suboxone while under the influence of sedatives, narcotics, antidepressants, or sleeping pills. Patients should also be open and upfront with doctors about their medical history.
What Happens During Treatment Sessions?
Other substance addiction treatments, such as methadone, require patients to take the medication in highly supervised environments. However, suboxone allows people to use the medication on an outpatient basis. Patients should be in the midst of withdrawal symptoms from opioids when they visit the suboxone clinic.
The doctor will consult with the patient and give a thorough medical exam. This process can feel slightly uncomfortable for some patients, as the doctor will ask questions about drugs used and how often. It’s vital for patients to be absolutely honest with the doctor. Our clinicians only want to help people; they are not here to judge anyone. However, it can be difficult to provide that help if patients do not provide all the necessary information.
If the clinicians decide that the patient would benefit from suboxone, they will prescribe the medication. The patient can then take the dose in the comfort of their home and experience relief from withdrawals. Patients will need continuous medication management and supervision throughout the process. With that in mind, the medical team may schedule follow up appointments as needed.
Suboxone is a beneficial treatment option, but we recommend that patients do not rely on medication alone. Individual therapy and support groups can increase the chances of success.
Suboxone Side Effects
Potential patients should know that suboxone is a relatively safe medication. In most cases, it is much safer than going without treatment for addiction. However, suboxone can have some side effects, including:
- Redness in the mouth
- Burning sensation in the mouth
- Pain in the back
- Trouble sleeping
- Excessive sweating
These symptoms tend to be less severe than withdrawal symptoms without medication. Patients with certain conditions or who are on specific medications should not take suboxone. That’s why it’s important for each patient to speak with a doctor individually, rather than take someone else’s prescription.