Suboxone is the brand name of a pharmaceutical drug used in the treatment of addiction to opioids like heroin. Although its use is often successful, the inclusion of this substance as a part of treatment in drug rehabilitation centers can be infrequent. We take a closer look at this drug and how it affects the brain and nervous system.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Generally speaking, suboxone helps those in drug rehabilitation who are detoxing from opioid addiction to manage their withdrawal symptoms. After the detox period has ended, the use of Suboxone is typically continued as one progresses through rehab and therapy, for the purpose of controlling withdrawals as well as cravings.
In addition to relieving cravings and withdrawal symptoms, suboxone also prevents individuals from experiencing a high and, thus, relapsing on other opioids if they should try to take them.
What Are Suboxone’s Ingredients?
Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone. These ingredients work together to block opioid effects while suppressing withdrawal symptoms.
Buprenorphine is an opioid. Although it is stronger than morphine, buprenorphine is only a partial opioid. This means that it prevents other opioids from affecting the brain’s pleasure centers but allows a person to experience relief from withdrawal by satisfying their basic cravings.
Naloxone is characterized as an opioid antagonist, which means that it both blocks and reverses opioid effects on the nervous system. It is included as an ingredient in suboxone for the purpose of preventing a person from overdosing on the buprenorphine in the drug. Naloxone also prevents the pleasurable effects of other opioids, thereby reducing the risk of relapse.
How Does Suboxone Differ from Methadone?
Methadone is another drug commonly used in the treatment of opioid addiction. It alters the body’s brain and nervous system response to pain, ultimately reducing the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. However, it provides a more intense euphoric effect than buprenorphine, and it doesn’t offer the same low risk of overdose that buprenorphine does.
Is It Possible to Become Addicted to Suboxone?
Yes, the potential does exist for the development of an addiction to suboxone, although there is less of an addiction risk with suboxone than with that of methadone and other opioids. It is also commonly used as a recreational drug.
A person who is working to overcome an addiction to heroin or another short-acting opioid may begin to use increasing amounts of suboxone over time to prevent withdrawal symptoms. It is at this point that misuse of the drug and, ultimately, a suboxone addiction can develop. The side effects of suboxone use can be life-threatening or fatal, and they include serious breathing problems and low blood pressure.
All of the above information contributes to the reasons that suboxone should only be used as a component of professional drug abuse treatment.
Getting Help for Suboxone Addiction
If suboxone addiction is affecting you or someone you love, BriteLife Recovery in South Carolina can help. Our holistic addiction treatment programs help with the mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of addiction and is administered by experienced professionals. Call to begin your recovery journey.