Suboxone is a combination medication used to treat opioid addiction. The medication is a combination of the opioid buprenorphine and the opioid antagonist naloxone.
Opioids like buprenorphine, morphine, oxycodone and heroin are agonists that attach to opioid receptors and block the pain messages sent to the brain. These also trigger the release of endorphins in the brain that give rise to temporary satisfaction, relief and feeling of pleasure.
Opioid antagonists like suboxone, naloxone and naltrexone block the effects of opioids by blocking the activation of opioid receptors. This helps reduce the withdrawal symptoms and control the cravings better.
Suboxone isn’t the first medication used for this purpose, instead, it has replaced an earlier dose of methadone. This predecessor is an opioid used to quit the use of other opioids like heroin. The medication worked by blocking the euphoric symptoms of opioids while also decreasing the pain associated with withdrawal symptoms.
However, since methadone is also a capable agonist, it too can lead to dependency if taken on a whim. As long as a patient follows the prescribed usage, the possibility of addiction is minimal but never zero. On the other hand, suboxone has much milder effects and side effects, making it the preferred substance for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
While suboxone is the new preferred way of treating addiction, there are still some misconceptions regarding the medication. From its ability to lead to addiction to other side effects, the medicine is still being scrutinized. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to clear the air around the medication.
Here are 5 myths about suboxone that we’ve busted for you. Let’s get started.
Suboxone is a combination of an opioid agonist and an opioid antagonist. The presence of an agonist makes people believe that as long as a patient consumes it, they aren’t recovering.
The truth, however, is that completely abstaining from consuming any opioid after regular consumption is not practical. In such a situation, the probability of the patient returning to opioid use is quite high. The modern conception of recovering from drug use is rather slow and smoother, one that supports long-term abstinence.
Consuming a medication like suboxone makes the process easier for patients. Those who are used to consuming opioids like heroin can shift to a more tolerable, partial agonist like suboxone. This helps reduce the withdrawal symptoms, the pain associated with it as well as gives a limited euphoric experience.
Sure, any opiate is capable of being misused. However, the chances of a patient using suboxone as a substance of abuse are much smaller than them using other stronger opioids for the purpose. It’s crucial to remember that suboxone is a partial agonist which makes it incapable of leading to the same effects as oxycodone or fentanyl.
The purpose of consuming suboxone is to get rid of the substances of misuse and abuse, and replace them with milder medications that have minimal side effects.
It is crucial to remember that Suboxone is a means of treating opioid addiction and not add to it.
What some people believe- without therapy, coaching and support groups, consuming suboxone will not help treat addiction.
The reality- therapy, coaching, support groups and other forms of external assistance and support are all crucial aspects of recovering from addiction. However, even the absence of these other aspects does not take away from the effects of suboxone. While the benefits might be limited or develop slowly, suboxone will still prove to be effective.
One has to remember that not every patient has access to these therapy and support groups but can treat themselves with the medication alone. Nullifying the effects that the medication has on the patients of opioid use disorders negates their development and improvement.
We understand where the idea comes from. Since the medication is a combination that includes a partial agonist, people tend to believe that long-term use of the medication might lead to dependency. However, in reality, practitioners seem to have different theories about what amounts to the perfect time duration for suboxone consumption.
A patient can usually consume the medication for as long as their addictive symptoms last. Since addiction is not a medical issue that can be resolved within days, the idea of short-term consumption of the medication doesn’t apply.
This could’ve been said partially about methadone, which is why it is no longer the preferred way to go. Even though it is still an approved substance to recover from addiction, suboxone has replaced it for a good reason.
Unlike opiates and even methadone, suboxone is a combination of a partial agonist and an anti-gnostic, making its euphoric effects extremely minimal. This combination limits the activation of opioid receptors, so the effects aren’t very strong and there are limited effects.
The only possible way to overdose on suboxone is through drug interactions. Consuming it with sedatives like benzodiazepines is an example of such interactions that can lead to an overdose. Slowed breathing is one of the risks that come with opioid consumption or drug interactions as stated above.
Suboxone is currently the best option to medicate against opioid use disorders. The medication has proven to be effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms and the pain associated with it. While the drug works by blocking the effects of other opiates consumed, it also has some euphoric effects that can help patients find relief.
The medication is by far the best alternative to any other medication or substance used to treat addiction. However, it works best when combined with appropriate therapy, support group, support from family as well as employment support.
It is crucial to remember that opioid addiction cannot be medicated overnight and requires medical assistance over extended periods. Along with the medicines, therapy, and support groups, you must be patient.