Buprenorphine, known by its brand name Suboxone, is used to treat opioid addiction.
For a long time, the treatment for opioid addiction was a 30 day detox and then being sent back out into the world. But the evidence shows that long-term Suboxone treatment can improve treatment outcomes, and buprenorphine (Suboxone) is now the recommended treatment for opiate addiction.
So what is Suboxone, anyways?
Suboxone is the most well known brand name combination of two medications: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. This is a fancy way of saying that it works the same way in the brain that other, stronger opioids do, like heroin or prescription pain pills. But it produces milder effects than other opioids, making it an ideal medication to treat opioid addiction. The naloxone prevents the medication from being injected or misused.
Why would I take an opioid to treat opioid addiction?
Addiction is a chronic brain disease, and long-term opioid use effects the the body and the brain in the same way any other chronic disease does. The damage done by addiction can be repaired, though. Self-care, counseling, and Suboxone treatment can all help you get back on track.
So how will Suboxone help?
Suboxone can help with cravings and withdrawal caused from addiction, and long-term Suboxone treatment has been shown to cut death rates from relapse in half.
If I take Suboxone, will I be sober?
Yes! Suboxone and other prescribed medications, when taken as prescribed and under the supervision of a medical professional, can absolutely be a part of your recovery from addiction. If you feel mood-altered or have negative side effects from your medication, talk to your provider about adjusting your dose.
I’m not sure if I have a problem with opioids. How can I know if I’m addicted?
If you’re wondering about a problem, you might have one. You can be dependent on opioids without being addicted to them. Many people rely on prescription opioids for chronic pain, and have no problem taking them as prescribed by their doctors. Prescription opioids, or heroin, can become a problem for anyone. If you’re constantly taking more and more opioids despite negative consequences in your life, it might be time to talk to someone.
The good news is recovery is possible. Although the headlines of the opioid crisis are often all gloom and doom, people are recovering from opioid addiction every day. Many of our staff are in long-term recovery at Workit Health, and we are motivated by seeing our clients get their lives back from opiate addiction. If you need motivation to start your recovery journey, check out some stories of recovery from opioid addiction.