Addiction Patients Treated With Suboxone Often Have Better Results Than Those Who Simply Detox

Perhaps the biggest challenge in overcoming opioid addiction is getting past withdrawal symptoms. These can defeat even the best counseling and behavioral therapy, sending patients back into the deep spiral of addiction. Addressing the root causes of your addiction isn’t likely without first detoxing from opioids.

Suboxone is a prescription drug that is offering new hope in breaking the addiction cycle by gently assisting the detoxification process. While suboxone is itself an opioid and therefore still addictive, it’s serving as a transitional substance between heavy addiction and normal living.

Traditional drug treatment for addiction

Opioid substances each act in their own way, but all of them stimulate the brain’s reward centers, triggering the release of hormones that create the highs that addicts can’t resist, and then creating the nightmare of withdrawal symptoms once the hormone release passes.

Drug treatments for addiction, such as methadone, are sometimes criticized due to the one-for-one substance transfer. Methadone may be marginally safer than heroin, the thinking goes, but it’s still a powerful opioid itself, with the potential for abuse and overdose.

How suboxone works

Comprised of two substances, suboxone represents a controlled step away from dangerous opioids. Buprenorphine works as other opioids do, stimulating the pleasure receptors, but it’s only partially an opioid, so the effect isn’t as strong as heroin, for example.

Naloxone blocks the receptors that normally accept opioid stimulation. Used by itself, it can aggravate withdrawal symptoms beyond those experienced by a patient going through cold turkey detox.

Suboxone mixes buprenorphine and naloxone in a 4:1 ratio, so the patient gets the opiate effect to suppress the craving, while the extremes of intoxication are tempered. The net effect is a more balanced, or “normal” state, relieving withdrawal symptoms without altering your normal state.

Since addiction isn’t completely a chemical equation, results vary among patients. However, the success rate for suboxone is proving to be better than methadone therapy. One clinic reports an 88% success rate for suboxone versus 50% for methadone over six months.

The suboxone difference

Part of the detox process is returning you to a normal state, a feeling that suboxone can create. It’s easier to regain control, since you’re not struggling with the mind-altering effects of stronger opioids. As well as transitioning your system away from more harmful substances — suboxone shows promise treating alcohol addiction as well — the psychological aspects of addiction can be addressed sooner in treatment.

Compared with methadone withdrawal therapy, suboxone also carries these other benefits:

Suboxone is still an opioid, so while life starts to return to normal more quickly than other detoxing methods, you’re still at risk of addiction, though cravings shouldn’t be as severe as for drugs such as heroin or oxycodone. As with other opioids, you can build up a tolerance to suboxone when using it long-term.

While not a final solution for addiction, suboxone may offer the helping hand you need to break the addiction cycle. Call me at the office or book online at Wellness Treasure to see if suboxone is right for you.

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