Subutex Treatment for an Opioid Addiction

How It Works and Is It Safe?

Subutex, a prescription medication that individuals who are struggling with an opioid addiction utilize when they desire to recover from their addictions, is classified as an opioid partial agonist-antagonist. With buprenorphine hydrochloride as its primary ingredient, Subutex is given once daily via a dissolvable tablet that is put under the tongue and absorbed into the body. This medication is commonly used within medication assisted treatment programs, as it is capable of stopping withdrawal symptoms that generally accompany the cessation of use of substances like morphine, prescription pain medications, and heroin. Additionally, Subutex decreases drug cravings for continued opioid abuse, which gives individuals the freedom to recover with strong mental clarity.

Subutex received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, and since then has been known for its safety in treating opioid addiction. Extensive research has proven that using Subutex is dramatically safer than continuing to abuse opioids, especially considering the fact that it does not cause vital organ damage like other opioids do. When an individual is on Subutex, he or she will be unable to achieve a high, which means that he or she can continue to live his or her life productively and actively. When using Subutex within a medication assisted treatment program, individuals will be free to stay focused on different areas of their recovery, as well as maintaining their personal lives.

As with other medication, Subutex can cause side effects, This medication is safe to use while under the care of a medical professional, however, it is always important that individuals who are considering incorporating Subutex into their care speak with their physician to learn more about potential side effects and have any questions answered so that they are comfortable taking this medication.

The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment

Endless studies have proven that Subutex is highly effective in treating opioid addiction. Individuals that have included Subutex into their medication assisted treatment programs have reported lessened cravings for use of heroin, morphine, or prescription pain medications. In addition, these same individuals also report that, with the use of Subutex, their withdrawal symptoms are kept at bay.

Overall, when Subutex in incorporated into opioid addiction treatment, the results are often positive and encourage individuals to continually focus on their recovery.

The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling

Addiction treatment that utilizes Subutex has three separate phases that an individual experiences. With each phase comes therapeutic interventions that help move the process of recovery along. When taking Subutex, individuals can experience the following phases:

Induction: At the start of the program, an individual will go through the induction phase. At this time, he or she has stopped using opioids and is beginning withdrawal.

Stabilization: Individuals are no longer going through withdrawal symptoms or struggling with cravings to use during the stabilization phase. The dosage of Subutex can be adjusted during this phase if needed.

Maintenance: At this time, an individual is considered stable and can begin looking into either tapering off of Subutex completely, or changing to another medication.

As these phases occur, it is helpful that an individual obtains simultaneous counseling services. Both individual and group therapy sessions can benefit an individual in working through his or her emotions during each treatment phase, obtaining skills to remain steady in his or her recovery, sharing successes and setbacks throughout the treatment process, and yielding extensive support from professionals and peers who can relate to his or her challenges. Additionally, studies have proven that those who have obtained counseling while also receiving medication assisted treatment are much more likely to succeed in recovery and avoid relapse.

How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Family and friends of a loved one who is participating in a medication assisted treatment program that uses Subutex can be incredibly supportive throughout the treatment process. If you are a friend or family member of someone in treatment, it is beneficial for you to obtain support for yourself, as your loved one’s addiction has likely impacted you in negative ways. If possible, commit yourself to playing an active role in your loved one’s treatment, as doing so can help you learn more about his or her situation, as well as aid in the restoration of your relationship.

How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: If you are considering a medication assisted treatment program where you might be using Subutex to treat an opioid addiction, there are a handful of ways that you can achieve success at this time:

  • Follow the treatment recommendations given to you by your physician in regards to Subutex.
  • Go to all of the counseling sessions that are scheduled for you and actively participate while there.
  • Discuss any concerns you have while using Subutex. Therefore, if you run into a problem, your physician can make adjustments to your medication.
  • Do not use other opioids while on Subutex.
  • Contact your physician if you develop concerns related to your addiction, as he or she can offer you additional support if necessary.

The Side Effects of Subutex

Using prescription medication should prompt you to speak with your physician so you can eliminate any potential harm. Prior to agreeing to take Subutex, it is imperative that you ask about any food interactions, health conditions, or anything else that can be impacted by the presence of Subutex in the body. Also, be sure to ask about interactions that can occur with over-the-counter medications or other medications that you are consuming. It is important to be aware of the possible side effects of Subutex, which may become more prominent as your dosage is being increased:

Most common side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Back pain
  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Infections
  • Sleeplessness
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Sweating

Fairly common side effects:

  • Nervousness
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Runny eyes

Less common side effects:

  • Accidental injury
  • Fever
  • Upset stomach
  • Abscesses

At Cartersville Comprehensive Treatment Center, we are pleased to speak with you about the treatment we provide and answer any questions you or your loved one might have regarding Subutex. Please contact us whenever you need.

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