Here in the U.S., 467,000 people are addicted to heroin, and 2.1 million people suffer from a substance use disorder related to opioid prescription painkillers such as Vicodin™, OxyContin™, or Percocet®, NIDA reports. Opioid prescription drugs are very potent and have the potential to create tolerance or dependency when used regularly, even as directed. It’s not uncommon for patients to use medication during the detox phase of treatment to have a smoother recovery from opioid use or dependency. Suboxone is a medication used to help manage withdrawal symptoms and curb drug cravings during opioid detox, promoting sustained recovery.
At Michael’s House, our Suboxone treatment program in Palm Springs, California, offers individualized care to help clients recover from opioid use disorder. Medical professionals work with each client to determine if suboxone is suitable for their needs, as well as create a personalized plan for dosage and duration of treatment. Our medication-assisted treatment programs assist patients in detoxing from substances and maintaining sobriety. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 760.548.4032 to learn more about medication-assisted treatment programs at Michael’s House.
How Suboxone Works
Opioid use and dependency change the brain’s chemical pathways, interfering with the brain’s natural production of neurotransmitters, or messengers, responsible for feelings of pleasure such as dopamine. Over time, the brain may become tolerant to the amount of opioid drugs you are taking. You may also develop a physical and psychological dependency on opioids, meaning that your brain now expects and relies on the drug’s interaction in your system to feel balanced.
When opioids are removed, you may experience withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable and have both emotional and physical side effects, such as:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Drug cravings
Opioid withdrawal syndrome can occur if opioids are suddenly stopped, which is why it’s never recommended to do so without professional help. During a Suboxone treatment program, you may be given drugs like Suboxone to ease the transition.
Suboxone contains four parts buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and one part of the largely dormant naloxone, an opioid antagonist. Partial opioid agonists fill the same receptor sites as the other full opioid agonists, just not all the way. This generally means that Suboxone does not create the same high as other opioids but does limit the negative withdrawal symptoms and cravings since there is still some measure of opioid drug in your system.
Potential Side Effects of Suboxone
Medications such as Suboxone may be beneficial during medically-assisted detox treatment programs when used under the direct supervision of health care professionals. However, Suboxone is not without risk factors. To avoid the potentially dangerous precipitated withdrawal syndrome, you need to be completely honest about when your last dose of opioid drugs was.
Precipitated withdrawal may occur if you take Suboxone too soon after your last dose of the full opioid. This can lead to rapid and difficult withdrawal symptoms. For example, heroin and most prescription opioids, except extended-release, are short-acting and likely leave your system in eight to 12 hours. Extended-release forms may take up to 24 hours to be removed from your bloodstream. Methadone is longer-acting, and you should wait at least 36 hours after your last dose of methadone before taking Suboxone.
You should also never mix Suboxone with other drugs or alcohol as this can increase all the risk factors of both substances and may have an unintended adverse effect. In addition to precipitated withdrawal, Suboxone may have the following side effects:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lowered blood pressure
- Depressed respiration
- Mouth numbness
- Back pain
- Blurred vision
- Irregular heart rate
Suboxone can be a practical component of medically-assisted detox treatment for opioid dependency when used correctly and as a part of a more comprehensive substance use treatment plan. At Michael’s House, we offer a Suboxone treatment center in Palm Springs, California, that offers our patients a place to heal and recover in a comfortable, supportive environment.
Find Help with a Suboxone Treatment Program at Michael's House
Detox is the process of removing harmful substances from the body. It is often the first step in treatment for drug use or addiction. Medications like Suboxone can be beneficial in achieving initial physical stabilization. At a Suboxone treatment center, medical professionals may set you up on a schedule for Suboxone during detox that will slowly lower your dosage until you no longer require it.
Through therapies and counseling, addiction treatment should also address the emotional and psychological components of substance use and dependency. Behavioral therapies enhance your positive thoughts and behaviors and help you to develop new life skills that can aid you in coping with future stressors without resorting to self-destructive behavior patterns and actions. Additionally, group counseling sessions can help you understand all the factors related to addiction and how to make positive changes in your life and relationships.
Michael’s House strives to help patients achieve and maintain a healthy emotional, physical, and spiritual balance with comprehensive treatment programs that are individually created to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. Call 760.548.4032 to speak with an admissions coordinator today for more information about a Suboxone treatment program.