People who suffer from opiate addiction such as an addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers can often find relief in Suboxone detox. This method of detox involves providing the patient with a medication that will help him or her to overcome cravings and reduce or completely eliminate withdrawal symptoms during the most difficult phases of opiate detox. Suboxone is a relatively new method of treatment but it has been proven effective at helping addicts reach maximum potential in recovery.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a drug made up of buprenorphine and naltrexone. The combination of these two drugs helps to reduce cravings by essentially tricking the body into believing that it is receiving the drug or choice despite the fact that it is not. Suboxone treatment will typically begin in the early phase of opiate detox but it cannot begin until the user has actually started to feel symptoms of opiate withdrawal. Taking suboxone before withdrawal symptoms set in, or using opiates when under the influence of Suboxone can escalate the withdrawal symptoms severely.
Although Suboxone has a smaller potential for abuse than other opiates, the buprenorphine that is found in Suboxone can cause mild withdrawal. Fortunately, the withdrawal symptoms that are felt when a user quits taking this drug are much less severe than those associated with other types of opiates such as heroin or prescription painkillers.
Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mild nausea, upset stomach or vomiting
- Insomnia or problems sleeping
- Anxiety or irritability
- Sweating and headaches similar to the common cold
- Mild bone or joint pain
Tapering the Drug Off
The best way to avoid Suboxone withdrawal when you quit using is to taper the drug off. The method of tapering it off involves a longer process of quitting but it can greatly reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. A patient who takes a certain dose of Suboxone will gradually reduce the dose by small amounts over a period of days or weeks to reduce the abrupt effects of ceasing the drug use all together.
Most users report that tapering the drug off is an effective means at preventing serious symptoms of withdrawal while also providing the effective means to slowly and steadily work down to a very small dose at which time the drug use can be completely eliminated. This method is highly effective for those who have used Suboxone for a prolonged period of time as a way of maintaining an opiate addiction but are ready to get completely sober once and for all.
Suboxone in Outpatient Treatment
Because detoxing from other opiates is much easier when Suboxone is used, the patient can often detox in an outpatient setting without the need for constant medical care or treatment. A doctor or treatment professional can prescribe Suboxone for the treatment of opiate addiction and can monitor the patient regularly though checkups and routine doctor’s appointments.
If you plan on taking Suboxone at home, rather than in a residential treatment setting, you should be aware of the potential side effects associated with the drug. These side effects include:
- Cold symptoms
- Flu-like symptoms
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sweating or fever
- Labored breathing
If symptoms of Suboxone use do not subside on their own after the first few doses of the drug or if they symptoms become worse, you should contact a doctor or treatment professional immediately.
How Suboxone Detox Helps
For the user who feels like his or her addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers is ruining every aspect of their life but cannot find the means to get sober, Suboxone detox can be a great help. These programs offer patients an affordable alternative to inpatient rehabilitation and they can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms or eliminate them all together which makes for improved healing and a reduced risk of relapse.
It’s important to realize that Suboxone detox, though it can be very helpful, is not the cure for an addiction to opiates. In fact, while there is no actual cure for addiction, detox is only the first step in a long process of healing known as addiction treatment and recovery. Each patient is different and their reasons for drug use are often different too. Detox on touches the tip of the iceberg, focusing on helping the addict to overcome physical dependence but leaving much to be required in terms of psychological healing.
Suboxone detox helps you to get back in control of your life but additional treatment and counseling will be necessary in order to help the patient achieve greater success in recovery. Many programs offer outpatient support groups and affordable treatment methods that can help you to learn how to live a sober, healthy lifestyle. Once you’ve made the difficult decision to seek help, consider the benefits of taking treatment to the next level and seeking help for the underlying conditions or psychological elements associated with your addiction such as mental illness, trauma or other issues which may have caused the addiction to become a part of your life in the first place.