Overcoming Challenges in Suboxone Detox
Suboxone, a fairly new medication treatment for relieving opiate addiction cravings, carries its own potential for addiction. As one of two brand name medications derived from buprenorphine, Suboxone offers certain benefits that methadone treatment therapy lacks. That being so, according to a Columbia University report, emergency-room visits for buprenorphine-related problems increased from 3,161 to 30,135 between the years 2005 and 2010. In over half the admissions, buprenorphine was used for “non-medical” purposes.
As Suboxone detox attempts to undo the effects of what was intended to be a treatment medication, people trying to break a Suboxone addiction may face unique challenges in treatment. The more people know about Suboxone’s effects the better equipped they’ll be to overcome the challenges of Suboxone detox.
Suboxone is chemically designed to block the effects of opiate drugs by occupying opiate cell receptor sites throughout the body. This chemical make-up enables Suboxone to occupy receptor sites for longer periods of time than other types of opiate drugs. As a result, Suboxone has a longer half-life than other opiates. This means it takes the body longer to metabolize and eliminate Suboxone from the system. The drug’s extended half-life accounts for why withdrawal periods last so long. This lengthy process can make Suboxone detox all the more difficult to bear.
Suboxone detox withdrawal effects can vary from person to person with night sweats, restless legs, stomach problems, depression and insomnia being the most common symptoms. As the body has grown dependent on the effects of the drug to function normally, Suboxone detox leaves the body in a state of chemical imbalance, especially when first starting out. Over time, chemical processes return to normal though a person will continue to experience withdrawal effects until normal functions have been restored.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
As with all opiate-like drugs, Suboxone not only moves through the bloodstream but also stores up inside the body’s fatty tissues. Even after a person goes through the acute or initial stage of Suboxone detox, residues of the drug still remain in the body. Until all residues have been flushed out of the body, a person will continue to experience cravings.
Ultimately, the smaller the dose a person is on prior to detox, the less severe and lengthy Suboxone detox will be. By tapering down to small doses of Suboxone prior to entering the detox stage, a person can shorten the length of time he or she experiences uncomfortable withdrawal effects and cravings.
Exercise & Social Supports
Much of the repair work the body takes on during Suboxone detox has to do with flushing out remaining drug residues and restoring endorphin production processes back to normal. Doing daily aerobic exercises at the start of Suboxone detox not only helps flush out residues but also helps the body get its endorphin production processes going again.
Social supports, such as 12-step programs can provide the types of supports and guidance needed to make it through the rough patches. By sharing experiences and listening to how other people cope with their cravings and anxieties recovering addicts receive the encouragement and supports needed to overcome Suboxone detox.