Are Suboxone Strips Really the Answer to My Addiction?
If you’ve struggled with opiate addiction for any length of time, you probably know how difficult it can be to overcome the persistent drug cravings, mood swings and overall sense of malaise that stopping drug use brings. Even someone who’s highly motivated to get well can be in for the fight of his or her life when trying to maintain continued abstinence.
Suboxone strips exist as one of a handful of medication therapies used to counter the aftereffects of opiate addiction in recovery. After so many months or years of chronic drug abuse, straightforward drug treatment approaches are ill equipped to address the extensive damage that’s been done to the brain’s chemical system.
Suboxone strips pick up where traditional treatment programs leave off in terms of providing the type of medical treatment needed to support a person’s efforts in recovery.
How Suboxone Strips Work
Suboxone first gained federal approval as an opiate addiction treatment medication in 2002, making it one of the newest medications to date. Originally appearing in tablet form, the drug has since been remade into Suboxone strips or film. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, Suboxone strips contain two main ingredients -buprenorphine and naloxone- both of which work to help a person maintain continued abstinence from drug use.
Buprenorphine is a synthetic opiate drug specifically formulated to interact with the same brain cell receptor sites as addictive opiates, such as oxycodone, Percocet and Vicodin. In effect, the buprenorphine ingredient in Suboxone strips meets the brain’s need for opiate effects without producing a “high” effect.
Naloxone, a synthetic opiate antagonist drug, acts as a safeguard in the event a person suffers a relapse episode. It does this by expelling addictive opiates from the brain’s cell receptor sites and canceling out their effects.
If you’re considering treatment and you’re not sure if your insurance will cover your treatment costs, call our helpline at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) for more information.
Suboxone’s Therapeutic Effects
The combined effects of the ingredients in Suboxone strips come with a range of therapeutic benefits, including:
- Restores a normal chemical balance in the brain
- A ceiling effect that reduces the likelihood of abuse or overdose
- A negative reinforcing effect in the event of relapse
- Breaks the addiction cycle
By restoring a normal chemical balance in the brain, Suboxone strips greatly reduce the degree of drug cravings experienced while enabling a person to feel more emotionally stable in the process. The buprenorphine ingredient also has a ceiling effect in that after a certain dosage amount, the drug’s effects reach a plateau. In this way, a person can’t get “high” off the drug.
The naloxone ingredient in Suboxone strips not only mutes the effects of addictive opiates in the event of a relapse, but also causes a person to experience uncomfortable withdrawal effects, according to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.
This mechanism acts as the drug’s negative reinforcing effect. After so many relapse events, this effect works to break the addiction cycle in terms of training the brain to associate drug-using behavior with uncomfortable withdrawal effects.
If you or someone you know are considering Suboxone strips as a treatment and have more questions, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addictions specialists.