Can my Teen Take Subutex or Suboxone?
With the rising opiate abuse rates and the fact that teen users are now making up a larger percentage of the opiate users, it is important to know the treatments available for your teen. Medication replacement therapy is a popular choice for treatment of opiate addiction but the medications used for this treatment are often extremely powerful. The effects that they have on developing brains are still unknown. Two of the most popular drugs are Subutex and Suboxone.
What is Subutex?
Subutex is a medication replacement for opiates so the addict does not feel the withdrawal symptoms. It blocks opiate absorption by binding to opioid receptors and keeping from opiates such as prescription drugs from binding to these receptors.
How is Subutex Different from Suboxone?
The primary difference between Subutex and Suboxone is what they are made out of. Subutex is made from buprenorphine only while Suboxone is made from buprenorphine and Naloxone. The lack of Naloxone in Subutex makes it more addictive and more dangerous to teen abusers who are more impulsive and more likely to:
- take opiates while using an opiate replacement drug,
- misuse the opiate replacement,
- take more than the prescribed amount of the opiate replacement, or
- overdose on the opiate replacement.
Is Subutex Safe for Teens?
Although the FDA says that Subutex is safe for teens to use, it is not the preferred drug because of the potential for abuse. Subutex is more addictive and without the Naloxone can cause an opiate overdose more easily than Suboxone.
Most people who use Subutex already have their addiction under basic control. Subutex is used more as a replacement drug in people who are addicted to opiates but still need a pain medication to control chronic pain or discomfort.
Is Suboxone Safe for Teens?
Yes, the FDA determined that Suboxone is safe for teens. Most people who use Suboxone do so because they need to get their addictions under control and they are in need of an opiate replacement to stop withdrawal symptoms. This makes it better as a replacement drug for teens because there is slightly less of a chance for addiction and overdose.
What are the Guidelines for Teen Opiate Medication Replacement?
There are guidelines that determine whether or not a teen should be on an opiate replacement. These guidelines are:
- They should be opiate addicts for at least a year before seeking medication replacement.
- They should be at least 16 years old or older. Younger patients may have respiratory issues or suffer more severe side effects of the drugs.
- These medications should only be used as a last resort in teens.
These guidelines help doctors and other health professionals determine which medication replacement is right for your teen.
For more information on Subutex and Suboxone for teens, call us at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) for more information. We can help you decide what treatment is best for your teen and how to go about finding a treatment center.