How Does Suboxone Treatment Help Me Want to Overcome Opiate Addiction?
Detoxing from opiate addiction can be a harrowing experience, especially after months or years of chronic opiate abuse. As difficult as the detox stage may be, maintaining continued abstinence from there on out can prove to be even more difficult over time. Opiate addiction may work through the body during the early stages of drug use, but the actual addiction takes root within the mind.
Suboxone, one of a few medications federally approved for use as an opiate addiction treatment, helps recovering addicts overcome the seemingly overwhelming urges that so often surface in recovery. As persistent drug cravings can quickly wear away at a person’s resolve, Suboxone treatment works to support a person’s desire to live a drug-free lifestyle on a long-term basis.
Suboxone works in much the same way as methadone in terms of helping to reduce drug cravings and residual withdrawal effects, such as feelings of depression and anxiety. While similar, according to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Suboxone differs from methadone in important ways:
- Suboxone acts as a partial agonist drug, meaning it has a built-in ceiling effect that lowers the drug’s abuse potential
- Contains an added ingredient (naltrexone) that deactivates Suboxone’s effects in the event a person tries to snort or smoke the drug
- Produces long-acting effects that last for up to 36 hours compared to methadone’s 24 hours so daily dosing may not be necessary
Feeling Normal Again
Chronic opiate abuse disrupts the brain’s chemical balance over time. These effects ultimately impair the brain’s ability to regulate the body’s systems. Suboxone treatment works to restore a normal chemical balance in the brain by supporting damaged chemical-producing brain cells. Once balance is restored, a person starts to feel normal again in terms of his or her mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Suboxone’s added ingredient, naltrexone, not only guards against relapse, but also helps to undo the effects of the “addiction mindset.” The addiction mindset develops out changes in the brain’s reward system, which learns to view opiate effects as a positive and necessary part of a person’s daily life. Suboxone’s ability to deactivate Suboxone’s effects works to extinguish this learned behavior since no “high” effect results when Suboxone is abuse.
Medication is but one component within the Suboxone treatment approach. Suboxone treatment combines the effects of the drug with ongoing psychosocial treatment, which encompasses different interventions that address the faulty thinking patterns that addiction leaves behind. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, psychosocial interventions serve an essential role within the recovery process since this line of treatment specifically addresses addiction’s effects on a person’s thinking, emotions, belief systems and overall lifestyle.
Psychosocial interventions used may include:
- Drug education
- Drug counseling
- Group therapy
- Support group participation
- Individual psychotherapy
- Family therapy
In effect, psychosocial treatment enables you to work through the underlying issues that support addiction-based behaviors and thwart your recovery efforts. This aspect of Suboxone treatment can go a long way towards motivating you to get well and stay well.
If you or someone you know is considering Suboxone treatment as a post-detox treatment option and have further questions about how the process works, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) for more information.