Should I Undergo Suboxone Treatment at Home or in a Rehab Program?
Opiate addiction recovery can be a lengthy process, especially for someone coming off a long history of drug abuse. Unfortunately, many consider the detox stage of treatment to be the bulk of the recovery process. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Anyone considering Suboxone treatment already has an idea of how difficult maintaining abstinence can be. Suboxone, one of the few opiate addiction medications that can be administered through a doctor’s office, offers a certain degree of flexibility compared to the restrictions that surround methadone treatment. While receiving Suboxone treatment on an “out of office” basis can be more convenient, serious consideration should be given to a person’s readiness to adhere to treatment guidelines while managing the affairs of everyday life on one’s own.
Opiate Addiction Effects in Recovery
Chronic or long-term opiate abuse wreaks havoc on the brain’s chemical system, leaving users both physically and psychologically dependent on the drug’s effects. According to the Journal of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, opiate addiction causes brain abnormalities that persist long after a person breaks the body’s physical dependence on the drug. For these reasons, additional medication therapies may be needed to help restore a normal chemical balance in the brain. Suboxone treatment acts as a type of maintenance therapy that works to support damaged brain chemical functions.
While the physical damage wrought by long-term drug abuse can be extensive, the heart of addiction lives inside the mind, affecting a person’s thinking patterns, emotions and daily behaviors and routines. When left untreated, persistent drug cravings and old thinking patterns can easily drive a person to relapse. In effect, addiction treatment doesn’t begin until a person starts working through the psychological aftereffects of long-term drug abuse.
Suboxone Treatment Components
Suboxone, a synthetic opioid drug, interacts with the same brain chemical processes as other opiates do and also produces many of the same effects as other opiates. According to the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Suboxone differs from addictive opiates in that it’s formulated to produce slow-acting effects that last for up to 36 hours. These effects combined make for a much lower addiction potential than other opiate drugs. Suboxone also contains naltrexone, a substance that works as an anti-abuse measure in the event a person should attempt to abuse Suboxone through smoking or snorting the drug. Overall, Suboxone’s effects offer considerable relief from the persistent drug cravings that make abstinence so difficult to maintain.
Psychosocial interventions address the psychological components of addiction, equipping a person with the coping skills needed to overcome temptations to engage in drug use. Since Suboxone can be administered through a doctor’s office, much of the responsibility for attending psychosocial treatment sessions rests on the patient. Granted, the relief afforded by Suboxone works wonders in terms of helping a person feel more like him or herself; however, daily stressors coupled with constant reminders of the “old drug-using days” can easily steer a person towards a relapse episode.
As a general rule, someone who’s just out of detox should seriously consider receiving Suboxone treatment in a residential rehab setting. Once a person has a firm footing in the recovery process, he or she is better equipped to follow through on treatment guidelines.
It’s not uncommon for people coming off chronic opiate addiction to go through multiple rounds of drug treatment and multiple relapse episodes. While relapse can be expected in addiction recovery, multiple relapse episodes and failed treatment attempts can dampen a person’s motivations to get and stay well. Considering the challenges inherent in the recovery process, a person can save a lot of time and frustration by choosing the level of treatment that best meets his or her treatment needs.
If you or someone you know is considering Suboxone treatment and have questions about how it works or need help finding Suboxone rehab programs in your area, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our phone counselors.