The Key to Effective Suboxone Treatment
As of 2002, Suboxone became the second drug after methadone to receive federal approval approval as an opiate addiction treatment. Rather than the strict clinic-based requirements of methadone, Suboxone treatment can be administered on an out-of-office based by authorized physicians.
Like methadone, Suboxone addresses the persistent withdrawal and drug cravings effects that can linger well into the recovery process. Suboxone also produces effects designed to guard against relapse, which is an added benefit that methadone doesn’t offer.
While effective in its own right, certain protocols must be adhered to in order for a person to reap the intended therapeutic benefits that Suboxone treatment has to offer.
Call our toll-free helpline at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) for more information on Suboxone treatment options.
Suboxone’s Mechanism of Action
The drug Suboxone contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine acts as an opioid agonist, meaning it interacts with the same brain receptor sites as other addictive opiates. Naloxone acts as an opioid antagonist, blocking the effects of addictive opiates in the event a person has a relapse episode, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Suboxone’s agonist properties work in much the same way as methadone, supporting damaged brain chemical processes and stimulating the release of needed neurotransmitter chemical materials. Unlike methadone, Suboxone has a built-in ceiling effect, meaning the drug’s effects only increase up to a certain dosage level. This feature acts as a safeguard to reduce the risk of overdose.
Needed Suboxone Treatment Components
The damaging effects of opiate addiction take root within the mind as well as in the physical workings of the brain. While Suboxone does a good job at relieving persistent withdrawal and drug cravings effects, it only treats the brain’s physical dependence on addictive opiates leaving the actual addiction problem well intact.
For these reasons, the key to effective Suboxone treatment lies in combining the drug’s therapeutic benefits with ongoing behavior-based interventions, according to Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services. Behavior-based interventions directly address the underlying issues and thought processes that drive compulsive drug-using behaviors.
Interventions commonly used in Suboxone treatment include:
- 12 Step support group meetings
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Relapse prevention counseling
In the absence of behavior-based treatment the habits and overall mindset that develops during the course of opiate abuse will re-emerge in spite of Suboxone’s effects.
Treatment Duration Needs
In effect, Suboxone treatment helps to wean the brain off addictive opiates and eliminate physical dependence over time. In the process, behavior-based interventions help a person develop much needed tools and coping skills for managing daily life on a drug-free basis. These changes take time and can just as easily backfire when a person pulls out of Suboxone treatment before he or she is ready.
Since addiction severity mostly determines how long treatment duration should be, someone who’s developed other physical or psychological problems as a result of opiate abuse will likely require a longer treatment duration than someone who hasn’t. Ultimately, people who remain in Suboxone treatment for a minimum of 12 months or longer greatly increase their chances of treatment success.
We can help you find the type of Suboxone treatment program that best addresses your treatment needs. Call our toll-free helpline at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) for more information.