What Are the Proven Benefits of Suboxone Treatment?
If you are considering treating your opioid addiction, you may be interested in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) the process by which a combination of medication, therapy, and support systems assists a drug user in making it through withdrawal and recovery and on to sobriety.
If you have been investigating MAT, then you have probably looked into suboxone, the combination of opioid treatments buprenorphine and naloxone. If you don’t get some good information, you might make the wrong choice.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration notes: “Unfortunately, MAT is greatly underused. For instance, … the proportion of heroin admissions with treatment plans that included receiving medication-assisted opioid therapy fell from 35% in 2002 to 28% in 2010.” They attribute this trend partly “to misconceptions about substituting one drug for another.” Due to general misconceptions, a lot of people are missing out on treatment that could really help them in recovery.
Let’s bust some misconceptions! If you read this and you feel like suboxone could be a good addition to your treatment plans, contact SuboxoneDrugRehabs.com at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) and speak to someone in the know. They can help you learn more and connect to treatment.
Medication Assisted Treatment
In general, medication-assisted treatment has a great track record. So, as suboxone is a type of MAY, it’s worth noting the general successes of this type of treatment.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, medication-assisted treatment, like that which includes suboxone, has been shown to:
- Improve patient survival
- Increase retention in treatment
- Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
- Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
- Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
Suboxone and Your Brain
The primary benefit of suboxone is its ability to both control withdrawal, easing symptoms, and its ability to prevent users getting high while taking the drug. How it does both of these is a little complicated.
Your brain has opioid receptors. Think of them as little telephones. When a full opioid agonist like heroin or methadone calls, your brain gets really excited and you feel pain relief or euphoria. Your brain gets high.
Buprenorphine, one component of suboxone, is a partial agonist. That means that it can call your brain and keep it on the line. Your brain won’t be able to get high, but it will feel enough of an opioid trigger to stay on the line. This means that withdrawal and cravings are lessened.
Naloxone, the other component of suboxone, is an antagonist and that means that it blocks the receptors from being open to calls from full opioid agonists like heroin or morphine. It essentially blocks their numbers on the brain’s phone.
One great benefit of suboxone is that it is a long-acting form of MAT; it remains on the brain’s opiate receptors for approximately 24 hours. Plus, when it is occupying the receptors, the full opioid agonists can’t access them. Suboxone hogs the line and no other incoming calls can be taken for 24 hours.
So, should you take a full agonist within that 24-hour period where suboxone is working, you won’t be able to get high. Your brain won’t take the calls. But, it also won’t be sad about missing the calls. There will be no cravings.
The Ceiling Effect
The “ceiling effect” is yet another suboxone bonus. If you try to get around the call blocking and instead take more suboxone to get high, you won’t be able to. Taking extra suboxone doesn’t get you high.
The ceiling effect is also a benefit in overdose situations. If you overdose with suboxone, you will experience less difficulty breathing than you would if you overdosed with a full agonist.
Given the proven effectiveness of medication-assisted therapy, it is a shame that only 18 percent of admissions receive it. By researching its benefits, you have already countered the problem of misinformation. But, you may still be tripped up by the difficulty of getting a prescription. For help, use the Buprenorphine Treatment Physician Listing provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and call SubaxoneDrugRehabs.com at 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) .