How It Works and Is It Safe?
Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist that is prescribed to patients who are battling an addiction to opioids. Comprised of a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, Suboxone provides patients with much-needed relief from the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Buprenorphine interacts with the same receptors in the brain that are typically activated by the use of opioids. Unlike opioids, buprenorphine will not cause patients to experience feelings of euphoria or extreme relaxation. Because these symptoms are not experienced, patients able to productively play a role in daily activities without impairment. Naloxone is an opioid blocker (opioid agonist) that counteracts the effects that opioids have on a person’s system. In addition to eliminating withdrawal symptoms, Suboxone keeps cravings for continued opioid use at bay. Extensive clinical research has confirmed that when taken as prescribed, use of Suboxone is extremely safe and effective in the treatment of opioid dependency.
The Effectiveness of Suboxone Treatment
Patients who are prescribed Suboxone are given the opportunity to progress towards recovery without experiencing the painful symptoms of withdrawal. In addition to eliminating withdrawal symptoms, Suboxone also provides patients with the ability to take part in daily activities without delay, as use of this medication will not cause cognitive impairments.
There are multiple medications available at Western Pennsylvania Comprehensive Treatment Centers. Because of this, patients are urged to work closely with our treatment team in order to determine the appropriate course of treatment based upon your individual treatment requirements.
The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment Plus Counseling
Individuals who abuse opioids will inevitably experience painful withdrawal symptoms once use of these substances has ceased. Many individuals remain trapped in the dangerous cycle of opioid abuse as a way to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms. However, the longer than an individual abuses opioids, the higher chance that he or she will experience an overdose. Suboxone can provide patients with the opportunity to progress towards recovery without experiencing withdrawal symptoms or craving continued opioid use. The use of this medication also provides patients with the opportunity to achieve the mental clarity that is required in order to focus on the remainder of their treatment.
It is important for patients to understand that use of Suboxone is by no-means a cure-all for an addiction to opioids. Lasting recovery requires treatment for both the emotional and psychological aspects of an individual’s addiction. Western Pennsylvania Comprehensive Treatment Centers provide patients with the opportunity to take part in therapeutic interventions which are designed to treat the underlying causes of a patient’s addictive behaviors. These sessions provide patients with a safe and supportive environment in which to openly discuss an array of topics with our highly qualified counselors. Group therapy brings patients together with other individuals who are also receiving treatment for addiction in order to provide each other support and encouragement. Individual therapy sessions allow patients to openly discuss their addictions in a one-on-one setting with one of our compassionate and dedicated counselors. Individual sessions also help patients work through any issues that may arise throughout the course of treatment.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Prior to providing your loved one with the support that he or she requires, you must first receive treatment of your own. Additionally, the following are ways in which you can support your loved one as he or she progresses in treatment:
- Educate yourself about Suboxone as well as the other treatment options available so that you understand what your loved one is experiencing.
- Remind your loved one to be present at all scheduled appointments.
- Inquire about how your loved one is feeling during treatment, how the medication is affecting him or her, etc.
- Congratulate your loved one on all successes, both big and small.
- Remind yourself that lasting recovery takes time and may include some challenges along the way. Remain optimistic and share these feelings of optimism with your loved one as he or she progresses in treatment.
- Receive treatment and support of your own.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Deciding to receive treatment though Western Pennsylvania Comprehensive Treatment Centers is an extremely brave first step towards recovery. Patients are reminded to keep the following in mind throughout the course of their care:
- Follow any guidelines that are put in place by our treatment team.
- Attend all scheduled appointments in order to receive your medication.
- Refrain from consuming opioids, alcohol, and/or other substances during the course of treatment.
- Play an active role in group therapy sessions.
- Communicate openly during individual therapy sessions. Our counselors are here to promote the recovery of our patients, not to delay their progress.
- Voice any issues or questions that may arise during treatment. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to provide patients with the highest quality of individualized care.
The Side Effects of Suboxone
Suboxone, like many medications, can cause patients to experience a variety of side effects. The following are side effects that have been reported by patients who have been prescribed Suboxone:
- Generalized pain
- Low blood pressure
- Numb mouth
- Painful tongue
- Blurred vision
- Runny nose
- Coordination problems
- Irregular heartbeat
- Back and abdominal pain
- Attention disturbances
Patients should notify their treatment provider immediately of any side effects that occur in order to ensure safety and treatment progress. Medications can be adjusted throughout the course of treatment if deemed necessary.
Please contact Western Pennsylvania Comprehensive Treatment Centers today if you or someone that you love is struggling with an addiction to opioids. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to help you take the first steps towards lasting recovery in a safe and supportive environment.