Suboxone reverses the effects of heroin addiction, but can you fix an addiction with another drug? It was considered a safer alternative to methadone during the opioid abuse epidemic. However, this drug has its dark side that people don’t talk about as much. Suboxone abuse is real and has even caused an epidemic that needs to be remedied. Addiction to Suboxone is a true problem in the United States today.
Suboxone is a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine, which provides a way for someone to get off a previous, stronger opioid gradually, and naloxone. Since buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, its “highs” are lower compared to the highs of heroin, a full agonist. For this reason, Suboxone seems like a good treatment option for heroin and opioid abuse. Naloxone’s job is to shut off opioid receptors, which reverses the effects of opioid drugs in the patient’s system. However, doing this can cause the body to start showing withdrawal symptoms such as:
- wild mood swings
- nausea and vomiting
- muscle cramping
Naloxone is risky and should not be given by itself, which is why it is combined with buprenorphine to provide patients with an easy way to get off stronger opioids.
Knowing the Signs of Suboxone Abuse
While Suboxone can wean someone off of a more potent opioid, Suboxone addiction can happen. Some physical and psychological effects can be an indication that the person is abusing Suboxone. The signs to be aware of include:
- Unpredictable mood swings
- Muscle aches
By knowing these signs, you will be more able to easily spot if a friend or loved one is abusing Suboxone.
Starting an Intervention for Suboxone Abuse
If you detect and confirm that a friend or family member is struggling with Suboxone abuse, the next step you should take is to have a discussion with them. The goal of an intervention is to get the addict to admit it is time to seek help. It is common for addicts to be in denial about their addiction and not realize that they have a problem. However, having family members and friends show that they care and are concerned for their well-being can help the addict understand their need for treatment and make them willing to enter rehab.
Treating Suboxone Abuse and Addiction
Most cases of opioid abuse require detoxification as the first step of therapy, and Suboxone addiction is no different. A controlled and supervised environment is the best way to withdraw from Suboxone safely. Suboxone withdrawal triggers the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is vital he or she enters a drug rehabilitation facility and be under professional care. Attempting to detox and withdraw on your own can result in a relapse into harder drugs when the withdrawal symptoms become too much to handle. A doctor will administer medication, if necessary, to make the withdrawal process easier. The withdrawal symptoms of the detox go away within 1 – 4 weeks.
Supporting the Addict After Rehab
Rehab is the first and major step in recovery, but it is not the final step. When an addict returns home, he or she will use the skills learned in rehab to continue living a clean and sober life. Therapy is a necessary step for supporting the addict after rehab. It’s where the user can discuss their struggles and challenges, and receive advice and help from their peers. It’s in therapy where they know they aren’t alone in their recovery journey.
Finding Treatment for Suboxone Addiction
When your friend or loved one has agreed to enter treatment, the next step is to locate the rehab facility. This move is significant because not every rehab center is the same. At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, we adapt our rehabilitation program to each client’s needs and wants. We not only deliver what our patients need, but we also provide them with what they want for their stay to be as pleasant as possible. Furthermore, our facility provides a very comfortable and secure environment, which is far away from the stress of everyday life. Our clients can relax and let go of the troubles of the world while they just focus on their sobriety and long-term recovery.
If you or a loved one are struggling with Suboxone addiction, we encourage you to contact us today to speak confidentially with one of our treatment advisors to see how we can help you.