Subutex Treatment for an Opioid Addiction

How It Works and Is It Safe?

Subutex is a prescription medication that is classified as an opioid partial agonist-antagonist. This medication is effective in helping treat opioid addiction. With buprenorphine as its primary ingredient, Subutex is administered once daily via a dissolvable tablet that is absorbed into the body. This medication is utilized within medication assisted treatment programs because it is capable of blocking painful withdrawal symptoms that develop once the abuse of opioids, such as morphine, heroin, and prescription pain medications, has ceased. Subutex is also effective in decreasing the cravings for continued use and allowing patients to fully focus on their treatment.

In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Subutex as one of the few medications that is safe to use to treat opioid addiction. Extensive research has shown that consuming Subutex is much safer than continuing to abuse opioids, as this medication does not lead to vital organ damage. When a patient is prescribed Subutex, he or she will not become cognitively impaired or have his or her daily life disrupted. When taking Subutex within a medication assisted treatment program, patients can remain focused on other areas of their recovery, as well as continue to adhere to their daily obligations within their personal lives.

It is imperative to understand that Subutex can cause side effects. While this medication is proven to be safe to consume while under the guidance of a medical professional, those who are looking into this form of treatment should talk about the side effects that can occur with their treatment provider, as well as ask any questions that they might have so that all concerns can be alleviated.

The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment

Endless studies have proven that Subutex is effective in treating opioid addiction. Individuals who have included Subutex into their medication assisted treatment plan have found that their cravings to continually abuse opioids such as morphine, heroin, or prescription painkillers are significantly lessened. In addition, they also report that when taking Subutex, withdrawal symptoms that typically develop once opioids are stopped are blocked.

Overall, when Subutex is included into a treatment plan for an opioid addiction, the outcomes are positive and help individuals who are obtaining this form of treatment remain focused on their recovery.

The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling

Medication assisted treatment that offers Subutex typically includes three different treatment phases that each have therapeutic services to help move each phase (and, in turn, the recovery process) along. The phases that patients tend to go through during Subutex treatment include:

Induction: At this time, patients are just stopping their opioid abuse and beginning to develop withdrawal symptoms. Subutex is introduced for the first time during this phase.

Stabilization: When stabilization is reached, patients are no longer going through withdrawal symptoms or dealing with cravings to keep using. A patient can have his or her dosage of Subutex adjusted at this time if need be.

Maintenance: Maintenance is the phase that occurs when the patient is stable enough to either start tapering off of Subutex completely, or start tapering off and switching to a different medication for long-term care.

As these phases occur, it is incredibly beneficial for a patient to obtain therapy at the same time. Group and individual therapy sessions can help a patient comb through his or her emotions during each phase, obtain skills necessary to stay on the path towards recovery, share successes and hang-ups throughout recovery, and gain support from others who have shared in similar challenges. Research has proven that individuals who have obtained therapy at the same time as medication assisted treatment are more likely to stay sober instead of relapsing.

How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Family and friends of an individual obtaining Subutex within a medication assisted treatment program can be incredibly supportive to him or her by always staying involved in his or her process of recovery. As a friend or loved one, it is important to obtain help for yourself so that you can be supported as well. It is likely that your loved one’s addiction has caused you harm, which is why reaching out for guidance can be critical. If you are able, it can be helpful to actively engage yourself in your loved one’s care, as doing so can help you better understand his or her struggles, as well as help you improve your relationship with him or her.

How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: If you are looking into attending a medication assisted treatment program that involves the use of Subutex to treat opioid addiction, there are a variety of ways in which you can be successful:

  • Follow the recommendations for treatment that your provider has supplied you with in terms of consuming Subutex.
  • Go to all individual or group therapy sessions and actively engage yourself in them.
  • Tell your provider about any concerns that might develop while you are taking Subutex. That way, he or she can make adjustments to your medication as needed.
  • Do not use other opioids while taking Subutex.
  • Speak with your provider if you are having addiction-related struggles throughout your treatment. He or she can help guide you towards the support and additional treatment you might need.

The Side Effects of Subutex

Whenever you consume any form of medication, it is always important to talk with your provider to reduce any chances of risk. Prior to agreeing to take Subutex, it is critical that you ask about all possible food interactions, health conditions that might develop, and other potential drug interactions that could occur if you are already taking another type of prescription or over-the-counter medication. In addition, if you are starting Subutex, you should be aware of the possible side effects of use, many of which develop when a dosage is increased. Examples of possible side effects are listed in the following:

Most common side effects:

  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Constipation
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Infections
  • Depression
  • Infections
  • Sleeplessness
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Sweating

Fairly common side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Runny eyes
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness

Less common side effects:

  • Fever
  • Abscesses
  • Upset stomach
  • Accidental injury

At Boston Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we would be pleased to speak to you about our treatment methods and answer all the questions you might have about Subutex. Please contact us today.

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