Opioid addiction has taken the lives of more than 5,200 Floridians in 2022 and 932,000 people in the United States since 1999. Prescription and synthetic opioid deaths have increased eight times in the last two decades.
But there is hope. Professional help and the right combination of therapy and medication can help you or your loved one start on the road to recovery.
Suboxone is one of the leading treatment options for opioid addiction, and can drastically reduce relapse when including it opioid addiction treatment plans.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Suboxone is a powerful tool in treating addiction because it contains:
· 4 parts buprenorphine
· 1 part naloxone
One study found a 75% successful outcome rate for patients taking Suboxone.
What is Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine works to “trick” your brain into thinking it has taken an opioid. Evidence shows that buprenorphine is better tolerated than methadone and provides the same or improved outcome expectations.
What is Naloxone?
Naloxone works alongside buprenorphine by blocking opioid receptor activation. What this means is that the buprenorphine’s euphoric effects are blocked while easing your withdrawal.
Suboxone works very similarly to methadone and is a life-saving medication that we prescribe to many patients who seek treatment in the fight against opioid addiction.
The combination of ingredients provides additional protection against relapse and misuse that many other medications do not offer. Blocking the cravings for opioids helps further decrease withdrawal symptom severity.
Multiple dosages of Suboxone are given on the first day and adjusted based on how you feel. By the end of day 1, many patients start feeling better and experience far fewer withdrawal symptoms. Day 2’s dosages are often higher than the first and will help be adjusted by a professional to ensure maximum effectiveness with minimal side effects.
Suboxone Side Effects
Suboxone is a powerful tool against opioid addiction, but it does have side effects. The most commonly reported issues include:
· Irregular heartbeat
· Back pain
Patients may also experience dizziness, blurry vision and even numbness in their mouths. Breathing can also become shallow, and you should consult with the prescribing doctor to adjust your prescription if you experience this side effect.
Dosage adjustments during the first few days of treatment can help you avoid these symptoms and continue on your treatment plan.
Note: Additional side effects can include anxiety, depression and nervousness.
How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?
The effects of Suboxone can last 24 hours, but it can take 5-8 days for the body to eliminate the drug completely. For individuals with severe liver disease, Suboxone may stay in their system for 7-14 days.
To determine how long the drug stays in your system, you must consider the elimination half-life of both buprenorphine and naloxone.
· Buprenorphine has an elimination half-life of 24-42 hours
· Naloxone has an elimination half-life of 2-12 hours
It typically takes 4-5 half-lives to fully eliminate the drug from the body. So, in otherwise healthy individuals, all traces of Suboxone should be gone after 5-8 days.
Suboxone is preferred over methadone because it has a lower risk of abuse. Methadone abuse is a serious problem and not something that will help a person trying to stop addiction.
Professional Help Can Accelerate Recovery from Opioid Addiction
Over 4 million people in the United States abuse opioids. You may be able to overcome your addiction on your own, but your chances of staying clean are much higher with a professional helping you.
While we have found great success with Suboxone, there are numerous ways to treat addiction:
· Behavioral therapy
· Support groups
Opioid addiction can quickly consume a person’s life. No one strives to become an addict, and it takes a lot of work to become clean. Over time, you’ll find one day of sobriety leads to a week, a month and then a year.
The right type of support, therapy and medication-assisted therapy will give you the best chance at recovery.
Treatment is a Multi-step Process
Seeking treatment for addiction requires a multi-step process:
1. Make the decision to get professional help
2. Follow the recommendations of the counselor or treatment specialist
3. Enter into withdrawal (12 – 24 hours after your last use) so that Suboxone can be administered
4. Engage in behavioral therapy to replace triggers and bad habits
5. Join a support group that will keep you on track throughout your recovery
Recovery is a lifelong process, but the first and most important step is accepting that you have a problem and seeking help.
Do you or someone you know have an opioid addiction and want to get on the road to recovery?
Click here or call (321) 972-9215 to learn how Healing Psychiatry of Florida can help you find a life of sobriety.