Suboxone & Opioid Addiction Treatment in Boca Raton, Florida

Understanding Suboxone & Opioid Addiction

Opiate addiction was the leading cause of death in 2017. Over 70,000 overdose related fatalities in the United States alone. As a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical psychologist specializing in opiate addiction for 15 years, my strongest recommendation for long-time heroine/opiate/painkiller addiction is long-term Suboxone maintenance. Simply put, this life saving medication keeps people alive, families intact and addicts out of institutions. IT IS NOT TRADING IN ONE ADDICTION FOR ANOTHER. Suboxone does not make you high.  It is a trusted medication that acts as an opiate blocker, meaning it wedges itself into the opiate receptor stopping the obsessive compulsive drug seeking behaviors, cravings and the euphoric effects of opioids. 

For more information about how you or your loved one can be sober on Suboxone, please read more below and watch my video discussing this topic.

Psychiatrists who treat opioid addiction are now utilizing medication-assisted treatment, and the most commonly used in the treatment of opioid addiction is buprenorphine (Suboxone).

People don't just walk away from opioid addiction. They need interventions to help change their thinking, behavior, and environment. Unfortunately, “quitting cold turkey” has a low success rate – fewer than 25 percent of patients are able to remain abstinent for a full year and relapses typically happen after the first year as well which often result in death due to "opioid naivete". This is when an opiate user has been sober for months or even years and than tries to go back to using the same amount they were used to before. This is where medication-assisted treatment options like Suboxone benefit patients in staying sober while reducing the side effects of withdrawal and curbing cravings which often results in relapse.

What is the difference between Buprenorphine, Suboxone and Subutex?

In 2002, the FDA approved the use of the unique opioid buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone) for the treatment of opioid addiction in the U.S. In fact, its been used safely for over 20 years.  Buprenorphine has numerous advantages over methadone and naltrexone. As a medication-assisted treatment, it suppresses withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids, does not cause euphoria or a high in the opioid-dependent patient, and it blocks the effects of the other opioids lilke heroine for 24 hours. That means that when patients take their Suboxone correctly, even if they use they won't get high and won't enjoy the experiene which greatly reduces the likelihood of going back to the pattern of addiction. In essence, you would have to really want to realpse and strategically plan it our for several days. By that time, many people choose sobriety after the moment has passed.  Positive outcomes, as measured by one-year sobriety, have been reported as high as 40 to 60 percent in some studies. Treatment does not require participation in a highly-regulated federal program such as a methadone clinic. Because buprenorphine does not cause euphoria in patients with opioid addiction, its likelihood of abuse is substantially lower than methadone.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence can include the use of buprenorphine (Suboxone) to augment other types of treatment for example education, counseling and other support groups that focus on the behavioral aspects of opioid addiction. This medication can help opiate depndant people caught in a dark cycle to regain a clear state of mind  free of withdrawal, cravings and the highs and lows of substance abuse. Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is similar to using medication to treat other chronic illnesses such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes. Taking medication for opioid addiction is not the same as trading in one addiction for another. 

What is Suboxone and how does it work?

Suboxone has two medications combined in one dose. The most important ingredient is buprenorphine, which is classified as a ‘partial opioid agonist,’ and the second is naloxone which is an ‘opioid antagonist’ or an opioid blocker.

Why doesn't Suboxone get you high?

When a ‘partial opioid’ like Suboxone is taken, the person may feel a very slight pleasurable sensation, but most people report that they just feel “normal” or “more energized” during medication-assisted treatment. If they are having pain they will notice some partial pain relief.

People who are addicted to opiates do not get a euphoric effect when they take buprenorphine. Buprenorphine tricks the brain into thinking that a regular opioid like oxycodone or heroin is in the lock, and this halts the withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Buprenorphine is a long-acting form of medicated-assisted treatment, meaning that it gets wedged in the brain’s opiate receptors for about 24 hours. When buprenorphine is stuck in the receptor the other opiates are locked out. If a opioid is taken within 24 hours of Suboxone, then the patient will quickly discover that the drugs they paid for is not working. They will not get high. This 24-hour reprieve gives the patient time to reconsider the choice of relapsing - meaning there is time for the negative thoughts to dissipate that was originally lead to a relapse. 

Another benefit of buprenorphine in treating opioid addiction is something called the ‘ceiling effect.’  Abusing Suboxone or taking more than perscribed will not get the patient high. This is a distinct advantage over methadone. Patients can get high on methadone because it is a full opioid. 

Schedule an appointment with our Suboxone specialist in Boca Raton.

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