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How Suboxone Treatment Can Help With Withdrawals
Suboxone treatment helps to deal with the dependency that comes with prolonged opioid use. The medication helps with recovery by managing withdrawal. By minimizing withdrawal symptoms, Suboxone allows a patient to remain comfortable as they wean themselves off of opioids.
This enables the person to focus on a larger treatment plan for their addiction or dependency. With painful withdrawal symptoms out of the way, counseling and other behavioral therapies then become easier to pursue. The next section is a small deconstruction of addiction and withdrawal. After that comes an explainer on Suboxone and how it works.
Suboxone treatment: brain chemistry, addiction, and withdrawal
The nervous system is the body’s version of electrical wiring, in that it transmits and receives impulses. In this system, the brain is the control center. Three components in this control center are key in explaining addiction and withdrawal:
- Nerve cells, which produce various chemicals known as neurotransmitters
- Neurotransmitters, which are messenger chemicals that cause a reaction when they interact with a nerve cell
- Neuroreceptors: Proteins that sit on the membranes of nerve cells. Their job is to bind with compatible chemicals like neurotransmitters
A specific type of neuroreceptor will only bind with a specific class of neurotransmitters or external chemicals. For example, opioid receptors typically bind with opioids and similar proteins that the body produces. The binding process excites the nerve cell, which affects the reward and/or pain centers of the brain. This is how opioids like prescription painkillers work.
Opioids cause feelings of euphoria by stimulating the reward center. They manage or eliminate pain by dulling nerve impulses to and from the pain center. If this sequence of events repeats itself over and over, addiction happens. The body recalibrates to a new normal of opioids in the system. If an opioid user decides to quit cold-turkey, the body will go into withdrawal. This is where Suboxone comes in.
How Suboxone helps with withdrawal
Suboxone is a brand name for medication with two active ingredients. The first is Buprenorphine. This drug with the complex name is an opioid that binds to some (not all) opioid receptors. This lite version of opioids activates enough opioid receptors to keep withdrawal symptoms from happening.
The second active ingredient in Suboxone is naloxone, the drug that binds with the remaining receptors. Unlike the first drug, naloxone does not activate receptors when it binds to them. It just blocks other opioids. The drug also has a second role: It neutralizes the effects of any opioids that the patient may use, just in case of a slip. This is the quality that makes naloxone a lifesaving drug that treats opioid overdoses.
The combination in Suboxone tackles withdrawal symptoms while slowly removing the craving for opioids. Both medications deal with the physiological cause of addiction by blocking receptors from reacting to any drugs that the patient may use. This frees up the patient to concentrate on other aspects of addiction and dependency treatment.
Suboxone treatment: usage and dosage
The medication comes in tablet form or as a film that the patient places under the tongue. With the sublingual film version, the patient should stay silent as the drug dissolves. They should avoid swallowing it to ensure maximum efficacy.
Suboxone is a prescription drug. A doctor may insist on administering the medication in-office. They may also send their patient home with a prescription.
Treating opioid dependency can be a smoother, gentler process
Approaches like Suboxone treatment go a long way to improve the long-term outcome of opioid recovery. Reach out to us to learn about our treatment programs and how they work. Together we can find a course of action that will help you through recovery.
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