Can Suboxone help with Opioid Addiction?

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication, sometimes called a narcotic. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse. Suboxone is used to treat narcotic (opiate) addiction. It is definitely growing with the cut back of narcotics secondary to the crisis in America. More and more people are looking for a way out of either opiate dependency due to chronic pain or an addiction that has formed from taking pain medications over a period. Suboxone attaches to the same opioid neurotransmitters, but does not give that opioid high.

How is Suboxone used in Medication Assisted Programs?

Medication Assisted Programs or MATs are programs set up by Physicians that include counseling and behavior therapy to treat the addiction. Suboxone will be slowly tapered off until not needed any longer. There is no shame in needing Suboxone for months. As long as the patient is taking the prescribed amount and is working on the source of the addiction itself, that is progress. The patient has a plan of care in place and is monitored frequently with drug tests and pill counts. This is the method that should be associated with Suboxone prescriptions. The reasons for the addiction can be brought to life in counseling, 12 step groups and/or behavior therapy. It can make you grow as a person and learn to live without the use of any mind altering medications. The Suboxone is tapered down during this process and at some point stopped. By this time, the patient has the coping skills and self-worth to live life however it comes.

Can Suboxone be abused?

I have read where some addicts have found away around the Naltraxone. Generally, the tablets can be crushed and snorted, while the sublingual strips are often melted down and injected in an attempt to feel the drug’s effects faster.

Though intravenous abuse of buprenorphine is not a very popular method of abuse, it does happen. Supposedly, the naloxone contained in Suboxone causes withdrawal when injected. In truth, it doesn’t really matter whether Suboxone is injected or taken as directed – buprenorphine has the same “ceiling effect.”

Suboxone definitely has a street value. It can be sold anywhere from 10-35 dollars a pill depending on mg and location. It has a narcotic in it. Those will always be wanted on the streets. Some buyers are out of their drug of choice and need Subs to stop the withdrawals long enough for them to get back on their drug. Buyers are not looking for a long term solution to their drug problem but a temporary fix of pain.

What do you think?

Suboxone is a touchy subject in the addiction world. Some say it is trading one drug for another? Others say you are not “clean” while taking Suboxone even when taking medication as prescribed? Others say it saved their lives and could never have gotten clean without it? Do you have an opinion or story? Please feel free to share it with us below.

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