If you’re addicted to opioids, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2018, over 2 million Americans were addicted to prescription opioids, and another 808,000 were addicted to heroin. Opioid addiction can be incredibly difficult to overcome, but with the help of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), you can manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse. One medication used in MAT is suboxone. In this article, we’ll explore what suboxone is, how it works, and what to expect during suboxone detox.
What is suboxone?
Suboxone is a medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it activates the same receptors in the brain that opioids do, but to a lesser degree. This helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing the euphoria associated with opioids. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opioids and can reverse an overdose. Suboxone comes in tablet or film form and is taken sublingually (under the tongue).
How does suboxone work?
Suboxone works by binding to the same receptors in the brain that opioids do, but because it’s a partial agonist, it doesn’t produce the same high. This helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, allowing you to focus on recovery. Naloxone, the other component of suboxone, is added as a deterrent to misuse. If you try to inject or snort suboxone, the naloxone will block the effects of the buprenorphine and potentially trigger withdrawal symptoms.
What is suboxone detox?
Suboxone detox is the process of tapering off suboxone under medical supervision. If you’ve been using suboxone as part of MAT, your healthcare provider may recommend tapering off once you’ve stabilized, typically after a few months. The goal of suboxone detox is to gradually decrease the dose of suboxone until you’re no longer taking it. This can help reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms and minimize the discomfort associated with detox.
What to expect during suboxone detox?
During suboxone detox, your healthcare provider will gradually decrease your dose of suboxone over several weeks. This is typically done by reducing the frequency and/or strength of the suboxone dose. You may experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms during this time, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, and insomnia. Your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications to help manage these symptoms.
How long does suboxone detox take?
The length of suboxone detox varies depending on several factors, including the dose and duration of suboxone use, individual factors such as metabolism and overall health, and whether you’re transitioning to another form of MAT. Some people may complete suboxone detox in as little as a few weeks, while others may take several months. It’s important to work closely with your healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan and monitor your progress.
Suboxone detox can be an effective way to overcome opioid addiction, but it’s important to work closely with a healthcare provider to ensure a safe and successful recovery. Suboxone works by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings, allowing you to focus on recovery. During suboxone detox, your healthcare provider will gradually decrease your dose of suboxone over several weeks, and you may experience mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. The length of suboxone detox varies depending on several factors, and it’s important to develop a personalized treatment plan and monitor your progress. With the right support and resources, you can successfully quit opioids and start living a healthier, happier life.