Suboxone and Opiate Depencency
Drug addiction to opiates is a huge epidemic today. We often hear about the addiction of opiates like heroin or opium; however, the abuse of prescription painkillers has also increased drastically. Opiate painkillers are medications that are prescribed for patients in moderation to treat severe pain. Most of the time, these pills are prescribed appropriately by doctors, but sometimes this is not the case.
How People Get Addicted to Opiates
Certain people with chronic pain like joint or bone injuries that can’t be treated with surgery may need to remain on painkillers for a permanent basis. In these instances, addiction is not a relevant fear because the patient needs the prescription pain killers to deal with their pain. Doctors also prescribe prescription pain killers to people who have medical or surgical treatments. After these procedures are done, it’s expected that the patient discontinues taking the medication. Sometimes this happens, often times many are not able to quit their opiate painkillers. Because opiates are one of the most addictive substances, these people attempt to obtain more.
This is how many people slip into an opiate dependency, which means that they can’t get off them without enduring sever withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms include sweating, diarrhea, muscle aches, joint pain, insomnia, cold chills, tremors, and aggravation. Even when people realize they have a problem, many are unable to endure this withdrawal process that can last up to 14 days. Most of these people live with a lifetime of cravings and constantly wish to get high. Eventually, most succumb. In fact, around 90 percent of people who are addicted to opiates fail at remaining clean for a one-year period. This translates into a relapse rate of 90%. Many are quick to judge opiate addicts, however opiates literally change the chemical balance in the brain. It is not possible to just “get over it”.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a medicine used to eliminate symptoms of opiate withdrawal that is non-addictive and non-habit-forming. It is the combination of two medicines: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine attaches itself to receptors in the brain, which is the part that responds to opiates. This blocks cravings so patients no longer feel the need to constantly think about using opiates.
Patients have to be off of opiates for two to three days at least in order to use Suboxone. After this, the first two doses are usually taken in a doctor’s office where a physician can monitor behavior. The majority of patients notice improvement within the following hour, with further improvement as time goes on. After 3-4 weeks of not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms, patients say that their cravings and thoughts about using are gone. Treatment with Suboxone is unusually effective for many patients.
Suboxone and Opiate Dependency
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