Suboxone is a powerful but dangerous substance which is sometimes used during drug addiction treatment for other opiates. While some people have had great success using it during drug rehab, others have formed even more powerful dependencies than they had before. There are now many rehab patients in therapy specifically for suboxone addiction. To prevent further abuse, addicts and their communities need to learn more about the dangers of suboxone use in drug addiction treatment.
Treating Pain and Opiate Addiction
Suboxone is actually a brand name of buprenorphrine. Like many other opiates, buprenorphrine was originally developed as a painkiller. One of its original alleged benefits was that unlike methadone or morphine, it could be used on people who were normally intolerant of opium derivatives. In the 1980s, the Food and Drug Administration also approved the sale of Suboxone for treating opiate dependency.
Methadone is still the primary pharmaceutical option for treating heroin addicts, but suboxone has been gaining popularity since its creation. Addicts often receive prescriptions during drug addiction treatment so they can be medically monitored as they gradually detox from opiates. It has also been used in clinical studies on babies born addicted to heroin.
In some cases, suboxone is even prescribed to people who are addicted to other drugs – but not opiates. For instance, people with barbiturate dependencies have been given suboxone to treat their headaches. It doesn’t produce the same extreme highs as heroin and other street drugs, but it can still cause people who aren’t accustomed to opiates to rapidly form addictions.
Dangers of Suboxone
Suboxone tends to produce less-severe side effects than other opiates, but it is still dangerous. Common problems include:
- Chills and sweats
- Nausea and vomiting
- Physical weakness
- Lowered heart rate
- Muscle cramps
- Anxiety and distress
Another danger is that suboxone is not as tightly regulated as other opiates. Like methadone, it can sometimes be prescribed in large quantities that are extremely likely to cause addictions – all in the name of treating heroin addicts who supposedly need massive amounts to detox.
Finally, it can cause a condition called precipitated withdrawal in people who are still dependent on heroin or other opiates. Suboxone blocks these other substances from entering the brain, triggering sudden and severe withdrawal symptoms. This phenomenon can also interfere with the body’s use of endorphins – other hormones responsible for pleasure and reward. Interference in the endorphin system is known to cause permanent damage to memory formation and cognitive abilities.
How to Detox from a Detox Drug?
Suboxone addiction is a kind of “dead end” when it comes to opiates. Heroin addicts are often treated with methadone, and they’re given suboxone when they get hooked on that. When suboxone proves to be habit-forming, other detox methods become necessary.
However, non-gradual detox is always dangerous for opiate addicts. Withdrawal symptoms include seizures, rapid heartbeats, and even heart attacks. One of the ways doctors mitigate these risks is to use the Waismann method for rapid detox. Patients are sedated and given drugs which rid their bodies of opiates in just a few hours. Still, this process carries risks of its own, and a handful of addicts have died within days of the procedure.
No matter how patients detox from suboxone or other opiates, further drug addiction treatment is important for actually addressing the underlying causes of their substance abuse habits. Individual counseling, group discussions, and family therapies help addicts make long-term changes to the thoughts and behaviors which drive them to use drugs. Even after clinical therapy is clinical, addicts will need to proactively manage their cravings and stress for the rests of their lives.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to any substance, help is available now. Call the number above to speak with one of our dedicated addiction counselors right now. There is no time to waste, so get started on a drug addiction treatment program as soon as possible, and start living the life you’ve dreamed of.