While we tend to think of either hard and illegal narcotics or prescription painkillers, when we talk about addiction, substance abuse isn’t limited to those types of drugs. In fact, one drug used to treat some of those addictions is becoming a problem in itself. Suboxone is often used in drug rehab programs to help addicts overcome their withdrawal symptoms and go on to live clean and sober lives. In some cases, a suboxone outpatient program may be necessary to overcome a secondary addiction.
Suboxone has recently made news, as several states are beginning to address the dangers of addiction this treatment drug can present. While it is an effective way of helping addicts overcome other addictions, overuse often leads to a new addition to this drug. The news is surprising because many addiction treatment professionals believed suboxone to be a safe and effective means of helping patients get clean.
The growing opioid addiction problem has forced caregivers to look for new and innovative ways of helping addicts overcome their drug dependencies. The development of OxyContin is partly blamed for the problem of opioid addiction and, since its release in the early 1990s, the highly addictive nature of the drug forced the government to enact laws restricting the use of the drug.
This has led to the development of drugs like suboxone and methadone, which were long used to treat the symptoms of addiction. As the problems of methadone became more widely known, treatment centers have gravitated towards using suboxone almost exclusively. When an individual is struggling with opioid addiction, administering suboxone can help the detoxification process proceed more easily by reducing the effects of withdrawal.
How can suboxone be helpful for treating addiction? The two primary ingredients in Suboxone are Buprenorphine and Naloxone. While Buprenorphine is an opioid in itself, it’s used in suboxone to ease the withdrawal symptoms and pain typical of addiction recovery. Naloxone is added to the mix as a means of blocking the effects of opioids. As Naloxone interacts with the opioid receptors in our brains, it eliminates the ability to experience the intoxication usually associated with opioid use. This is usually enough to reduce the chances of addiction.
Even so, addiction to suboxone is possible, when the drug is overused by an individual. The Naloxone will still prevent the individual from experiencing the intoxicating effects of other opioids, but an increased use of suboxone will increase the likelihood of strengthening one’s dependency on the drug.
Exploring Treatment Options for Suboxone Addiction
There are two primary methods of treatment for addiction recovery and which one you choose will depend on your circumstances. Inpatient care is often more beneficial to those with a more severe addiction problem because it’s a more structured program and daily activities can be supervised more successfully. The patient lives in a facility full-time until he or she completes the treatment program and can pursue a sober lifestyle on their own.
An outpatient program lets the patient continue to live at home, though some patients may choose to move into a transitional clean living community. The patient will be required to attend regular meetings and therapy sessions as a part of the program. For more intensive outpatient programs, there may be more meetings, including group therapy and one on one therapy sessions, to help the individual explore his or her addiction. A more intensive outpatient program can provide greater structure, while also enabling the patient to remain at home and continue meeting familial and occupational obligations.
Therapy sessions often focus on the behavioral patterns that either caused the addiction or reinforced the substance abuse. This helps the individual recognize triggers that may lead to a relapse, so they can better avoid those situations. This type of discussion is vital to a successful recovery and may be covered to a greater degree in a more intensive outpatient program. By spending more time on recognizing the situations that caused addiction, the patient will be more wary of similar situations in the future.
Suboxone addiction can have just as devastating an effect on one’s life as any other type of addiction. While developing the second addiction may feel like a setback, getting the right help can ensure you’ll return to a sober living situation much more safely. Whether you choose inpatient treatment or an intensive outpatient program, addiction recovery treatment can help you live a healthier and happier lifestyle.