Medication-Assisted Treatment Might Be the Way to Beat Your Opioid Addiction

Posted on: 16 October 2019


If you're addicted to opioids, whether it's heroin or prescription pain pills, you may need medication-assisted treatment to overcome your addiction. Suboxone is often used for this purpose. This is a prescription drug that helps ease the withdrawal symptoms from opioids, and when used along with counseling, it can improve the odds of overcoming addiction. Here's how it works.

How Suboxone Treatment Helps

Suboxone contains two types of medications. One is naloxone and the other is buprenorphine. Naloxone reverses some effects of opioids while buprenorphine has the important role of reducing cravings for opioids in your brain. Buprenorphine is a narcotic that can also help with pain relief. However, it does not cause euphoria and it has a lower risk of addiction than methadone. Plus, it doesn't have a cumulative effect. You won't get high by taking more of the drug.

Instead, the drug makes it easier to go through the withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking opioids because the drug has a lower risk of addictive effects. The combination of medications in Suboxone also blunts the effect of other opioids so you won't get the same high as you normally would when you take pain pills or do heroin while you're taking Suboxone.

How You Would Take the Medication

You can take Suboxone while undergoing inpatient or outpatient treatment for addiction. It comes in a tablet or film form which is put under your tongue until the film dissolves. It may take a few days to achieve the therapeutic levels of the drug in your system, and then you may only need to take the medication once daily.

This medication is useful during your initial phase of therapy when you go through withdrawal. Since your symptoms won't be as severe and your cravings won't be as bad, you may be more motivated to stick with your addiction recovery program. Your doctor might prescribe the medication for short-term use as you go through your withdrawals, or you might take the drug for several months.

Why You Would Need Additional Therapy

It's usually not enough to just take medication when you're battling addiction. While the medication manages your cravings so it's easier to stay away from drugs, you still have to deal with the issues that caused you to become addicted. There's often past trauma that has to be resolved, or you may need to learn new life skills for coping with problems. This can be done through therapy whether you go for intensive residential treatment or choose scheduled outpatient therapy or group counseling.

Learn more about Suboxone treatment by contacting services like Clarksville Addiction Recovery.