Suboxone offers treatment Options for opiate addiction
The battle against drug dependence keeps advancing. Over the years methadone has been used in treatment for opiate addiction, but since 2000 two drugs have been used for out-patient treatment.
Unlike methadone, which can only be dispensed by authorized treatment centers, patients can now get help from their own physician. Subutex have brought on change in treatment options.
How do these drugs work?
The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research explains that the active ingredient in both drugs is buprenorphine hydrochloride, used to lessen the symptoms of opiate dependence. The difference between the two drugs is the ingredient naloxone, which is added to it to guard against misuse. Subutex is administered only in the first days of treatment and Sub-oxone is used thereafter for maintenance. That is why the naloxone is added, as most prescriptions will be for Suboxone.
Because there are only a limited number of treatment centers that can dispense methadone, and so many more cases of opiate dependence than available treatment centers, these drugs became the first two Food and Drug Administration-approved medications under the Drug Abuse Treatment Act of 2000. Patients needing treatment for opiate dependence can get prescriptions from their personal doctor for these drugs. It was a good idea back in 2000, because now more patients have access to treatment.
There are serious concerns about abusing these drugs. Death from overdose is possible, especially if the drug is injected with a tranquilizer. If a patient stops using it too fast, they can experience withdrawal symptoms, so the use of Subutex should be exactly as the physician prescribes. Because it’s used for maintenance the patient should not stop using the drug without first talking to their doctor.
These drugs have less potential for abuse than methadone, so patients can receive a supply of the drugs to have at home, as they progress in treatment. And because patients can receive take home prescriptions, the FDA developed a plan to detect abuse. If necessary the FDA can initiate tighter controls over the drugs.
No magic pill for Addiction Recovery
While Subutex are effective new ways to battle against opiate dependence, and the convenience of going to one’s own doctor for treatment can be positive, what is missing from the approach to recovery is the human element. We are body, mind and spirit, and a visit to the doctor can help the body, but the mind and spirit are left out.
In addition to the medical intervention, people need people. The opportunity to share one’s personal experience, or to learn from the experience of others is huge. There is therapeutic value in that shared experience. For those seeking relief from opiate dependence, in addition to the medications available to help you through, consider connecting to a group, or receiving help from a behavioral health professional to take care of body, mind and spirit.
For additional information contact the CSAT Buprenorphine Information Center at 866-BUP-CSAT,
or via email at [email protected] or http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/
Withdrawal From Subutex
Here is a great video that describes how to get off of Suboxone and what the withdrawal issues are: