Suboxone is a combination medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone. It is used in managing opioid dependence and has to be prescribed in specific doses tailored to the individual patient by healthcare professionals.
Unfortunately, the use of suboxone has been associated with addiction and abuse. While in most cases the administration of this drug is monitored closely, some patients may start to abuse this medication without the knowledge of their supervisor. Taking any medication in a dose that has not been prescribed by a doctor can be harmful and the same remains the case with suboxone.
Why do individuals abuse suboxone?
The underlying pathology behind the abuse of suboxone is similar to any form of drug abuse. Patients who abuse this drug can to find that it stimulates various parts of their brain and gives them the high that they would get if they were to be taking other opiates such as heroin.
When suboxone is administered, the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream and binds with the opioid receptors within the limbic system of the brain. This binding stimulates the release of dopamine which in excess can give the patient a high. In addition, the normal mechanisms that inhibit excessive production of dopamine are hindered, turning abuse into ultimate addiction.
Individuals who abuse suboxone may experience a variety of different clinical symptoms. The common symptoms include drowsiness and slurring of speech. In addition to this, patients may experience mood swings, difficulty sleeping, nausea, headaches and sweating. Patients may become aloof from their family members and friends and if studying at a University may begin to miss their classes.
Unfortunately, there is only so much that can be done by healthcare professionals and supervisors to prevent abuse of suboxone. Patients who wish to overindulge in the drug may do so at their own expense and can experience seriously harmful effects if they get addicted to it. In such situations, if abuse is suspected then patients may need to be gradually withdrawn of the drug under supervision. Abuse is uncommon in patients who are fully aware of the long-term effects of suboxone overdosing and in those individuals who wish to make a change in their lives and stop abusing opioids.
Suboxone abuse, though uncommon, is a well-recognised condition that needs immediate attention. The concern primarily is that abuse and turned into addiction which would make the withdrawal of the drug even harder.