Suboxone is utilised as a treatment in managing opioid dependence, enabling patients who are addicted to heroin to eventually stop completely. In this article, we shall take a brief look at how suboxone helps patients in the detoxification process and enables them to get over their dependence on opioids.
Symptoms of opioid withdrawal
Before we delve into the detoxification mechanisms, it is important to recognise the various symptoms that patients may experience if they are withdrawing from opioids.
The common symptoms that patients notice include generalised uneasiness, sweating, irritability and abdominal pain. On examination, patients may have dilated pupils and can be difficult to examine.
The detoxification process
In the initial stages of detoxification, patients are often described Subotex which is buprenorphine on its own. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist of the opioid receptors and binds to them in a manner that blocks binding of other opioids to these receptors. In addition to this, it also removes any opiate that may already be bound to these receptors.
After this initial phase of treatment, patients are commenced on a maintenance dose of suboxone. Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid receptor blocker meaning that it prevents the attachment of opioids to their receptors and reverses the effect that opioids have on the body. In combination, these two drugs are very beneficial in managing opioid dependence.
Duration of treatment
The duration of suboxone treatment varies from patient to patient. Some other factors that play a role include the type of opioid the patient was abusing, the length of time that they were using it and the amount of the opioid that was taken during each session of abuse. Another factor that is taken into consideration is the number of times the patient has attempted rehabilitation in a formal setting.
Many times, individuals on suboxone need to take it for longer than is actually required. This is because patients can get used to suboxone being in their system and to an extent may develop mild addiction to it. Furthermore, stopping suboxone suddenly can produce withdrawal symptoms and therefore gradually tapering of the dose as recommended by a healthcare professional should be conducted. Most treatments last for 4 to 5 months.
Most cases of suboxone detox are successful and many times patients remain off opioid drugs for a long time. It is ultimately down to the patient to avoid getting into situations where they may have access to opioid drugs and also for them to remain determined for the rest of their lives to not abuse opioids.
Suboxone detoxification for opioid dependence is an effective way of helping patients get off their addiction to opioids. The process is long and protracted but can have excellent outcomes.