5 Myths about suboxone in the treatment of opioid addiction
5 MYTHS ABOUT SUBOXONE IN THE TREATMENT OF OPIOID ADDICTION Suboxone: What is it and How Does It Work? Suboxone, a buprenorphine and naloxone combination drug, is one of the most common medications used in opiate addiction medication-assisted therapy (MAT).
The use of MATs has been proven to reduce the risk of fatal overdoses by about half. Suboxone works by attaching to the same brain receptors as other opiates like heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. This reduces intoxication from other substances, minimizes cravings, and allows many people to return to a life of relative normalcy and safety after a period of addiction.
Many activists want to make Suboxone more widely available so that those who are addicted to opioids can get medication quickly. The emergency room and your primary care physician's office are both good places to start. More doctors must be "waivered" to prescribe this drug, which necessitates additional training and a specific license. Suboxone saves lives, according to the vast majority of physicians, addiction experts, and campaigners.
Myths regarding Suboxone as a treatment for addiction
Unfortunately, several misunderstandings about Suboxone continue in the addiction community and the general public, and these myths serve as an additional obstacle to treatment for opiate addicts.
Myth #1: If you're on Suboxone, you're not really in recovery.
Reality: While it depends on how you define "recovery," the abstinence-based methods that have dominated addiction treatment for the past century are making way to a more modern approach that includes the use of brain-chemistry-regulating drugs like Suboxone. Suboxone is considered as a drug for a chronic ailment, such as a person with diabetes who needs to take insulin, as addiction is increasingly viewed as a medical issue. Saying that you aren't truly in recovery if you are on Suboxone stigmatizes Suboxone users, and it isn't a medical fact of effective addiction therapy.
Myth #2: Suboxone is commonly abused.
Suboxone, like any other opiate, can be misused. However, it produces less euphoria than other opiates like heroin and oxycodone because it is just a "partial" agonist of the primary opiate receptor (the "mu" receptor). Many people use Suboxone (or "abuse" it, if taking it illegally is defined as using it) to help them manage their withdrawal symptoms or even get off heroin.
Myth #3: Overdosing on Suboxone is just as easy as overdosing on other drugs.
Reality: Overdosing on Suboxone alone is exceedingly tough. Because Suboxone is only a partial opiate receptor agonist, there is a built-in "ceiling" effect, it is more difficult to overdose on it than other opiates. Suboxone has a limit on how much opioid receptors may be engaged, so there isn't as much of a risk of delayed breathing as there is with powerful opiates like heroin, oxycodone, or morphine. When people overdose on Suboxone, it's nearly often because they're taking it with sedatives like benzodiazepines, which impede respiration as well.
Myth #4: Suboxone isn't an effective addiction treatment unless it's combined with therapy.
Addiction treatment in a perfect world would involve MAT and counseling, support groups, housing aid, and employment assistance. But that doesn't rule out the possibility of one component acting as a valid treatment for addiction in the absence of the others. While receiving all components of treatment is a laudable objective, it is unreasonable to anticipate that everyone with an addiction will obtain all aspects of treatment that they require, especially if they do not have access to regular healthcare, insurance, or both.
Suboxone should only be used for a limited amount of time, according to Myth #5.
Reality: Different expert practitioners have different theories about how long Suboxone treatment should last, but there is no evidence to support the claim that Suboxone should be taken for a short period of time rather than being maintained on it for the long term, just as a person with diabetes would manage their diabetes with insulin.
The stigma that people endure is one of the most significant barriers to receiving life-saving addiction treatment. Fortunately, our society's opinion of addiction is progressively shifting away from an antiquated view of it as a moral failing and toward a more realistic, humanitarian view of it as a complicated disease that requires compassion as well as sophisticated medical care. A important stage in the progression of addiction treatment is to dispel myths and misinformation about addiction and replace them with up-to-date, evidence-based treatments.