Suboxone Treatment for Opiate Dependence

Suboxone is an FDA approved medication treatment that is sometimes used to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and minimize drug cravings for those in recovery from opioid use disorder (OUD). Suboxone is one of several medically assisted treatment programs that are found in Florida drug and alcohol rehab centers like SJRP, helping clients to achieve successful abstinence from opioids.

Like other medication-assisted treatment options, Suboxone should not be used as a stand-alone treatment protocol for opiate addiction. The use of maintenance medications, such as Suboxone, must be part of a comprehensive treatment protocol that includes therapy, support, and lifestyle change in order for opioid addiction recovery to be most successful.

To learn more about the medication-assisted treatment programs available at SJRP, give our admissions team a call at 833-397-3422. We are ready to answer any questions you may have.

Medically assisted treatment (MAT) has become a staple in rehabilitation and detox centers for opioid substance abuse. One of the most popular drugs that are used in the facilitation of opioid detox is Suboxone. Suboxone is a partial anti-opioid agent that works to assist individuals in recovery to slowly taper off from the use of opioids, by reducing the full-fledged effect that the drug has on the body and the brain’s receptors. By slowly minimizing the impact that opioids have on the body, the withdrawal process becomes easier and less intense for those in treatment. Unlike other anti-opioid agents, Suboxone can be prescribed from a doctor or at a detox center in several forms, suboxone pill, or suboxone strips.

What is Suboxone?

In 2002 Suboxone was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be used as a form of treatment for opioid users. In the 2010’s Suboxone was sold under the generic name of Subutex and then removed from the market and sold under other brand names.

Suboxone Brand Names

Some of the brand names that suboxone might be labled under include Suboxone Film, Cizdol, Buprenex, and Zubsolv.

 What is Suboxone prescribed for?

Suboxone is used as part of a treatment program for individuals who are participating in opioid substance abuse. Partial anti-opioids work as a supplement to replace the original opioid in use, such as oxycodone and heroin, and help the user to slowly taper off with reduced withdrawal side effects and a higher success rate of sobriety long term.

History of Suboxone

The early origins of the history of Subxone began during the early 1960s, there were many studies conducted concerning anti-opioid substances and the possibilities for a treatment program.

When was Suboxone FDA approved?

It wasn’t until 1970 when Suboxone FDA approval was finalized.

Buprenorphine was created that there was a real change in the medical field for opioid treatment. Buprenorphine is one of two ingredients that comprise Suboxone, the other being Naloxone. It is a man-made opioid that was proven to be effective for pain management, safer than Methadone, and could be used as a means to combat opioid use for individuals who are in recovery. In 2000 the Drug Addiction Treatment Act was passed and officially permitted licensed medical practitioners to use opioids to treat opioids.

How to Take Suboxone

Suboxone dosage and administration should be done under the care of medical practitioners, side effects of this partial opioid can be dangerous and life-threatening if not administered correctly.

How to take suboxone?

The most common way Suboxone is taken is by ingestion, once-daily a Suboxone tablet or Suboxone film strip.

How to take suboxone pill?

Suboxone should only be consumed under the direction of a medical practitioner. Generally a patient will take the suboxone tablet with a glass of water before a meal.

How to take Suboxone strips?

The film will be placed under the tongue and dissolved in a few minutes. It is imperative to keep Suboxone stored in a safe place to protect the unique chemistry components that are easily impacted by temperature or light and also to protect others from accidentally consuming the drug.

The second way Suboxone can be administered is via an intravenous shot at the doctor’s office. The administration of this shot work will last up to a month or more.

How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?

In comparison to other anti-opioid that are used, Suboxone has longer lasting power in the body due to its potent ingredient, Buprenorphine, an opioid.

So how long does suboxone stay in your system?

It depends, on average it can take the human body up to 8 days for Buprenophrine to leave the body in total, but other elements can impact the length of time the drug can leave a trace behind for even longer

  • Age of user
  • Weight
  • Poly-substance abuse
  • Metabolic rate
  • Liver function
  • How long has the substance been in use?

The most common ways to test for the presence of Suboxone in the body are through blood tests or saliva samples and can be effective up to 7 days after the last administration of Suboxone.

Suboxone Treatment for Opiate Dependence

One of the main causes of opioid use and subsequent dependence is chronic pain management. Opioids have a potent structure that completely takes away all pain from its user, and with each use, a dependence builds. Statistics have shown that 1.9 million individuals in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioids and 2018 data shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. With the millions of individuals that have become addicted to the effects of opioids, there is a need for a treatment program that is just as powerful as a narcotic itself.

Hence, the concept of using one drug to treat the abuse of another. Generally, the use of Suboxone treatment is introduced into a after the initial detoxification and withdrawal process has concluded. Suboxone is administered once daily to combat the cravings and desire the former drug in use created. The success rates for Suboxone are incredibly high, especially with the introduction of behavioral therapy programs or counseling for an all-inclusive effect.

How long does it take for suboxone to kick in?

On average, usually about 3 to 4 hours.

Why Use Suboxone?

Participating in medically assisted treatment in conjunction with therapeutic programs has been proven to be extremely successful. While there are several options to choose from such as Methadone, Subutex, Zubsolv. It could be said that taking Suboxone is the ideal antagonist because it is not just simply composed of Buprenorphine alone. The results of one study have shown the effectiveness of Suboxone- 49% of participants experienced reduced prescription painkiller abuse throughout a 12 week Suboxone treatment. With the constant advances in medicine, the rates of successful results are only getting higher.

Suboxone vs Methadone

Suboxone and Methadone are both used to aid persons in recovery to slowly reduce the desire to use opioids and manipulate the brain’s receptors and reward center of the brain. Methadone has long been used to treat individuals who are struggling with opioid dependence since its inception internationally in the 1930s. In the case of Suboxone vs Methadone, there are significant differences, Methadone is highly addictive, According to the CDC, in 2009, 30% of all painkiller deaths were attributable to methadone. For deaths involving only one painkiller, methadone was involved in 4 out of every 10 deaths—twice as many as any other painkiller. On the other hand, studies have shown that buprenorphine is almost 6 times safer than methadone use.

Subutex vs Suboxone

It could almost be said that Subutex vs Suboxone are identical, both anti-opioid agents that prevent persons in recovery from experiencing full withdrawal symptoms by slowing tapering off the use of opioids. The biggest difference between Subutex and Suboxone is that Subutex is simply the brand name of Buprenorphine, an anti-opioid. Because of the powerful singular component of Buprenorphine, it is much easier to easily abuse and overdose with improper management and administration.

Zubsolv vs Suboxone

In the case of Zubsolv vs suboxone, both are partial anti-opioids that contain identical active ingredients, Buprenophrine and Naloxone. The two distinct differences in these drugs are the form of administration and taste. Suboxone is a thin film that is dissolved orally and has a subtle citrus flavor, whereas Zubslov is a tablet that has mint taste.

Vivitrol vs Suboxone

Similar to Suboxone, Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist that has a primary function of preventing opioid molecules from being received by the receptors in the brain. Both anti-opioids can be administered via injection or orally ingested. However, the biggest element that separates Vivitrol vs Suboxone is the fact that Suboxone has been proven to be more effective with a shorter percentage of early relapse rates and relapse rates in general. Individuals who took Suboxone had a 57% relapse rate in comparison to the 65% relapse rate of Vivitrol.

How is Suboxone Administered?

These two active ingredients of Suboxone- Buprenorphine and Naloxone respectively.

Doctors who prescribe Suboxone or its two distinct components can offer the antagonist in tablet form, monthly intravenous injection, buccally through the cheek, or nasal spray. However, the best way to take suboxone strips

Suboxone comes in the traditional form of a sublingual film. This film is to be strictly dissolved under the tongue and is not meant manipulated into any other form, such as cutting, as this can destroy the integrity of the antagonist and produce unwanted effects.

Suboxone Side Effects

  • Suboxone Withdrawal: Since Suboxone is a partial opioid due to the presence of Buprenorphine, there is a withdrawal process that must take place before a medically assisted suboxone withdrawal can begin. The signs of the first stage of suboxone withdrawal can take up to 4 days to appear, however, the psychological impact can leave a lasting effect for several months.
  • Precipitated Withdrawal: One of the most dangerous occurrences that can take place is a Suboxone precipitated withdrawal. This is the onset of an early withdrawal which is triggered by ingesting an opioid and Suboxone within a short time frame, the chemistry of a partial opioid and full opioid can have dangerous- if not fatal effects. It is advised to only consume suboxone under the guidance of your treatment provider to avoid a suboxone precipitated withdrawal.
  • Suboxone Overdose: While it is entirely possible to have a suboxone overdose, the likelihood increases with the use of other drugs or alcohol present in the body simultaneously. Suboxone overdose symptoms can appear in many different forms such as higher blood pressure rates or even a stroke.

Suboxone Drug Interactions

Suboxone or any other anti-opioid should never be taken in conjunction with any narcotic substance or alcohol. The consequences of mixing and matching Suboxone and other similar purposed drugs; whether accidentally or recreationally can be devastating altogether result in fatality. Suboxone drug interactions are very common with certain narcotics such as cocaine, other opioids, antidepressants or sleeping pills can have a very adverse reaction such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart complications
  • Violent Behavior
  • Coma
  • Death

It is imperative to be aware of the strength Suboxone, the possibility of taking more Suboxone than prescribed can result in adverse effects, and even death in some cases.

Who Should Take Suboxone?

Suboxone for opiate withdrawal is best for candidates who have completed the initial detoxification stage, have undergone a complete opioid withdrawal, and are enrolled in a medically assisted therapy treatment program. And have been free of opioid and alcohol for a minimum of three days but ideally a maximum seven. Full synthetic opiates such as herion treatment suboxone must be observed carefully by medical staff and be advised.

Who Should Avoid Suboxone?

Suboxone has a very high success rate, however, it is still considered to be a partial opiate, so it is imperative to look at all aspects of the drug before enrolling in a medically assisted treatment. There is a slight possibility that a former opioid user may become addicted to Suboxone and might undergo another detoxification process from a supplemental opiate.

  • Individuals who are prone to have severe allergic reactions
  • Level of dependence in question
  • Individuals who have underlying liver and kidney problems. Suboxone could have a harsh effect on the internal organs

Where is Suboxone Prescribed?

 Detox Centers

Wondering how to use Suboxone for opiate withdrawal? The best advice is to contact the admissions staff for your treatment center to find out more information. SJRP admissions team is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give us a call at 833-397-3422. Similar to inpatient treatment, short term suboxone use for opiate withdrawal is used within the walls of a licensed center for an improved rate of success and safety for the patient which is the number one priority.

Treatment Centers

For long-lasting results, it is best that suboxone or any anti-opioid is administered throughout a comprehensive treatment program. Inpatient Suboxone treatment centers such as St. John’s Recovery Place, have a blended approach of behavioral treatment, counseling along with the use of medicat