How It Works and Is It Safe?
Subutex is an opioid partial agonist-antagonist, and is used to treat those who are suffering from an opioid addiction. Made up of buprenorphine hydrochloride, it is given on a daily basis in a dissolvable tablet. Subutex is a substance frequently used in medication assisted treatment programs because not only does it help prevent withdrawal symptoms from being overwhelming, but it also curbs the cravings that always accompany an opioid addiction. Subutex is extremely beneficial for these reasons, and is even more beneficial in helping individuals stay focused on their treatment as opposed to an opioid’s disturbing side effects.
Subutex received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2002, and from then on, it has been one of the number one choices for treating opioid dependency issues. There has been a great deal of research surrounding the use of Subutex and all of it has been able to deem it a safe medication as it does not produce the same negative side effects as regular opioids (and their abuse) would. One of the major benefits of Subutex is that individuals will not achieve the same high as they would by abusing other opioids. As a result, they will not have to worry about their lives being disrupted by cognitive impairments or poor daily functioning. When taken under the supervision of professionals at a medication assisted treatment program, Subutex can work wonders by helping individuals focus on their primary goal of recovery.
While Subutex is incredibly effective in treating opioid addiction, it can, like many other prescription medications, cause side effects. Individuals who are considering taking Subutex to help manage an opioid addiction should be aware that side effects can occur, and educate themselves on what those effects might be by speaking with his or her physician.
The Effectiveness of Subutex Treatment
Numerous studies have supported the fact that Subutex is highly effective in treating opioid addiction. Individuals who utilize Subutex as a part of their overall treatment program see fewer cravings for opioid drugs. In addition, these same individuals report that the use of Subutex is key in helping reduce and nearly eliminate all withdrawal symptoms that accompany detox.
In general, Subutex is an incredibly effective and beneficial tool to utilize when participating in recovery from opioid addiction, as it helps allow individuals to heal from their past history of abuse with a clear, focused mindset.
The Benefits of Subutex Treatment Plus Counseling
When substance abuse treatment involves Subutex, there are three primary phases of treatment and therapeutic interventions that help bring about a healthy and effective recovery process. Those who utilize Subutex will likely go through the following phases:
Induction: When a person is initially introduced to Subutex and stops using opioids, he or she begins the induction phase. This phase usually occurs during the first stages of withdrawal.
Stabilization: Individuals will begin seeing that their withdrawal phase is ending, and they are no longer attempting to fight off withdrawal symptoms and/or cravings. At this time, the dosage of Subutex can be altered based on the individual’s needs.
Maintenance: During the maintenance phase, individuals have been stabilized and begin discussing ending their Subutex use or beginning the use of another medication.
Throughout each one of these steps, it is recommended that individuals also participate in counseling. Both individual and group counseling can help an individual uncover, address, and work through the underlying issues that caused them to use opioids in the first place. Counseling can also aid in helping build coping skills, celebrate successes, overcome upsets, and share experiences with others in an effort to obtain and provide support. Studies have proven that simultaneously receiving counseling while participating in a medication assisted treatment program works against the likelihood of relapse.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Loved ones of an individual who is receiving Subutex can be an extremely beneficial resource to this individual, as they can provide support and encouragement during this time. In addition, these very same loved ones should also reach out for support if needed, as watching a loved one go through both an addiction and the recovery process can be taxing. However, it is important that loved ones work to play an active role in the individual’s recovery, as doing so can help bring about an understanding of addiction, as well as the ability to rebuild relationships.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: If you are considering the use of a medication assisted treatment program that utilizes Subutex, there are a number of ways that you can find success:
- Contact your provider if you are struggling with addiction-related issues so you can receive additional care.
- Let any and all concerns be known while taking Subutex. Your provider has the ability to help adjust your dosage if necessary.
- Participate in all individual and group therapy sessions.
- Follow all treatment recommendations given to you by your provider.
- Do not use opioids while taking Subutex.
The Side Effects of Subutex
All prescription medications come with some side effects and some are more dangerous than others. Before taking Subutex, it is important that you speak with your physician about potential food interactions, health conditions, and possible drug interactions. Many side effects can occur because of these issues; therefore, talking about your background with your physician can help you avoid experiencing them.
Prior to taking Subutex, it is critical to be aware of the possible side effects and recognize that as the dosage is increased the likelihood of these side effects occurring is similarly increased.
Most common side effects:
- Back pain
- Withdrawal symptoms
Fairly common side effects:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Runny eyes
Less common side effects:
- Upset stomach
- Accidental injury
At Central Virginia Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we are always here to talk with you about any and all questions you or a loved one might have about using Subutex. Feel free to reach out and contact us right now.