Understanding Opioid Dependence
The Opioid Epidemic is a term that many people are familiar with. For the use of this article, we will refer to the Opioid Epidemic when defining the growing number of deaths and hositaliations from Opioids, including both prescription and illicit drugs. To reduce these issues, and other issues related to Opioid consumption & addiction, some individuals are beginning medication assisted treatment (MAT) plans. MATs are addiction recovery treatment plans that include medications designed to treat opioid use disorders. While “Opioid agonists” (such as heroin, oxycodone, and morphine) activate receptors in the brain that block pain, “Opioid antagonists” (such as Suboxone) block the effects of these drugs by attaching to the pain receptors and preventing the opioid effect from occurring.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a combination of two drugs – buprenorphine and naloxone – that work chemically to decrease the severity of withdrawal symptoms and reduce a patient’s dependency on opioids. As it was designed to be used to combat the Opioid Epidemic, Suboxone was created to have a far lower dependency risk than its predecessor Methadone. It also has less severe side effects, that are usually physical versus mental. It can be administered as a tablet or a sublingual film. When administered, Suboxone activates your opioid receptors, causing your brain to feel satisfied enough to stop withdrawal symptoms you may be experiencing from discontinued Opioid use.
Your Recovery Journey
Combating a dependency on pain medications, stemming from chronic pain, can become troublesome for many patients. It is important that you work to find the right team, and that your addiction treatment specialist is available to help you make educated decisions every step of the way. If you are experiencing effects of the Opioid Epidemic outlined above, and believe a MAT plan using Suboxone could benefit your life, please reach out to our team.