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The Dangers of Suboxone in Treating Opioid Addiction

Suboxone, a name increasingly heard in discussions about opioid addiction treatment, presents itself as a beacon of hope for those entangled in the throes of dependency. However, beneath its therapeutic guise, the dangers of Suboxone paint a starkly different picture. This article delves into what Suboxone is, its rise to popularity over methadone, and the perilous road of abuse and addiction it inadvertently paves for many seeking freedom from opioid addiction.

Understanding Suboxone

Suboxone is a prescription medication designed to treat opioid addiction. It combines buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, with naloxone, an opioid antagonist. This combination aims to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioid addiction, theoretically making it easier for individuals to step down from their dependency. Despite its intended purpose, the reality of Suboxone’s use and misuse reveals a complex array of challenges.

Suboxone vs. Methadone: A Shift in Preference

For decades, methadone was the cornerstone of opioid addiction treatment. However, Suboxone emerged as a preferred alternative, largely due to its safety profile and the flexibility it offers for outpatient treatment. Unlike methadone, which requires daily visits to specialized clinics, Suboxone can be prescribed by certified doctors and taken at home. This accessibility contributed significantly to its rise in popularity.

The Hidden Dangers of Suboxone

While Suboxone promises a way out of opioid addiction, it carries its own set of risks, often overlooked by those desperate for a solution. Here are some critical dangers associated with Suboxone:

Abuse and Addiction: Suboxone itself is not immune to abuse. Individuals may misuse the drug to achieve euphoric effects or as a substitute when opioids are unavailable. This misuse can lead to physical dependence and addiction, mirroring the very problem it aims to solve.

False Sense of Security: Many individuals view Suboxone as a quick fix, a simple way to escape opioid addiction. However, this perception ignores the reality that Suboxone treatment is merely replacing one addiction with another. Stopping Suboxone use can be just as challenging as quitting other opioids, due to withdrawal symptoms and psychological dependence.

Illicit Market: Despite being a prescription medication, Suboxone is also sold on the street. This availability fosters a cycle where addicts alternate between opioids and Suboxone, never fully breaking free from addiction.

The Revolving Door: The cycle of flipping between opiates and Suboxone illustrates a broader issue in addiction treatment. By not addressing the underlying causes of addiction and relying solely on pharmacological solutions, individuals are caught in a perpetual loop of dependency.

Towards a Safer Path to Recovery

The narrative surrounding Suboxone must shift from viewing it as a standalone solution to recognizing it as part of a broader, comprehensive approach to addiction recovery. Short-term use of opioid substitutes, under strict medical supervision, can pave the way for a safer and more sustainable path to becoming truly free from addiction.

The reality is that withdrawal from opiates lasts for a week to ten days. Getting patients through the first five to seven days is key to success. Suboxone or methadone can be used in the short term to ease withdrawal symptoms. When done correctly, the medication is stopped after the withdrawal symptoms ease and the most important tools of recovery can be put into place.

Embracing Support Systems for Recovery

Acknowledging the dangers of Suboxone underscores the importance of holistic recovery programs. Resources such as Narcotics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps, and long-term recovery residences offer invaluable support systems. These programs focus on healing the individual as a whole, addressing both the physical and psychological facets of addiction.

If You or Someone You Love is Struggling with an Addiction to Suboxone, Help is Available

For those struggling with Suboxone addiction, Breakthrough Recovery Outreach can help.  We are committed to helping addicts break free and find a new way to live. Contact us so one of our team members can help you find the program that best suits you. You’re worth it!