Medicinal Help With Your Recovery Journey
A journey to recovery is full of peaks and valleys, while at the same time being a completely different experience for each person who goes through it.
For those in recovery for opioid use disorder (OUD), the first steps are often the lowest valleys that will be faced. Undergoing the detox process in treatment is an incredibly challenging part of the journey.
After weeks, months, or years of substances having a huge impact on your brain and body and seemingly calling the shots on your normal functions, it can be very uncomfortable to correct what your body and mind have grown accustomed to.
Thanks to advances in the medical and treatment fields, the journey can be made much less of a scary and difficult process. With the growth of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), thousands have been able to find the path to recovery without the painful and difficult step of detoxification from dependence without assistance.
MAT is the use of medications, given by doctors and licensed prescribers, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapy for the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs). Research has concluded in multiple studies around the world that MAT is beneficial and effective in helping people reach recovery.
How MAT Is Effective In Treating Opioid Use Disorder
In the case of OUD, the drug has been used over time to control and block pain or simply shut off the communication between your brain and your body. In doing this, you have a feeling of euphoria and over time have caused damage to your brain’s receptors.
Correcting what your brain and body have grown comfortable with is not easy.
For this reason, the MAT drug buprenorphine has been used to ease the struggles associated with detoxing from opioids.
Buprenorphine? What Is It?
Buprenorphine is a medication for treating opioid use disorder. Those with OUD have commonly come to have a dependence on one of the following:
In more technical terms, buprenorphine is an opioid agonist. This means the drug works like an opioid and has the effect of opioids like heroin, but to a weaker extent. Buprenorphine also has a “ceiling effect.”
With a ceiling effect, a drug’s effects level off even with higher doses. A ceiling effect reduces the risk of misuse, dependency, and side effects.
Taking buprenorphine, with the help of a doctor, lowers the effects felt when detoxing from opioids. It works to dampen the withdrawal symptoms and lessen cravings. It does this while not offering the potency to obtain the same euphoric or “high” feeling that opioids on the streets offer.
Buprenorphine has been shown to help people abstain from other opioids.
Suboxone® And Other Types of Buprenorphine
While there are multiple brand names of buprenorphine, the most commonly used and known is Suboxone®.
Suboxone® comes in two forms. The first is a tablet that’s taken by placing it under the tongue. The second form is a film that’s also put under the tongue or inside the cheek.
Dosage comes from doctors and ranges from 2mg/0.5mg, 4mg/1mg, 8mg/2mg, 12mg/3mg, with
2mg/0.5mg and 8mg/2mg being the most commonly prescribed. Suboxone® also includes naloxone along with buprenorphine. The doses of naloxone in Suboxone® range from 0.5mg to 3 mg.
Naloxone is known as an opioid blocker. Its most common use is reversing the effects of opioids.
Other known brands of buprenorphine are Bunavail®, Zubsolv®, and Cassipa®.
Do I Need Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder?
There are many questions to consider when thinking about the possibility of treatment. The first and most important is, “Do I have opioid use disorder?”
Any overuse of opioids is cause for concern, but there are key symptoms to look for within your own life or the life of your loved one.
Symptoms of opioid use disorder include:
- Inability to stop use despite issues caused by opioid use
- Needing more opioids to achieve the same effect
- Spending most of your time thinking about ways to obtain opioids
- Withdrawal symptoms when unable to use opioids (sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, anxiety, runny nose, shaking, and irritability)
- Choosing opioids over other healthier, enjoyable activities
In general, simply ask yourself if you think you’ve lost control of your life. It’s common when you’ve fallen into an opioid use disorder to feel the effects outside of just physical health.
Slowly, family and friends seem to become distant, and opportunities pass you by as the dependency continues to grasp tighter and tighter.
If you sense you’re missing out on something in life because of cravings and the control opioids have on you, you might need treatment for OUD.
Should Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Be Part of My Treatment?
While buprenorphine is a great option for many, it’s not an ideal option for everyone. As with the difficult decisions to be made and questions to be answered about entering treatment as a whole, there are many things to consider when thinking about buprenorphine (Suboxone®) treatment.
Buprenorphine offers many great values to anyone with OUD as they travel the road of detox, but it isn’t until you meet with a licensed medical professional or doctor that you will truly know if MAT is right for your path to recovery.
How Buprenorphine Treatment Works
Receiving and taking buprenorphine is not a cure-all but just one piece of the puzzle in recovery. While buprenorphine will help a person with OUD steer themselves back in the right direction, it alone (in most cases) will not be enough to help someone overcome addiction.
Taking buprenorphine is step one. Step two is combining the medication with regular counseling and support groups to discuss your recovery journey. Without step two, step one is just a wasted opportunity.
In general, buprenorphine (Suboxone®) works almost immediately after the first dose to help those facing withdrawal symptoms. By offering some relief from the body’s cravings, buprenorphine does two things.
The first is helping with symptoms of withdrawal, which include sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, anxiety, runny nose, shaking, irritability, and general discomfort. The second is that using MAT frees your mind to begin receiving counseling services sooner.
The quicker counseling services begin, the quicker you get to the root of your substance use disorder and begin to see changes in your life.
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Treatment Continues To Help
Throughout the world, the use of MAT is becoming more popular in combating the opioid crisis we’re seeing today. Particularly in the United States, states are slowly gaining more options in MAT to help struggling citizens.
While the trend is growing, it’s still not completely easy to find MAT services.
In Tennessee, as of 2020, there are still 26 counties in the state without a buprenorphine provider.
While the regulations and guidelines remain strict in becoming a prescribing medical professional, ReVIDA is dedicated to increasing access in our area of the country.
While MAT is difficult to find, it’s not impossible to find.
Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) Treatment in East Tennessee
ReVIDA Recovery ®, located in East Tennessee, has made the possibility of receiving MAT more realistic for Tennesseans.
ReVIDA Recovery ® is stepping up to bring MAT to communities throughout the state that are hardest hit by the opioid crisis.
We offer MAT to those that we feel may benefit from the treatment plan.
Contact ReVIDA Recovery ® Today
The goal of ReVIDA Recovery ® is to help anyone struggling with OUD to start their journey to long-term recovery.
If you think MAT may be right for you or your loved one in the Knoxville area, we are prepared to assist you with our unmatched services.
Contact us at (844) 972-4673.
Suboxone® is a brand of buprenorphine, which is a medication for treating opioid use disorder.
Taking buprenorphine, with the help of a doctor, lowers the effects felt from detoxing from opioids. It works to dampen the withdrawal symptoms and lessen cravings. It does this while not offering the potency to obtain the same euphoric or “high” feeling that opioids on the streets offer.
Buprenoprhine (Suboxone®) is an opioid, however, it’s much different from opioids that cause dependency and greater harm.
Buprenorphine is known to be an opioid agonist. This means the drug works like an opioid and has the effect of opioids like heroin, but to a weaker extent. Naloxone is known as an opioid blocker. Its most common use is reversing the effects of opioids.
While many opioids will cause dependency issues with continued use, Suboxone® is harder to become dependent upon due to the decreased “high” feeling. Suboxone® has a “ceiling effect” in which taking more doesn’t improve the euphoric feeling, unlike other opioids.
The short answer is yes, it helps with pain, but is not prescribed for pain management.
The longer answer is, buprenorphine (Suboxone®) helps with all withdrawal symptoms of opioid use disorder. Symptoms of withdrawal include: pain, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, anxiety, runny nose, shaking, irritability, and general discomfort.
Buprenorphine, however, should not be used as a pain reliever. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, there have been instances of death among those taking low doses of buprenorphine after never taking opioids before.