Opioid addiction, or opioid use disorder (OUD), is a chronic condition characterized by the compulsive use of opioid drugs despite negative consequences. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription pain relievers like oxycodone and hydrocodone, as well as illicit drugs like heroin. Opioid addiction can have a significant impact on an individual’s life. It can lead to health problems such as respiratory depression, infectious diseases, and overdose. It can also lead to social and economic consequences, such as job loss, financial instability, and strained relationships. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the United States, about 1.6 million people had an opioid use disorder in 2020. Overdose deaths involving opioids have also increased in recent years, with more than 69,000 deaths in 2020.
Treatments For OUD
There are several potential treatments available for opioid addiction, such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), behavioral therapies, and support groups. Medication-assisted treatment combines medication, such as Suboxone, with counseling and behavioral therapies to manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and prevent relapse. Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can help individuals learn coping skills and identify triggers for drug use. Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, can provide a sense of community and accountability for individuals in recovery.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a medication used to treat opioid addiction. It contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it activates the same receptors in the brain as opioids but to a lesser degree, helping to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opioids, and it is added to Suboxone to discourage misuse of the medication.
Suboxone is typically taken sublingually (under the tongue) as a film or tablet. It is prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes counseling and behavioral therapies. Suboxone is considered a safer alternative to other opioid replacement therapies because it has a lower risk of abuse and dependence. It can help people manage their addiction and improve their quality of life.
Can You Overdose On Suboxone?
Yes, it is possible to overdose on Suboxone, especially if it is taken improperly or in combination with other substances that depress the central nervous system, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, or other opioids. Symptoms can include extreme drowsiness, confusion, and respiratory depression. The risk of overdose is higher when Suboxone is injected or used in larger amounts than prescribed. Overdose symptoms can include respiratory depression, extreme drowsiness, confusion, and coma. If left untreated, an overdose can be fatal (deadly).
However, Suboxone has a lower risk of overdose compared to full opioid agonists like heroin or oxycodone. This is because buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone, is a partial agonist and has a ceiling effect, meaning that increasing the dose beyond a certain point will not produce additional effects. To reduce the risk of overdose, take Suboxone as prescribed and seek immediate medical attention if side effects or symptoms occur.
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We can help you overcome opioid addiction. Please reach out to us in order to create a well-fitting treatment plan involving MAT, therapy, and support systems.