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Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a form of addiction that is characterized by extreme cravings and drug seeking behavior for opioid drugs. Physical addiction to opioids is extremely common and can result in severe and dangerous withdrawal symptoms if the user attempts to quit without medical assistance. In order to help addicted individuals reduce their dependency on both prescription and illegal opioids, Suboxone may be administered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that also incorporates mental health care and behavioral therapies to help the addict overcome both the physical and psychological manifestations of OUD. What is Suboxone? Suboxone is the brand name for sublingually-administered buprenorphine with naloxone, a narcotic medication categorized as an opioid partial agonist. Unlike full agonists such as heroin, methadone, oxycodone, and morphine, Suboxone activates the brain’s opioid receptors while exhibiting limited pharmacological effects characteristic of opioids. This reduces opioid withdrawal symptoms without providing the “”high”” sought by addicts. For this reason, Suboxone is sometimes incorporated into treatment plans along with cognitive behavioral therapy to help individuals with opioid addiction safely reduce their physical and psychological dependency. When taken as prescribed by a medical professional, Suboxone can help to reduce the effects of withdrawal. Since it has fewer physiological effects, there is also less potential for misuse and overdose. Treatment with Suboxone typically requires that the patient be in the early stages of opioid withdrawal, which can be acute. Suboxone treatment is gradually reduced as the patient’s withdrawal symptoms and cravings decrease. The length of time for Suboxone therapy is based on each patient’s individual needs. It is critical that patients consult with a healthcare practitioner prior to starting Suboxone treatments in order to ensure that it is the best option for the patient. Suboxone Side Effects Side effects of Suboxone use can be unpleasant, and should be taken into account when choosing whether to proceed with treatment. Some of the most common side effects are: ● Constipation, nausea, dry mouth, and vomiting ● Dizziness and headaches ● Drowsiness and fatigue ● Muscle aches, tremors, and heart palpitations ● Insomnia ● Persistent fever or sweating ● Blurred vision or dilated pupils ● Inability to concentrate Suboxone can also cause severe side effects which require immediate medical attention, including: ● Depressed respiration ● Adrenal insufficiency ● Dependency and withdrawal symptoms ● Pain, itching, swelling, or damage at the injection or implant site Suboxone can cause a variety of other side effects, so it is critical that patients discuss any side effects with their healthcare provider or pharmacist. It is equally important that individuals taking Suboxone adhere to the prescribed dosage, as an overdose can result in breathing difficulty, slowed heartbeat, seizures, coma, and death. In addition, Suboxone should be taken as part of an overall recovery program that is focused on addressing the problems underlying the patient’s addiction. With proper treatment, individuals suffering from opioid addiction can learn new coping mechanisms to deal with difficulties, thereby reducing their psychological dependency. How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System? Suboxone’s primary active ingredient, buprenorphine, takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours to reach maximum plasma concentration when administered sublingually (under the tongue). Once administered, the drug has a half life of 28 to 37 hours, which means that the amount of time for the amount of buprenorphine to be reduced to half the maximum plasma concentration is between 28 and 37 hours. Most of the drug is metabolized and eliminated through the patient’s urine and feces, but it can still be detected in certain urinalysis testing up to 2 weeks after administration. Suboxone Clinic Due to the extremely addictive nature of opioids, treatment should be undertaken under professional medical supervision. To ensure that patients receive the help they need, Suboxone clinics have been established. In a Suboxone clinic, healthcare professionals ensure that treatment drugs such as Suboxone are properly administered, and ensures that the patient’s recovery and withdrawal symptoms remain under observation. This is particularly important for opioid withdrawal symptoms, which can be life threatening. Suboxone clinics are specifically designed to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for individuals in an outpatient setting. Similar to an outpatient rehab program for alcohol, these clinics also offer behavioral therapy in conjunction with medication in order to help addicts quit opioids and continue on the path to long term recovery. The goal is to provide addicts with Suboxone instead of the opioids to which they are addicted, thereby reducing their dependency. Coupled with behavioral therapy, this provides users with the tools they need to cope with difficult emotional situations without resorting to substance abuse. Suboxone Doctors Near Me Suboxone treatments have proven to be an effective method of treating opioid addiction. As the opioid epidemic continues to affect individuals in every walk of life, convenient and affordable treatment methods are increasingly critical if we are to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to opioid misuse and overdose. Suboxone clinics offer an accessible method of addiction treatment that is highly efficacious when used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy and rehabilitation programs. Although it may seem like a simple solution, it is important to note that Suboxone taken without medical oversight can be dangerous and habit-forming. It is therefore critical that individuals suffering from opioid addiction consult with a healthcare provider when considering treatment options. If you or a loved one are suffering from opioid dependence, you are not alone! There are a variety of resources available to help you begin living a healthy, sober life. Visit our directory for hundreds of treatment options, including Suboxone clinics and opioid addiction treatment programs that can help you start down the path to recovery. Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/statutes-regulations-guidelines#DATA-2000 https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/statutes-regulations-guidelines#CARA https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/statutes-regulations-guidelines#support https://www.fda.gov/media/79068/download#:~:text=SUBOXONE%20is%20a%20prescription%20medicine,includes%20counseling%20and%20behavioral%20therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2994593/ https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions/buprenorphine