Is Taking Buprenorphine Just Trading One Addiction for Another?
Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone and Subutex has been used for many years in addiction treatment. However, many people are resistant to using it because they are concerned that taking Buprenorphine is just trading one addiction for another.
What is Buprenorphine and How it Works
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist which means that it can activate (with limits) the opioid receptors in the brain, decrease cravings for other drugs and will prevent opiate withdrawal. When taken with other opiates, Buprenorphine will limit their effects. An additional benefit is that Buprenorphine has a plateau or ceiling effect meaning that once it reaches the plateau it is no longer effective; and it will not created the same euphoria that users get from using other opiates such as OxyContin and Heroin – which are full opioid agonist drugs. Buprenorphine is a controlled substance and is only available with a prescription from a licensed doctor authorized to prescribe it.
Potential for Buprenorphine Abuse
Buprenorphine is an opiate and there is the potential for abuse. As with other opiate narcotics, there is a risk for certain side effects from Buprenorphine use including:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Excessive sweating
Opiate tolerance develops as a result of excessive use. As a result, in order to achieve the same effects as with a previous dose, the individual will have to increase the amount of the drug they take. Increased opiate use is the reason many people overdose. Once the body becomes accustomed to the amount of the drug, withdrawal will begin if it is not continued.
Suboxone and Subutex
Suboxone and Subutex are both used in opiate addiction treatment and are very effective. Both Subutex and Suboxone contain Buprenorphine; however there is one difference: Suboxone contains an extra ingredient, Naloxone, to prevent it from being abused. Be that as it may, there is still the risk for developing a Buprenorphine dependency. One of the problems is that there is not enough follow-up with persons taking the drug for opiate withdrawal. The intent is that the individual will only use the drug for the period of time it takes to quit taking opiates (prescription painkillers or Heroin) and then stop taking the Buprenorphine. Physicians say it is not unrealistic to take the drug for a period of 6 months and then stop. However, research has shown that is not the case and there are reports of people taking Suboxone for ten years or longer.
An Alternative to Buprenorphine
Seeking inpatient medical detox from a private facility that specializes in IV therapy medical detox is an alternative to taking Buprenorphine for opiate detox. An inpatient stay will take about a week to ten days. If you are concerned that taking Buprenorphine is just trading one addiction for another, Gallus Detox Center has a solution. Call us today to speak with one of our Admission Team Specialists and see why Gallus Detox is The Better Way!