A substance called buprenorphine became the very first opioid treatment medication that could be prescribed by certified physicians. To put things into perspective, methadone is classified as a “Schedule II” substance, while buprenorphine is referred to as “Schedule III” substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has a significantly lower potential for abuse than methadone.
Subutex treatment and Suboxone treatment (both relying on buprenorphine) have become increasingly popular options among opioid-dependent patients as these substances are able to help them stay sober while reducing the risk of relapse by removing cravings and side effects of sudden withdrawal.
Unfortunately, most opioid-dependent patients are unable to simply walk away from their opioid addiction. Quitting suddenly has a pretty low success rate. According to recent data, fewer than 25% of people with opioid dependence manage to remain abstinent for a full year, which is why these patients need professional help and a significant change in their:
- Way of thinking
This is where Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) comes in, one of the most successful options for treating opioid addiction. Today, the most common and most effective prescription medications used in this type of treatment are:
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone)
Options like Suboxone treatment help patients with opioid addiction stay clean and sober by reducing or completely removing, the cravings and the side effects of sudden withdrawal, thus keeping the chances of relapse at bay.
What Is Suboxone and How Does it Work?
Each dose of Suboxone contains two different medications that are combined to get Suboxone. The crucial ingredient is buprenorphine, which is referred to as a partial opioid agonist, while the other ingredient is naloxone which is classified as an opioid antagonist (or opioid blocker).
Opioid buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone) was approved by the FDA back in 2002. Using Suboxone for the treatment of opioid dependence is quite effective and has numerous advantages over naltrexone and methadone.
Suboxone therapy within medication-assisted treatment can suppress withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings for opioids, without causing the state of euphoria in patients with addiction. It also blocks the effects of the other harmful opioids for over 24 hours.
Suboxone treatment has a rather high success rate: up to 60% (measured by retention in treatment and one-year sobriety). As buprenorphine doesn’t trigger euphoria in opioid-dependent patients, the abuse rate of Suboxone is substantially lower when compared with methadone, which is why this type of treatment doesn’t have to involve participation in a highly-regulated federal program (unlike methadone therapy).
To learn more about Suboxone treatment and the services we provide, feel free to contact our team at Strategic Mental Health.
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