Home Health & beauty Debunking 5 Myths Surrounding Suboxone for Opiate Addiction Treatment

Debunking 5 Myths Surrounding Suboxone for Opiate Addiction Treatment

by Syed Qasim
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Last modified on October 20th, 2023 at 2:02 pm

Suboxone, a medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone, stands as a cornerstone in the treatment of opioid addiction. The utilization of ‘medications for opioid use disorder’ (MOUD), which includes Suboxone, has demonstrated its ability to significantly reduce the risk of fatal overdoses by approximately 50%. Moreover, it plays a crucial role in mitigating nonfatal overdoses, which can be both traumatic and medically perilous.

If you are struggling with opioid addiction and need Suboxone for treatment, a prescription is necessary to purchase it from a pharmacy. To obtain a Suboxone prescription while residing in California, you can visit your nearest medical clinic.

The mechanism of Suboxone involves binding tightly to the same brain receptors as other opioids like heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. Through this action, it blunts the euphoric effects of these substances, curbs cravings, and enables individuals to transition from a life ensnared by addiction to one marked by normalcy and safety.

Dispelling Common Myths About Suboxone Treatment for Addiction

Regrettably, there are enduring misconceptions about Suboxone within the addiction community and the general public. These myths only serve to create additional obstacles for individuals grappling with opioid addiction in seeking proper treatment.

Myth #1: Suboxone Treatment Doesn’t Qualify as True Recovery

Reality: The Definition of ‘Recovery’ is Evolving

The traditional abstinence-based models of addiction treatment, heavily influenced by AA principles dating back to the 1930s, are gradually giving way to more contemporary interpretations of recovery. These newer concepts embrace the use of medications like Suboxone, which assist in regulating brain chemistry.

This shift stems from the growing recognition of addiction as a medical condition. Suboxone is perceived as a medication to manage a chronic condition, akin to how individuals with type 1 diabetes rely on insulin. Declaring that someone isn’t genuinely in recovery while using Suboxone perpetuates stigma against those who benefit from it and does not align with the medical reality of effective addiction treatment.

Myth #2: Suboxone Misuse is Common

Reality: Misuse of Suboxone is Possible, but Less Euphoric

Suboxone, like various other opiates and medications, can be subject to misuse. However, it’s crucial to understand that Suboxone is considered a ‘partial’ agonist of the primary opiate receptor (the ‘mu’ receptor). This means it produces significantly less euphoria compared to other opioids like heroin and oxycodone.

In many instances, individuals may use Suboxone, or ‘misuse’ it according to legal definitions, as a means to self-manage withdrawal symptoms or even to transition away from substances like heroin or fentanyl. If Suboxone were more accessible to those who require it, many individuals wouldn’t have to resort to self-treatment. Essentially, it’s important to avoid placing blame on individuals who are seeking help.

Myth #3: Overdosing on Suboxone is Equally Likely as Overdosing on Other Opiates

Reality: Suboxone Overdose is Highly Unlikely

Overdosing on Suboxone alone is an exceedingly rare occurrence. Comparatively, the risk of overdosing on Suboxone is significantly lower than with other opiates. This is primarily due to Suboxone being a partial agonist of opiate receptors, which imposes a natural ‘ceiling’ effect. In essence, there’s a limit to how much the opioid receptors can be activated by Suboxone, greatly reducing the risk of respiratory depression in comparison to potent opiates like heroin, oxycodone, or morphine. Instances of Suboxone overdose typically involve the concurrent use of sedatives, such as benzodiazepines, which also depress respiration.

Myth #4: Suboxone Alone Isn’t Effective Addiction Treatment Without Therapy

Reality: Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Ideal, But Components Can Be Effective Alone

Ideally, addiction treatment should encompass a holistic approach that includes Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD), therapy, recovery coaching, support groups, housing assistance, and employment support. However, this doesn’t imply that one facet, in the absence of all others, lacks validity as addiction treatment.

Currently, only a small percentage, approximately 10-20%, of individuals with opioid use disorder receive comprehensive treatment due to healthcare system limitations and a shortage of qualified providers. Thus, while comprehensive treatment is a commendable goal, it’s not always realistic to anticipate that every person battling addiction will have access to all required components, especially considering that many of them also lack regular healthcare access and health insurance.

Moreover, treatment with Suboxone in isolation, without therapy, has been demonstrated to be effective. Nevertheless, it can yield even better outcomes when combined with supplementary support, such as therapy, recovery coaching, and more.

Myth #5: Suboxone Should Only Be Taken Temporarily

Reality: Duration of Suboxone Treatment Varies

Experts in the field have diverse opinions regarding the optimal duration of Suboxone treatment. There is no conclusive evidence supporting the notion that Suboxone should be strictly limited to short-term use, as opposed to long-term maintenance, similar to how individuals manage chronic conditions like diabetes with insulin. Ultimately, the choice often depends on the patient’s preferences.

One of the primary challenges hindering individuals from accessing life-saving addiction treatment is the stigma associated with it. Thankfully, society is gradually shifting away from outdated views that perceive addiction as a moral failing and moving toward a more compassionate understanding of addiction as a complex disease that necessitates both empathy and contemporary medical care. Dispelling myths and misconceptions about addiction while replacing them with current, evidence-based treatments is a crucial step in advancing and enhancing addiction treatment.

If you’re seeking to address opiate addiction with Suboxone, obtaining a prescription in California is crucial. If you prefer not to visit a clinic in person, you also have the option to obtain your Suboxone prescription online.

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