suboxone detoxification

What is Suboxone Detoxification and How to Detox

Suboxone is an opiate that is comprised of two opioid antagonists, buprenorphine and naloxone.  Suboxone is a popular component of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for overcoming an opioid addiction (heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, meperidine, methadone, hydromorphine, and codeine), prescribed for a set period of time before the patient is tapered off of it.  Suboxone acts as a block to the opioid receptor, not allowing it to be stimulated.  Although Suboxone is often effective in MAT, just as all other opioids, Suboxone has a high risk of abuse and dependency.

Whether the prescription for suboxone was legitimately intended to aid you or a loved one in recovery from opiates, or if you used Suboxone as a recreational drug, the end result is the same:  You have developed a Suboxone dependency.  Because Suboxone is in the opiate family, the hallmark signs of addiction are usually first experienced as withdrawal symptoms that begin upon cessation of use.

Symptoms of Suboxone Dependency

Someone who suspects they are becoming addicted to Suboxone may attempt to go “cold turkey” and quickly begin to experience very unpleasant suboxone withdrawal symptoms.  The withdrawal symptoms are the same as other opiates, and include the following:

  • Intense cravings
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Indigestion and diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability

Suboxone withdrawals begin within 24-72 hours of the last dose and last anywhere from a week to a month, depending on the severity of the dependency.  Many of the uncomfortable suboxone withdrawal symptoms can be mediated in a Suboxone detoxification program where healthcare providers can offer over-the-counter medications.

What to Expect in Suboxone Detoxification

The best way to succeed in the Suboxone detoxification, versus giving up due to the discomfort and pain experienced in detox is through an safe, secure inpatient facility.  There you will be receiving the highest level of care, with care providers most focused on alleviating the unpleasant symptoms, which are most intense within the first three days of detox. However, an outpatient Suboxone detox program may provide a better fit as long as the dependency is not yet severe.

During the detox phase of recovery relief from withdrawal symptoms is the primary concern.  This is important because the symptoms can be intense, leading many to quit detox and return to using Suboxone, never receiving the treatment they need.  The medical staff will prescribe medications will help relieve your withdrawal symptoms.  The withdrawal process will likely include counseling and support that will segue to the treatment phase of recovery at an inpatient program.

Alternatives to Suboxone for Opiate Addiction Recovery

Using MAT is still considered controversial for purists who prefer total abstinence from opiates as the goal.  They argue that substituting one opiate for another has a high likelihood of creating yet another dependency.  When this occurs it is necessary to form a new recovery plan that excludes any addictive medications.

Holistic detoxification programs use alternative methods to restore emotional and physical health during the withdrawal process.  These may include amino acid therapy, instituting a daily exercise regimen, and revamping the recovering individual’s diet.  In addition, therapeutic activities such as yoga, mindfulness exercises, meditation, massage, journaling, and art therapy are offered to promote relaxation and personal reflection.

The Treatment Specialist Treatment Resources

If you or a loved one has become dependent on suboxone, the specialists provides treatment resources. Connect with a treatment center for a free assessment and insurance verification at (866) 644-7911.

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