Suboxone

Suboxone (buprenorphine) and methadone are the two leading medications available for the treatment of opioid addiction. They are both opioid replacement therapies that, when taken regularly, will prevent an individual from experiencing opioid withdrawal sickness. Suboxone was approved by the FDA in 2002, and this allowed local physicians to begin prescribing Suboxone from their offices to opioid addicted patients seeking help.

This was a landmark achievement in consumer choice and provided people another very useful option for dealing with opioid addiction. To treat a patient with suboxone, a physician must first complete a comprehensive course, and become approved, before being allowed to prescribe the medication.

Since opioid replacement medication by itself addresses only the underlying physiological dependence (but not the related psychological contributors to addiction), patients are required to obtain substance abuse counseling as a part of their suboxone treatment. This additional requirement helps to ensure that patients are receiving education & training in understanding their addiction, and in identifying methods for preventing opioid relapse in the future.

Many suboxone-approved physicians do not provide this supplemental addiction counseling, and will consequently refer their suboxone patients to local providers who offer drug treatment services.

While suboxone and methadone are similar in action, they are unique enough to offer distinctly different advantages. You can review our comparison chart to examine some of the differences between the two medications. Both methadone and suboxone are slow acting, long lasting opioid agonists that bind to the body's opiate receptors. This particular action eliminates opioid withdrawal sickness very effectively, and thus allows individuals to resume their daily lives. 

Suboxone is actually a branded medication & product of the pharmaceutical company, Indivior. Suboxone is currently available as a thin film that is held under the tongue until the medication dissolves. Once dissolved, the medication is naturally absorbed through the tissues under the tongue and into the bloodstream. The newer film formulation dissolves somewhat more quickly than the previously available tablet form.

Suboxone is generally taken once per day although some patients with a milder opioid dependency may be able to take the medication every other day and remain comfortable. Suboxone does not produce a drug high for tolerant users, and does not interfere with one's daily activities. Many patients report feeling very comfortable while being maintained on suboxone and also during their gradual taper off of the medication.


 

What is in Suboxone?

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine (an opioid agonist) is the ingredient that binds to opiate receptors and provides relief by blocking withdrawal symptoms (very similar to methadone). Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of opiates and will cause withdrawal. This seems like a strange paradox having both ingredients in one tablet. However, do not worry. Remember, Suboxone is dissolved and absorbed under the tongue. The antagonist, Naloxone, becomes inert (has no effect) when dissolved under the tongue. So one only experiences the benefit of the Buprenorphine.

 

Why is Naloxone Added to Suboxone?

Specifically to discourage & prevent injection use of suboxone. Some addicted individuals may try to inject suboxone to obtain a drug high. When they do so, the Naloxone becomes immediately active (since it's being injected directly into the bloodstream), and it brings on sudden withdrawal symptoms making the individual feel very sick. This reinforces a person for using suboxone the proper way (under the tongue), and prevents future attempts at injecting suboxone.

 

How Do I Know if Suboxone is Right For Me?

This is a great question although a little difficult to answer. Suboxone tends to be effective for a considerable number of people addicted to opioids. Many of those who do well with suboxone are people who have a relatively shorter duration of opioid addiction or whose addiction is based on a comparatively smaller amount of daily opioid use. Heavy opioid users with a longer history of addiction sometimes respond better to methadone. However, there are notable exceptions. 

Suboxone has a ceiling effect around 24-32 mg of medication daily. 32 mg is generally considered to be the dose at which maximum withdrawal relief is provided. For most addicted people, taking more than 24-32 mg of suboxone daily will not provide any more additional relief. Methadone has no such ceiling effect and its dosage levels can be raised much higher, consequently providing a greater level of comfort and symptom relief for more severe opioid dependencies.

In conclusion, 8 mg to 32 mg of suboxone may provide excellent relief for someone new to medication-assisted recovery. If they find that suboxone is not strong enough to manage their withdrawal symptoms, then methadone most certainly will since it has no "ceiling effect".

 

Suboxone Taper Programs and Suboxone Maintenance

Taper programs aim to stabilize an opioid addicted individual on suboxone for a brief period of time and then taper their dosage down over a 60 to 90 day period. This taper period is not set in stone and can vary depending on the individual's need. The primary goal is to stabilize with suboxone and to then taper off with the end result being complete freedom from opioids and opioid replacement medication. Some patients do very well with a scheduled taper. Other patients may find that tapering is problematic and will switch to a period of maintenance. Maintenance with suboxone is effective and safe, just like with methadone. Upon first entering the market, Suboxone was mostly used for tapering off of opioids. However, it is commonly used today for extended maintenance in similar fashion to methadone.



For more on Suboxone Doctors, read: www.Methadone.us/suboxone-doctors/

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Caution: Street Oxycodone Might Be Fentanyl

Minnesota officers recently seized a large quantity of fentanyl in the Midwest based on extensive investigation and “very, very good police work”.

The drug bust removed enough fentanyl pills to kill over 1 million people, and the suspected dealer now faces federal charges for possessing a large quantity of synthetic opioids.

Of particular concern was that the fentanyl doses had been pressed into a familiar pill that was indistinguishable from that provided in a typical oxycodone prescription. So oxycodone obtained on the street now presents with a much higher risk of fatal overdose than was previously thought.

The article reported that large quantities of fentanyl continue to come across the U.S. southern border. The U.S. Senate is currently examining how this influx of fentanyl is impacting American communities as drug seizures hit historic levels.

Those currently struggling in active opioid addiction should explore getting professional help as soon as possible. Fentanyl “in disguise” is making its way across the country.

Learn About: Acadia’s Comprehensive Treatment Centers
Learn About: BrightView’s Local Addiction Treatment

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Over 1 Billion Dollars to Fight Opioid Crisis

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has awarded $1.5 billion in an effort to support States in their fight against opioid addiction.

The grant programs will provide funding to increase access to “24/7 Opioid Treatment Programs”. $104 million will be specifically allocated to bring treatment services to rural areas of the country that have been historically underserved.

While stabilizing and rebuilding lives through medication-assisted treatment is a priority, the prevention of overdose deaths is a distinct goal of the new funding initiative. Major confiscation of fentanyl continues month to month as law enforcement authorities intercept huge quantities of the drug pouring across the southern border.

Another $20.5 million is being earmarked for the development of programs that help connect individuals with addiction issues to local community resources that can enhance their overall recovery effort.

Additional focus will be placed on increasing the availability of naloxone which is the emergency medication that can quickly reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Thousands of lives have been saved in the last 10 years through the timely administration of naloxone to those who have overdosed.

The White House report outlines further efforts to disrupt global drug trafficking through the addition of more law enforcement officers.

Posted in Addiction Treatment, Buprenorphine, Fentanyl, Medication Assisted Treatment, Methadone, Suboxone, Suboxone Doctors | Comments Off on Over 1 Billion Dollars to Fight Opioid Crisis

First Ever Mobile Methadone Clinic

Providence, Rhode Island is the first location in the United States to offer a mobile methadone service. This article profiles CODAC Behavioral Health who operate a 27 foot RV that has been modified to function as a mobile methadone unit.

The concept behind this innovative approach is to bring essential medication-assisted treatment services to the rural areas of Rhode Island where many prospective patients are underserved.

Access to methadone and buprenorphine-based treatments remains an ongoing challenge as nearly 83% of those with opioid use disorder (OUD) are not yet utilizing medication to help with their opioid withdrawal symptoms. Opioid withdrawal sickness is the primary driver of illicit opioid use, opioid overdose, and lifestyle disruption.

CODAC received their FDA approval in July 2022 to begin dispensing methadone from their mobile unit.

Methadone clinics are a lifesaver for many thousands of recovering individuals across the country. There are a number of new clinics opening each week, but the provision of a methadone mobile service offers an interesting alternative that will be closely watched and evaluated in the years ahead.

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BrightView Offers Local Addiction Treatment

BrightView provides high quality addiction treatment with a specialty in opioid addiction recovery. Currently, the organization operates in six states: Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.

BrightView was originally founded by a doctor, a lawyer, and a businessman with the intent of transforming addiction medicine. In Cincinnati, opioid addiction had severely impacted the local community as it had done in so many other areas of the country.

Consequently, BrightView founders wanted to design a system of service delivery that would make it easy for people affected by opioid addiction to get the help they needed with minimal obstacles and delays.

While most BrightView clinics specialize in the use of buprenorphine, suboxone, and vivitrol, several clinics also offer methadone. Their recovery model is built upon a combination of top tier medication-assisted treatment in conjunction with counseling and behavioral therapies.

In addition to opioid-specific treatment services, BrightView also offers specialized treatment for alcohol, methamphetamine, and other substance use disorders. Being patient-centered is a hallmark of the company’s approach to helping.

Most BrightView facilities can see a patient within 24 hours of calling for an appointment. If interested in contacting BrightView, you can reach them at 866-928-5995.

Posted in Addiction Treatment, Brightview, Buprenorphine, Medication Assisted Treatment, Methadone Clinics, Suboxone, Subutex, Vivitrol | Comments Off on BrightView Offers Local Addiction Treatment

Physician Prescribed Medications Only

There are plenty of illegally manufactured medications of unknown origin currently flooding the country. In addition to heroin, methamphetamines, and other highly addictive substances, common prescriptions for managing psychiatric disorders are now accessible on the street as well.

Often these seemingly “legit” meds are manufactured outside of the U.S. where they are not subject to FDA oversight. Some of them are laced with fentanyl as is now occurring with street opiates, cocaine, and ecstasy.

Fentanyl availability is becoming widespread and creating an epidemic of accidental overdoses. News of fentanyl drug busts are being reported with increasing frequency since U.S. law enforcement and border patrol have stepped up their efforts to confiscate this deadly drug before it hits the streets.

It is important to remember that medications provided by methadone clinics and buprenorphine-approved doctors are beneficial drugs that are carefully formulated by pharmaceutical companies operating under FDA guidelines and safety checks. Please, only take medications prescribed by your doctor.

Every OTP (opioid treatment program) clinic and prescribing physician aim to custom fit the medication and dosage that will best treat your opioid use disorder. Self-medicating with drugs obtained on the street is highly dangerous. Your recovery success depends on you believing in your treatment team and relying upon their medical expertise, and their administration of safe, approved medications designed to manage your opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Posted in Addiction Counseling, Buprenorphine, Drug Safety, Fentanyl, Methadone, Methadone Clinics, Naloxone, Suboxone, Suboxone Doctors, Subutex | Comments Off on Physician Prescribed Medications Only