If you’re addicted to opioids – whether you’re hooked on heroin or legal prescription opioids like Hydrocodone or Oxycontin – you know how devastating this addiction can be. Opioid addiction causes major health problems and makes managing the basic responsibilities that come with everyday living almost impossible. Chances are, you’ve tried just about everything to kick your addiction to opioids on your own. You may have tried quitting cold turkey just to discover that such an undertaking is simply too painful. You’ve probably tried just using on the weekends only to find that when Monday rolls around, you’re continuing to take opioids so you won’t get sick. More than likely, you have attempted to switch one drug for another thinking that would do the trick – but it didn’t. Despite your most sincere efforts, you have found that none of these methods were successful. More than anything, you want to be free from the bondage of opioid addiction, but you feel hopeless. Here’s a question, have you ever tried using an Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT) called Suboxone? Suboxone has proven to be an effective method for tens of thousands of opioid addicts who went looking to kick their habit once and for all. It could help you too, if you will give it a try. Suboxone can bring hope and healing where there once was none. We’ll talk more about this effective Opioid Replacement Therapy. It may be the one thing you haven’t tried (and the one thing that will actually work). But first, let’s talk about how you got here in the first place.
Understanding Opioid Dependence – The Disease of Addiction Explained
If you are addicted to opioids, there should be no shame in your game. You are not a bad person. You are not a weak person. You are a sick person. Opioid dependence has nothing to do with strength of character. It has to do with the disease of addiction. Let’s go a little bit deeper. Opioids are powerful and highly addictive substances. Heroin, Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, Fentanyl, Codeine, and Morphine are the most commonly abused opioids. Opioids work on opioid receptor sites in the brain. Think of it this way – opioid receptor sites are like little locks waiting to receive keys. Opioids are the little keys. When opioids (keys) meet opioid receptor sites (locks), they work together to block pain. But, because of the chemical makeup of opioids, you won’t just experience an absence of pain. You will ultimately experience a euphoric effect, otherwise known as the “opioid high” or the “opioid buzz.” For someone who is genetically predisposed, this lock and key effect can also unleash a powerful process known as the disease of addiction. Addiction is a chronic, progressive, and complex brain disease that can be fatal if left untreated. If you are in the throes of opioid addiction, you need professional help – an intervention of some kind. You can’t fight this battle on your own. Why? Because, at this point you are trying to battle chemistry with sheer, unadulterated willpower. And chemistry will win out every time. Opioid Replacement Therapy can provide the chemical intervention you need to win the battle. With an ORT medicine like Suboxone, you can be victorious over your addiction to opioids, once and for all.
Tolerance Drives Opioid Abuse – Which is Why You Continue to Abuse Opioids
We’ve given you a simplistic explanation of the disease of addiction. Now, let’s talk about why you need an Opioid Replacement Therapy like Suboxone. Once someone has used opioids for an extended period of time, tolerance is inevitable. It truly doesn’t matter if you’re using street heroin or opioids prescribed by a doctor. An opioid is an opioid. Tolerance is what happens when the body becomes used to a certain substance being present in the system. Once tolerance kicks in, the same dosage of a drug or medication will no longer work. This means you need more and more of the same stuff to get the same effect. This is especially true with opioids. Tolerance takes place when those opioid receptor sites we mentioned earlier become desensitized or worn down. They become dull. What used to light them up just doesn’t work anymore. And, they DEMAND more opioids! Those little locks are constantly calling out for those little keys. “Unlock me,” they cry! This is known as the phenomenon of craving. Not only does your body crave more opioids, your brain obsesses with thoughts about using more opioids. This causes opioid abuse.
The Pain of Withdrawal – Why You Need Opioid Replacement Therapy
Soon (and rather quickly) tolerance turns to addiction. This means the body has become dependent on opioids to function. When tolerance turns to addiction, the body will experience withdrawal symptoms if you remove the drug from your body. These withdrawal symptoms are so unpleasant, you will inevitably return to the opioids to feel normal. You may already be familiar with some of the common withdrawal symptoms of opioid dependence because you have experienced them personally:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Head-to-toe body aches
- Extreme fatigue
- Uncontrollable crying
- Loss of focus
- Inability to concentrate
Most people describe opioid withdrawal as “hell on earth.” No one wants to be in hell, right? So, to avoid the fiery flames of withdrawal, you will continue to abuse opioids even though your life is falling apart all around you. This is why you cannot overcome opioid dependence with willpower. In spite of the fact that your health is deteriorating, you will keep using. You might be facing jail time, a divorce, the loss of your children, financial bankruptcy, or any number of devastating consequences if you keep using opioids – but, guaranteed, you will keep on using your drug of choice to avoid withdrawal. Opioid addiction overrides reason, common sense, good judgment, logic, and intellect. The pain of withdrawal is so intense, you will become willing to do just about anything to avoid it. THIS is why you need Suboxone treatment. Learn more about what it’s like to withdrawal from opioids.
What is Suboxone?
Hopefully, by now, you have a better understanding of opioid addiction. You know that it’s not your fault. You get the fact that you can’t just overcome your problem with willpower. You’re never going to be able to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and move on with your life without outside intervention. You need help. Fortunately, you can get the help you need with Suboxone. Suboxone is an Opioid Replacement Therapy. It is a prescription medication that is given to people who are addicted to opioids to help them safely and effectively stop using this highly addictive substance. You take the medicine Suboxone instead of whatever opioid you have been taking. Suboxone works to eliminate cravings, reduce the pain of withdrawal, and lessen the likelihood of abuse.
What Does Suboxone Do?
Suboxone contains two different medications, Buprenorphine and Naloxone. These two medications work together to stop the madness of opioid addiction. Buprenorphine is a narcotic opioid medication that treats pain just like Oxycontin or Codeine does. However; Suboxone contains Naloxone, which is an opioid antagonist. This means that Naloxone binds to those opioid receptors we talked about earlier. By acting as little keys that fit into those locks, this medication blocks the brain from experiencing the opioid buzz. By taking Suboxone instead of heroin or prescription opioids, you are still feeding your body the opioids it needs to function. This way, your body doesn’t crave opioids and it doesn’t go into withdrawal. You won’t feel the need to take more and more opioids and you will calm the obsession in your mind for the drug. The medication Suboxone does generate a low-grade buzz, but you won’t have the same all-consuming high that you get with opioids, which will allow you to better manage your life. Although Suboxone can be habit-forming and cause dependence, you are less likely to abuse or misuse this medication.
How Long-Term Suboxone Treatment Works to Stop Opioid Addiction
Suboxone is prescribed by a licensed, specialized doctor. You can’t just go to any ole doctor to get Suboxone. Chances are, you won’t be able to go to your family physician and get this Opioid Replacement Therapy. You must go to a doctor who has been approved to prescribe or administer the medication. Once you find the right doctor, you need to be honest about your addiction to opioids. You need to tell him or her what kind of opioids you have been using, how much, and for how long. If you have been using heroin, don’t be ashamed to tell the doctor. He or she is committed to compassionate care. The doc is not there to judge you. He or she is there to help. Being honest with the doctor gives him or her the information needed to determine your correct dosage. You will be prescribed a certain amount of Suboxone to take every day. It is important that you follow these instructions. Do not deviate from the plan. Over time, your doctor will slowly lower your dosage. This is done in such a way that you will not experience withdrawal symptoms. You may have minimal cravings, but they will be manageable. Over a period of six months to a year, you will very strategically be completely removed from opioids until you are not taking any at all. This is how you will finally – once and for all – become victorious over your life-threating addiction to opioids.
Short-Term Suboxone Treatment is Also an Option
Although long-term Suboxone treatment is highly recommended for someone who has an addiction to opioids, short-term treatment is also an option. With short-term Suboxone treatment, you will be quickly detoxed off opioids and given Suboxone over the course of three to seven days. Sometimes, short-term treatment lasts as long as thirty days. While you can undergo short-term Suboxone treatment on your own under the care of a doctor, it is best to go this route if you have checked yourself into a detox center or in-patient rehabilitation center. When you do this, you undergo what is called a supervised medical detox where a doctor or addiction specialists monitors and evaluates your progress while you are under 24-7 care. You will be given Suboxone and quickly tapered off the medication. If you choose short-term Suboxone Opioid Replacement Therapy, you need to know that there is a high probability of relapse with this method. Someone who has been taking opioids for an extended period should probably undergo long-term ORT. This lessens the likelihood that you will return to opioid use.
Suboxone Strips Versus Suboxone Tablets
Suboxone can be administered two different ways. It is either given by Suboxone film or Suboxone tablet. Suboxone films are little strips that are dissolved under the tongue. Suboxone tablets are taken orally. Both come in various dosages.
Suboxone Side Effects
Here are some of the common side effects that you can expect with Suboxone:
- Abdominal/stomach pain
- Light headedness
- Fever or chills
- Lower back pain
- Difficulty urinating
When it comes to experiencing side effects, everyone is different. Some people do not experience any side effects when taking Suboxone. Other people have mild side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor what other medications you are taking. Suboxone does have drug interactions with certain meds. If you can’t tolerate Suboxone, there’s another Opioid Replacement Therapy out there called Subutex. Learn the difference between Subutex and Suboxone.
Is Suboxone Addictive? Can Suboxone be Abused?
Suboxone can be habit-forming. You can become dependent on Suboxone. We want to make sure you get this – Suboxone can be addictive. Even though Suboxone is a special kind of medication, you must always keep in mind that it does contain opioids. This is why it is especially important to use Suboxone under the care of a doctor and to only use it as prescribed. Remember, Suboxone is supposed to be used as an Opioid Replacement Therapy. The idea here is that you will take Suboxone for a certain period of time so you can be slowly be taken off the drug and be completely opioid-free. You don’t want to trade one habit for another. If you find that you are abusing Suboxone, you should tell your doctor immediately. Don’t be ashamed. You started taking this medication because you were addicted to opioids. You aren’t going to shock your doc! Being transparent with your healthcare provider will help you get back on track and get you going in the right direction again.
Suboxone for Pain – You Might Be on Suboxone For an Extended Period
Many people become addicted to opioids because they started taking them for pain management. Suboxone is not just prescribed for opioid dependence, it is also prescribed for pain. If you are one of those unfortunate souls who has been diagnosed with a chronic pain disease like Fibromyalgia, you may have to take Suboxone for years. That’s okay. Remember, Suboxone is an Opioid Replacement Therapy. It is used to replace opioids. If you have become addicted to opioids, and you want to get your life back, Suboxone might be a safe alternative for pain management. Take to your doctor and find out if Suboxone is right for you. Learn more about the risks of addiction and pain management.
How to Find a Doctor That Prescribes Suboxone
Finding a doctor that prescribes Suboxone is easy. All you have to do is go to www.suboxone.com and perform a search. You can enter in your zip code and the website will do all the work. You will be provided with the doctor nearest to you who can prescribe the medication.
How Much Does Suboxone Cost?
If you have medical insurance, you are most likely covered for Suboxone. You’re probably looking at an out-of-pocket monthly expense of about $20. If you don’t have medical insurance, don’t fret. There are coupons and discounts available that will lower the cost to you so you can afford this treatment. Be sure and talk to your Suboxone doctor about how you can get the medication at a discounted price.
Suboxone Should Not Be Confused with a Magic Pill That Will Cure Opioid Addiction
Many people make the mistake of believing that Suboxone is a magic pill that will work to instantly and mysteriously work to cure opioid addiction. This is simply not true. You can’t just pop a Suboxone, sit back and wait for the pill to work its wonders and wish away your addiction. Recovery from opioid dependence takes time and work. It requires a sincere commitment to staying clean and finding recovery. People who find lasting relief from opioids addiction don’t just take Suboxone. They are aggressive in treating their addiction to opioids. They actively pursue alternative treatment methods and get educated about the disease of addiction. Opioid Replacement Therapy should be used in combination with behavioral therapy, counseling, and 12-Step recovery. It also is important to learn new coping mechanisms and develop a healthy, sober support system. Additionally, if you want to break the chains of opioid addiction, you should remain sober from other mood and mind-altering substances like alcohol and marijuana.
Are You Ready to Get Help for Your Addiction to Opioids?
Approximately 142 people die every day from accidental opioid overdose. That’s an astounding number. When you’re addicted to opioids, you never consider the possibility that you might end up a statistic, but the fact is that you can die from opioid addiction. If you keep on your current trajectory, you could wind up in an early grave. We say this not to scare you, but to give you a dose of reality. Most people understand that you can easily overdose on heroin. However; you must understand that you can just as easily OD on Oxy, Percocet, Fentanyl and legal prescription meds. Think of your family and loved ones. Think of all the things you haven’t done yet…. All the places you haven’t seen…. All the dreams you have you have in your heart that you haven’t brought to fruition. Life may be difficult. It is certainly not without its challenges – but it is worth living. If you have been battling an addiction to opioids, your days could be numbered if you don’t stop using now. You sought this article because you have been looking for a way to win your fight against your addiction to opioids. Suboxone could be the ultimate weapon that will defeat your enemy. Find a Suboxone doctor in your area. Make an appointment. Go find out what your options are and consider Opioid Replacement Therapy. Your life is worth saving. Thinking about putting down the needle? Read this inspiring story about quitting heroin.