Suboxone, the active ingredients of which are buprenorphine and naloxone, is a medication that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of opiate addiction. It helps to control withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Certified physicians can prescribe buprenorphine in a number of settings, which increases its accessibility.1
If you are struggling with an opiate addiction, you may be worried that you can’t change your life alone. It is hard to face addiction, but a Suboxone treatment center may be able to help.
For many addicts, the scariest part of treatment may be the detoxification process. If you have ever noticed physical withdrawal symptoms after you’ve stopped taking opiates, it may be a sign you are physically dependent on them.
According to information that has been collected by the National Institutes of Health for the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are a range of symptoms that may appear when addicts stop or reduce the amount of opiates they are taking. These withdrawal symptoms include the following:
Feeling agitated or anxious.
- Achy muscles.
- Watery eyes.
- Inability to sleep.
- Runny nose.
- Feeling sweaty.
- Stomach cramps.
- Loose stools or diarrhea.
- Dilated pupils.
- Feelings of nausea.
These withdrawal symptoms may occur in people who have been taking opiates like heroin, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, OxyContin, Dilaudid, methadone, and many others. Because of these symptoms, many people are afraid to quit using opiates on their own. When you enter a Suboxone treatment facility, you can avoid many of these withdrawal symptoms thanks to the use of Suboxone in your treatment.
Treating Opiate Dependence
Treatment for opioid addiction or dependence can take place in a number of settings, including inpatient and outpatient facilities. It usually begins with an assessment of your addiction and the development of a treatment plan that includes goals.
As the first phase of treatment in a Suboxone rehabilitation center, you may have to undergo a medically supervised detoxification period. During this time, medical professionals will help your body slowly acclimate to a drug-free life. Once your body is free from drugs, you can start to work on your mind through therapy and counseling.
During detoxification, doctors at the recovery facility may start other medications in addition to Suboxone to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. These medications may include:2
- Clonidine, which can improve symptoms of opioid withdrawal with the exception of insomnia, muscle and bone pain, and headache.
- Benadryl for insomnia.
- Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen for muscle and bone pain and headaches.
- Pepto-Bismol for diarrhea.
- Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications for depression and anxiety.
People who have been using opioids usually have to wait 12 to 24 hours after their last use before starting Suboxone to avoid uncomfortable symptoms. After the first dose, people often stay at the doctor’s office or treatment center for a few hours while a health provider monitors them. If they have withdrawal symptoms, their dose can be adjusted.3
Side effects of Suboxone can include:1
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Muscle cramps.
- Trouble sleeping.
After withdrawal, some people may continue to take Suboxone for an indefinite period of time. This type of treatment is called “maintenance.”
There is no set amount of time for how long someone should take Suboxone. It depends on the person and what they decide with their provider. Suboxone is safe for long-term use, and results are usually better with long-term treatment. Once someone is ready to stop using Suboxone, they will work with their provider to slowly reduce or taper the dose. Withdrawal tends to be milder for Suboxone than it is with methadone.3
The use of drugs like Suboxone, especially for long-term use, is somewhat controversial due to the perception that people are substituting one drug for another. People who take these drugs may also be discriminated against in certain settings, such as 12-step groups.6
While these drugs do have side effects and abuse potential, they have proven to be safe and effective in treating opioid addictions. They improve survival rates for patients, help them stay in treatment, boost employment rates among this population, and lower the risk of contracting blood-borne infections.6
Therapy at Suboxone Recovery Centers
Detoxification is only the first step towards the recovery process. While you are at a Suboxone treatment center, you will also spend a lot of time learning how to deal with your addiction. For many people, their addictive behavior has become a way of life for them. Through therapy, you will learn how to handle stress without turning to drugs.
You will learn how to find hobbies that don’t include drugs and even how to build a drug-free social network. During individual or group therapy meetings, you will be given the opportunity to explore why you are addicted to opiates, and you will be given the tools you need to overcome your addiction. If you struggle with any mental health problems, you will also be encouraged to address those issues using a combination of therapy and medication.
Therapies that may be used in rehab for Suboxone include:4
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: Patients learn how to identify and cope with triggers and cravings, and are taught new ways of thinking and behavior around drug use.
- Contingency management: Patients are given rewards, such as vouchers or cash prizes, for completing certain actions such as submitting a negative drug screen.
- Family therapy: Patients attend therapy with a significant other, such as a partner or parent, and work through the addiction as well as problems at home such as family conflict and unemployment.
Living at a Residential Recovery Center
Most addicts need help to get past their addictions. They need to take a break from their lives so they can really focus on their recovery. When you opt to live at an inpatient or residential recovery center, you will get the opportunity to do that. You will have the chance to take a break from the daily grind and focus on what is truly important.
The length of time that you spend at the recovery facility will vary based on the severity of your addiction and your outside supports, but most people find that they need at least 30 days to 90 days to complete a successful rehabilitation. Because you will be spending a lot of time at the Suboxone recovery center, it is important that you choose the facility carefully.
If you need to check in at the office during recovery, you may want to select an executive facility that offers amenities like online and telephone access. If you are religious, you may want to find a facility that offers faith-based counseling. If you know that relaxation is important to you, you should find a Suboxone treatment facility that has a range of spa services, yoga classes, meditation rooms and other options for relaxation.
Privacy During Recovery
All recovery programs and facilities must follow certain rules regarding privacy and confidentiality.
Two common privacy laws are:5
- Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA): gives consumers rights and protections for their health information, including control over how health information is used and disclosed by health plans and providers.
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records Privacy Law: restricts the disclosure and use of patient records that include information on substance use diagnoses or care.
When you check into a Suboxone addiction recovery center, they will give you information on their privacy practices. Be sure to read these forms over and ask questions if you have any concerns.
Taking the First Step Away From Addiction
The first step in the recovery process is admitting that it is time to make a change. If you are ready to make a change, seek out a rehab center today. If you are looking for a Suboxone treatment center, or another type of program, you can search the online directory on this site for more information.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Buprenorphine.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2013). Detoxification and
Substance Abuse Treatment.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Decisions in Recovery: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder.
.National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Behavioral Therapies.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Medical Records Privacy and Confidentiality.
. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Medication and Counseling Treatment.
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