Josh Chandler | May 17, 2022

What Is Suboxone Used for In Drug Rehab?

What Is Suboxone?

Agencies and organizations that provide drug rehab and alcohol addiction treatment programs to people in need are always looking for new and innovative care options. Suboxone, one of the treatment options for opioid addiction, is how drug and alcohol rehab centers have moved forward in recent years. In decades past, as often referenced in both the news media and popular culture, Methadone was a primary medication used to treat opioid dependence, especially heroin. No one ever sets out to have their life affected by substance abuse. Still, by having treatment plans with care options like Suboxone, everyone has the opportunity to move forward in their lives and create a better tomorrow.

Suboxone is referred to as a partial agonist, a specifically designed prescription medication that combines Buprenorphine and Naloxone to treat both illegal street and legal opioids. The opioid epidemic in the United States has gone on for many years. Both government administrations at every level and the medical community have had to try and come up with ways to combat the problem. Suboxone is a significant development in treating opioid substance abuse that can be a big help when someone chooses the path of sobriety and drug-free living. No matter how good a program is or medication has proven to be, a person must be committed to their one rehabilitation to succeed. This is why comprehensive alcohol or drug treatment programs that involve several different therapy options are often the most successful formula.

Suboxone was initially developed in 1966, but not in the form of drug and alcohol rehab centers using it today to help those negatively affected by opioid drugs. In the early days, it was effective but was still a very addictive substance that could also be abused. In its current form, with the combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the prescription medication to treat opioid dependence in 2002. The incorporation of Naloxone has made the substance much less addictive, making it an excellent option for treating opioid drugs. At this time, Suboxone is now used more than Methadone, which is known to be habit forming despite its long-term use by clinics throughout the United States.

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How Suboxone Is Used in Drug Rehab

Opioid Use Disorder, or OUD, is the diagnosis typically associated with addiction to prescription pain relievers. This is a very generic term and does not describe the many variations of how and why someone may suffer from opioid addiction. First, people who use heroin and have formed a habit of regular use may be cut off from their supply and turn to prescription medications that can, in some instances, be easier to acquire. Individuals can also abuse opioids legitimately prescribed to them and become addicted. No matter the case, Suboxone can be used as part of the treatment plans drug rehabs develop for people to begin living a sober lifestyle.

Opioids affect the brain in a way that impacts how we experience pleasure or reward, causing physical dependence and making it very hard to quit using without assistance. Suboxone is used in drug rehab as part of a MAT program or Medication Assisted Treatment. Suboxone replaces the drug or drugs a person is taking to which they have become addicted. Over time, the amount of the replacement medication administered is slowly lowered at a rate that does not cause the individual to go through potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Drug rehabs like Muse Treatment often employ a combination of treatments as part of MAT, including group and behavioral therapy.

If you are addicted to drugs like Meth, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, which we discuss in our blog here:

Signs and Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to Meth

Benefits of Using Suboxone in Rehab

One of the most significant benefits of using a replacement prescription drug like Suboxone as part of drug rehab is its ability to ease the person off of the substance they are addicted to and block the effects of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms, especially from opioids, can be very harsh and even life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms can also cause a person to relapse and negotiate with themselves, thinking they can handle their drug use without having to stop taking a substance altogether. During a person’s overall rehab process, there will often be times when they don’t think they can deal with all that comes with putting drugs or alcohol behind them. By taking part in a MAT program, or other comprehensive treatment plans offered by Muse Treatment, individuals have the best possibility of making a significant change in their lives. Suboxone was specifically designed to lower cravings and withdrawal symptoms and replace the mind and body’s need for opioid drugs. Suboxone also helps with stress and allows a person to be more relaxed, which is beneficial to their treatment and recovery from substance abuse.

How Is Suboxone Administered?

Doses of Suboxone are typically administered in one of two ways. Either as sublingual films (under the tongue) or in pill form. Either way, a medical professional trained to administer drug treatment substances will determine the dosage needed. This process can depend on if a person is addicted to one of the short-acting opioids or long-acting opioids. When administered sublingually, there is a specific way that it should be placed under the tongue and next to the cheek, which the doctor or pharmacist can describe. Sublingual films can be taken sublingually and buccally, and it is important to always follow the instructions given precisely so that the medication results in the intended effects. Dosages will change as treatment progresses, and any difference in how you react to Suboxone should be reported immediately. Suboxone is a schedule III (three) prescription medication. This means that the government has created rules as to how the drug can be used. Medical professionals are familiar with these rules and the medication guide for Suboxone and will act accordingly. Each patient is assessed individually, so Suboxone or any other prescription or over-the-counter drug used as part of a treatment program is administered correctly.

Suboxone Side Effects

As with most prescription and over-the-counter medicines, there can be severe side effects caused by Suboxone. Buprenorphine or Buprenorphine can cause symptoms that range from mild to somewhat severe and should be reported to a doctor or pharmacist. The side effects of Suboxone can include mouth numbness, mouth redness, mouth pain, headache, dizziness, numbness or tingling, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, stomach pain, vomiting, constipation, feeling as if you are drunk, and trouble concentrating. Some of the more serious side effects, which may need immediate medical attention, include fainting, fast or irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, mental or mood changes (which can include agitation, confusion, hallucinations), shallow or slow breathing, unusual drowsiness, blurred vision and difficulty waking up. Everyone’s physical, emotional, and mental makeup is different. Thus, all types of substances can have varying effects on individuals. It is crucial to always listen to what your body and mind tell you and pass along this information regarding an adverse effect to your doctor, pharmacist, or other alcohol and drug rehab professionals.

Can Suboxone Be Addictive?

In its current form, Suboxone was specifically designed to help curb all of the issues that people entering recovery usually face. These include withdrawal syndrome, cravings, and addiction itself. When taken as directed, treatment with Suboxone is typically not habit forming. However, it still has an opioid component, which is used as a replacement drug for heroin and other substances. If not appropriately taken, it can be addictive. One of the ways you can become addicted to opioid pain medications that you have been prescribed is when you do not tell your doctor about changes in how the drug affects you. This is a sign of tolerance, which can lead to addiction, which is the same with Suboxone.

Additionally, people often increase the dosage of pain medication prescribed without consulting their doctor, and this is referred to as self-medicating and can also lead to addiction. As part of drug abuse treatment programs, including those involving Suboxone, it is essential to communicate frequently with your doctor or pharmacist, nurse practitioner, therapist, or other rehabilitation specialists, so inadvertent side effects do not occur if possible.

MAT Drug Rehab at Muse Treatment Center in Los Angeles

Medication Assisted Treatment, or MAT, is one of the many rehab options available at Muse Treatment in Los Angeles. As part of the MAT program at Muse Treatment, our team of professionals uses one of two medications with Buprenorphine as part of their makeup or compound, and they are Suboxone and Subutex. Many alcohol and drug rehabilitation experts believe that the longer you stay in a structured program, the more likely you are to remain sober over the long run, and MAT is one of the addiction treatment components that helps with that immensely. That is because by being administered a prescription medication like Suboxone, an individual has a smoother and more comfortable time in treatment, which limits the reasons why they may want to give up. Rehab is never easy and takes commitment, both from the patient and the professionals in any program, but with effort comes results.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, including any substances in the opioid family, we can help. Call us any time to talk to one of our drug rehab treatment professionals, and they can review all of the options we have for you. You do not have to go through this tough time alone, and we are here and eager to help. Call us at (800) 426-1818 today.

Medication Assisted Treatment,Suboxone,Treatment,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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