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Suboxone…Get off Those Pills!

Methadone works, but one of the biggest problems with methadone therapy is that because methadone has such a high abuse potential, doctors can only prescribe it in very limited doses - typically only a one day supply to start with.

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is different. Firstly, buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Suboxone, isn't as potent an opioid agonist as methadone. This reduces the abuse potential so doctors are allowed to give you a lot more of it at one time. To further reduce the risk of abuse, the manufacturer has also combined the buprenorphine in the medication with a dosage of naloxone.

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, and if it's taken concurrently with any other opioid, you will go into an immediate full withdrawal.

  1. With normal use,you take Suboxone sublingually (under the tongue) and through this administration, very little of the naloxone is ingested, so you have no problems with withdrawal.
  2. However, if you attempt to dissolve and inject the medication however, the naloxone is absorbed in full, and not only do you not get high, you go into immediate and agonizing withdrawal.

So because it's less abusable, you can, after an initial period of close observation and dosage modification, get a month's supply of pills prescribed and purchasable at a pharmacy.

Two Potential Problems

Because it's so easy to get and take, and because it works well to keep cravings and withdrawal away, the treatment compliance rate is very high.

  1. The biggest problem people are having at the moment is just finding a doctor licensed to prescribe the medication, as current legislation caps the number of patients each doctor can prescribe to.
  2. The second major problem is cost.

Suboxone Might Be Your Answer

If you are searching for an effective opioid treatment medication, Suboxone may be the solution you have been looking for. Remember however, that Suboxone is not intended as a stand alone treatment and it should be combined with addiction treatment of some form.

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Page last updated 09/01/2018

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