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Suboxone For Medication-Assisted Treatment

Suboxone is a common brand name for Buprenorphine, a popular medication used for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).



The use of this treatment has been demonstrated to be safe and effective by the FDA. However, the effectiveness of Suboxone is dependent on combination with therapy and psychosocial support. Read below to learn how Suboxone can help as an opioid blocker.

Click here to learn more about medication-assisted treatment at Sandstone Care.

What Is Suboxone?

The effect drugs like Suboxone have on the body can be described as an antagonist, or a blocker. In essence, a drug like Suboxone is a weakened opiate that binds to the receptors in the brain. This is similar to what opiates do to the brain's receptors, the difference being that a blocker doesn't give the euphoria that a drug like heroin would. This process helps take down cravings for someone working through their addiction, and ultimately helps prevent relapse.

Suboxone is a popular treatment medication for opioid addiction for a few reasons, one being that it's less habit-forming than methadone, the other common prescribed medication for OUD. In addition, users of Suboxone have reported pain relief and lower urges while using it.

However, it's important to remember that Suboxone is only an enhancement to counseling and therapeutic processes. According to Dr. Montague, any type of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is used in rehabilitation to give the other disciplines the time to work. Addiction is a complicated disease that involves the biological, psychological, social, and socioeconomic aspects of life. There are a lot of barriers to why someone might not be able to get sober just beyond the limbic system, and a lot of pieces that must come together for someone to gain recovery.

Medications like Suboxone are used to stabilize the limbic system while clients in therapy work on coping skills, work through trauma, and get you hooked up with resources in the community.

"What you're doing when you take Suboxone is taking a very weak opioid to bind to all the opiate receptors and take up all the places, so that there is no more room for fentanyl, heroin, etc."

- Dr. Jennifer Montague, Senior Medical Director at Sandstone Care

How to Know if Suboxone is Right For You

Users are suggested to wait 12-24 hours after last using opioids before they begin taking Suboxone, but the exact length of time varies. Taking Suboxone too soon after using other opioids can elicit uncomfortable opioid withdrawal symptoms like:

  • sweating
  • shaking
  • digestive upset
  • anxiety

The medical staff at Sandstone Care creates a specific plan of action for each client. Call our admissions department today to start the conversation.

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