If you’re one of the millions of people in the United States that suffer from an opioid addiction, you certainly aren’t alone. However, your addiction could be straining your relationships, along with hurting your body and overall health. Weaning off of opioids can be a very difficult task, and seem just about impossible. However, with suboxone therapy, it may be easier than you think.
At Lori Scott Family Care, Dr. Lori Scott is an addiction specialist who can help you tackle your opioid addiction problem. Dr. Scott has years of experience in treating addiction with a number of different therapies, including suboxone.
Understanding how suboxone works
Suboxone is a controlled medication that helps you wean yourself off of opioids when you’re addicted. Opioids are a type of medication that’s usually prescribed for severe pain related to an injury or sometimes after surgery.
Opioids are highly addictive, because they create a euphoric and calming sensation in your brain. Once you’re addicted to these medications, it can be extremely hard to come off of them without going through withdrawal.
This is where Dr. Scott uses suboxone to help. Suboxone is a drug that contains two separate medications — buprenorphine and naloxone. These medications help to reduce the strong cravings for opioids that you may have, and prevents harmful withdrawal symptoms as well.
Buprenorphine is the main ingredient in suboxone, and it’s what’s considered a partial opioid agonist. This basically means that it’s a weaker form of a normal opioid, and your brain recognizes it as such. However, the effects of buprenorphine are nowhere near what you experience with a full blown opioid medication.
Naloxone is the other ingredient that’s paired with buprenorphine in suboxone. Naloxone is what’s known as an opioid antagonist. This means that it blocks the effects of opioid medications in your brain.
Naloxone is only activated if you attempt to inject suboxone into your body. Normally, this medication comes in sublingual form, and is to be dissolved under your tongue for proper use. However, if you attempt to inject the suboxone, the naloxone aspect of the medication activates, causing very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
What does suboxone therapy entail?
If Dr. Scott determines that you’re a good candidate for suboxone therapy, she’ll meet with you to discuss how it works. Suboxone therapy doesn’t just entail you taking the medication; it also involves other aspects of therapy, including:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Learning tools and education
- Addiction counseling
- Medical health evaluations
While the suboxone is working on your brain and body to reduce the cravings that you have for opioids, the counseling and therapy helps you to understand how to live in a world without addiction.
Once you begin suboxone therapy, Dr. Scott starts you on a low dose of suboxone and evaluates the effectiveness of your condition. Suboxone comes in a number of different strengths, including:
- 2mg of buprenorphine to 0.5mg of naloxone
- 4mg of buprenorphine to 1mg of naloxone
- 8mg of buprenorphine to 2mg of naloxone
- 12mg of buprenorphine to 3mg of naloxone
During therapy, you’ll take the suboxone exactly as prescribed by Dr. Scott. Missing doses or taking too much can result in relapse or withdrawal symptoms, and sometimes more serious problems.
You’ll also check-in with Dr. Scott on a regular basis to make sure you’re doing okay on the suboxone and it’s working to help reduce your cravings for opioids. As you continue to get better, Dr. Scott weans your dose of suboxone down, until you can eventually stop it all together.
It’s important to understand that your addiction isn’t healed when you’re done with suboxone therapy. It’s a life-long commitment to continue to seek the help you need to avoid going down that road again. Dr. Scott helps you in all the stages of addiction, to ensure that you continue to get better and avoid relapse.
If you or someone you love is suffering from opioid addiction, don’t wait another second to get help. Please call our office today at 252-238-7079 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Scott, or you may book a consultation online.