Opioid addiction is a real problem that affects every aspect of your life. If you know you have a problem, asking for help isn’t always easy. However, when you're ready to kick your addiction, Suboxone therapy can significantly help you through the most challenging parts of withdrawal.
Dr. Lori Scott is an opioid addiction specialist at Lori Scott Family Care, in Kinston, North Carolina. When she provides Suboxone therapy to her patients, she helps you through every step of treatment, including making sure you understand what to expect.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a drug Dr. Scott uses to help people wean off of opioids when they're addicted. The US Food and Drug Administration approved Suboxone for treating narcotic addiction in 2002.
Buprenorphine and naloxone are the active ingredients in Suboxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that blocks or reverses the effects of opioids such as heroin or oxycodone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that produces the effects of opioids, such as euphoria, but not at the same level as opioids like heroin or morphine.
Together, these drugs allow people with severe opioid addictions to slowly wean off of opioids by significantly reducing their cravings for the drugs.
Getting started with Suboxone
Suboxone therapy is very successful but can be daunting when considering treatment. The first step in treatment is realizing you have an addiction. When you visit Dr. Scott, she evaluates your health and determines if Suboxone is right for you.
To start treatment, you need to be willing to go without opioids for at least 12 to 24 hours before your first Suboxone dose. You must be in the early stages of withdrawal for Suboxone to work correctly; if you have opioids in your system and start Suboxone treatment, you could go through severe withdrawal symptoms.
Dr. Scott tailors Suboxone treatment to your specific symptoms and body, helping you get through withdrawal and opioid addiction.
What to expect at the beginning of treatment
Knowing what to expect in the first few days and weeks of Suboxone treatment is crucial to your success. Dr. Scott walks you through the process before starting treatment so you know what’s likely to happen.
During the first week of treatment, your body undergoes many changes. Some of the things you can expect initially during Suboxone treatment include:
After stopping opioids for 24 hours before treatment, you'll feel pretty bad. At this point, your body is beginning the withdrawal process, which includes flu-like symptoms.
It's good to prepare yourself for the possibility of withdrawal symptoms as your body begins to cope with the absence of opioids. After the first dose or two of Suboxone, it's not uncommon to experience symptoms like restlessness, cramping, joint pain, and extreme anxiety.
However, withdrawal symptoms on Suboxone are typically less severe than from opioids alone.
Multiple doses of Suboxone
The amount of Suboxone you need depends on the symptoms you're having. Dr. Scott provides step-by-step instructions on how often to take Suboxone and when to take the next dose — determined by the symptoms you're experiencing while your body detoxes from opioids.
Possible side effects
As your body gets used to Suboxone, you may experience several side effects. A few of the common side effects include drowsiness, sleep disturbances, and dizziness.
During the first few days of Suboxone use, Dr. Scott must see you frequently to ensure you're doing OK. She may require urine testing to ensure you're not taking opioids during treatment.
Dr. Scott adjusts your Suboxone doses based on your symptoms, and the intention is to wean your body off Suboxone at some point.
You can regain control of your life
If you're ready to finally kick an addiction, contact our office today to schedule an appointment to talk with Dr. Scott about Suboxone therapy. Call 252-238-7079 or use the online booking link on this website.