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Stop Using Suboxone in 5 Steps: Understanding Medication-Assisted Treatment

Stop Using Suboxone in 5 Steps: Understanding Medication-Assisted Treatment

The battle against opioid addiction in America is being fought every day, and many are fighting hard to create more opportunities for treatment and recovery. With more awareness being raised across the country, many are turning to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) methods as a way to address illicit opioid abuse and overdose. One of the most commonly known medications used in MAT is Suboxone.

MAT programs can be very helpful as a harm reduction strategy that gives people struggling with addiction a chance to avoid harmful withdrawals. However, addiction specialists also recognize that MAT alone is not an adequate substitute for comprehensive addiction treatment.

Furthermore, medications like Suboxone can be useful, but only to an extent. This drug may help to curb withdrawal symptoms from opioids like heroin or prescription painkillers, but it is also a powerful narcotic that can cause its own symptoms of dependence and withdrawal. Some people have tried to utilize Suboxone to get off of other drugs, only to find themselves dependent on this medication. So how do you stop using Suboxone?

More About Suboxone

Suboxone is a medication primarily for helping people stop using other opioids. The medication is a combination of two drugs:

  1. Buprenorphine

Most people do not realize that Buprenorphine is itself an opioid. This semi-synthetic opioid medication is different from other opioids because it is a partial opioid agonist. What this means is that its maximal effects are less than full agonists such as heroin or methadone.

However, it still creates feelings of euphoria and respiratory depression. With chronic use, this opioid can still cause physical dependence.

  1. Naloxone

This medication is used to block the effects of opioids, especially when it comes to opioid overdose. It is added to the Buprenorphine to attempt to decrease the risk of misuse. Due to the nature of this medication, if someone takes Naloxone while still experiencing the effects of an opioid it can cause them to go into sudden withdrawal.

The makers of Suboxone do warn that it can be abused in a manner similar to other opioids, both legal and illicit. They issue a number of other warnings for those considering using the medication, including:

  • Injecting Suboxone may cause serious withdrawal symptoms.
  • Suboxone film can cause serious, life-threatening breathing problems, overdose and death, particularly when taken intravenously in combination with benzodiazepines or other medications that act on the central nervous system.
  • One should not drink alcohol while taking this medication, as it can lead to unconsciousness or even death.

Some of the adverse effects of Suboxone use include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Numb mouth
  • Constipation
  • Painful tongue
  • Redness of mouth
  • Intoxication
  • Disturbance in attention
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sleep problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Back pain
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness

These are only a few examples. Some circumstances may lead to further complications, including someone being pregnant or living with severe hepatic impairment. You should discuss any decision you make to start or stop using Suboxone with a healthcare professional.

5 Steps to Stop Using Suboxone

  1. Speak with a medical professional

If you have a Suboxone prescription, do not stop taking it without speaking to a healthcare professional first. Abruptly discontinuing a MAT program can not only cause you a great deal of discomfort, but it can be very dangerous. Trying to quit without medical assistance also creates the risk of relapse and overdose.

This is why safe medical Suboxone detox is such an important element of any addiction treatment program.

Before you decide to stop using Suboxone, speak with your personal physician or a medical addiction specialist in order to decide what is the safest and most effective way to move forward.

  1. Taper vs Cold Turkey

When someone goes ‘cold turkey’ to stop using Suboxone, they essentially discontinue without any kind of medical support. Again, we remind you that this can be extremely dangerous and is always counterproductive. A better choice is to develop a plan with a medical professional that utilizes a gradual taper or even medications to assist with withdrawals.

Health experts recommend gradually reducing doses of buprenorphine. Typically, you can lower your dosage over a period of three weeks or more, reducing the doses by 10%-20% each week. The best way to decide how to do this is by working with a medical professional.

  1. Get comprehensive addiction therapy

Another crucial aspect of addiction treatment is the opportunity for comprehensive addiction therapy. Individuals have a much better chance to stop using Suboxone for the long-term when they address the underlying issues that lead them to use opioids in the first place. Sometimes, drug use stems from emotional issues, trauma, or behaviors that are self-destructive. When people avoid addressing these issues, they become vulnerable to relapsing as a means to cope with them later.

Therapy not only helps people uncover the root cause of their pain, but it also teaches people new, healthy ways to cope with these issues.

  1. Build a support group in recovery

Once someone has started the recovery process, a huge part of staying on the right path is to build a support group. It is very difficult to try and stop using Suboxone or any other drug all on your own. Having friends, family or mentors provides people with the resources to reach out to when they are struggling.

When trying to overcome addiction, it can be difficult for some to relate to people who do not understand addiction. Thankfully, there are support groups all over the country that offer assistance to each other while dealing with a specific issue. Most people know of 12-Step programs and other support groups for alcohol or drug addiction.

  1. Participate in aftercare programs

Another useful element of treatment is aftercare. While support groups are extremely helpful, another way to stay involved in the ongoing process of addiction recovery is to get involved in aftercare programs. Many treatment providers will have programs in place to support those who have completed the inpatient levels of care, such as residential treatment, and are ready to transition back into everyday life.

When you stop using Suboxone, it is a good idea to stay connected with those who can offer support and guidance.

Understanding MAT

When a lot of people hear about medication-assisted treatment, they think it is an easy way out of addiction. Some people automatically assume that you can trade an addiction to heroin or Oxycodone for a dependence on Suboxone or another drug and everything will be fine. However, with MAT programs the goal should never be to rely on a medication for the long-term.

Medication-assisted treatment does make a difference. For some people, the fear of withdrawal symptoms keeps them using far more potent and dangerous drugs. Because they do not want to experience the pain, they keep using. Sometimes, this leads to death. So giving someone the chance to reduce the risk by using a prescription medication might keep them alive long enough to get treatment. But that is the important thing- to get the treatment.

Medications like Methadone and Suboxone are only supposed to be one piece of a more comprehensive treatment plan. They are intended to act as a short-term tool to help people ease their discomfort and avoid suffering while they try to give up drugs. MAT programs are only really effective when they are accompanied by therapy and other means of treatment. So if you want to stop using Suboxone and start recovering, seek out a rehab program that wants to help you heal.

Holistic addiction treatment is specifically designed to treat the entire person, not just the addiction. This kind of approach offers a variety of opportunities to develop new coping skills, learn more about addiction and the impact of drugs on the body, and experience innovative treatment modalities to heal the mind, body and spirit. For over 20 years, Palm Healthcare Company has been a leader in providing holistic addiction treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

Is Indivior Drug a Revolutionary Opioid Treatment or the Next Suboxone?

Is Indivior Drug a Revolutionary Opioid Treatment or the Next Suboxone?

While the nation is still struggling to find the right strategy to climb out of the opioid crisis in U.S. it seems many are holding onto the idea that Big Pharma is going to save us from the destruction they helped create. While we can agree that evidence-based medical assistance in recovery is a useful tool, some seem to think that the only fix for a pill problem is more pills, or in this case, more needles.

Just recently, after President Trump declared the opioid crisis a “National Health Emergency”, the advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 18-1 that a new injectable drug called RBP-6000 could benefit addicts and the lower of two doses studied had an “acceptable” safety profile.

So what does this mean for the opioid epidemic efforts? Is Indivior a miracle injection that is going to make the epidemic more manageable, or is it another kind of Methadone or Suboxone that is just keeping people hooked?

What is RBP-6000?

For a little background, RBP-6000 is an experimental drug designed to help fight America’s growing opioid addiction crisis. It is described as a sustained-release buprenorphine. It is designed to be delivered once a month as a subcutaneous injection. The compound solidified once in contact with bodily fluids and releases buprenorphine over time.

If approved, it will be the first monthly injectable buprenorphine treatment. When creating the drug the manufacturers studied two dosing regimens.

In one, 300 milligrams were given once a month for six months.

In the other, two doses of 300 milligrams were followed by four doses of 100 milligrams.

According to reports, there was only a minute difference in effectiveness between the two doses, and they drug company acknowledge that the higher dose of RBP-6000 caused more side effects. Looking closely into some of the reports from the research, some side-effects include:

  • Headache

  • Constipation

  • Nausea

  • Injection site pruritus

  • Vomiting

  • Insomnia

  • Upper respiratory tract infection

While these side effects were not noted in an extremely high percentage of those tested, they are still relevant to consider until there is more extensive data available. So far, the report says the safety profile is consistent with that of Suboxone.

So RBP-6000 is like Suboxone using the delivery of Vivitrol; another injectable drug used to try and block the effects of opioids.

Big Pharma Making Big Moves

This is one sign of how Big Pharma is stepping in to make a buck off of the opioid epidemic yet again.

Indivior is the company behind RBP-6000. It was originally part of Reckitt Benckiser as the Buprenorphine division but has since split off to be a specialty pharmaceutical company. Indivior already sells Suboxone Film, a product which combines buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone is a maintenance drug widely used in America to try and curb the effects of opioid addiction and withdrawal, but Suboxone is known to have its own side-effects and withdrawals. Some even attest that Suboxone is itself addictive and very difficult to get off of.

Two months ago the share prices for Indivior took a deep hit after a U.S. court ruling clearing the way for a generic rival to Suboxone Film. So, with new competition on the way in the Suboxone market, Indivior put a renewed focus on another maintenance drug to bring to market.

Some analysts already expect that RBP-6000 could capture around 30% of the broader buprenorphine market. Some believe this new form of injectable buprenorphine could generate annual sales of around $700 million by 2021.

Jefferies sees potential sales of $1.3 billion by 2025.

So now the push for this new drug is boosting its sales prospects as competitors threaten revenues from Suboxone sales.

To learn more about why Suboxone isn’t the easier answer some people think it is, download our FREE E-BOOK

“5 Things No One Tells You About Suboxone”

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Waiting for FDA Final Ruling

This endorsement on behalf of RBP-6000 comes less than a week after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the agency’s plans to promote extensive use among opioid addicts of less harmful opioids such as methadone and buprenorphine, the active ingredient in RBP-6000.

However, some of the FDA panelists still would like to see more data about which patients should be given the higher dose. Other panelists say they would like to have it available, even though they lack of data supporting any additional benefit of higher doses. So even though the drug is shown to have side-effects in higher doses, and there is limited information on how these side-effects impact the individual, the FDA is considering to let this drug pass the grade.

The FDA’s decision is set to be made by November 30th, although typically the agency follows the recommendations of its advisory panels. So it may very well already be a done deal.

Why It Matters

Again, with respect to the importance of offering alternatives to particularly dangerous opioids like heroin or fentanyl. It is important to have resources for the purpose of preserving of life. Keeping people alive long enough to get help is crucial. But we also have to see that this is not a miracle cure.

Methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol may serve a purpose for some in a certain capacity. However, these drugs are not an adequate substitute for comprehensive addiction treatment. Each one of these methods should be accompanied by a holistic treatment plan that addresses all aspect of addiction, including emotional and mental health.

Drugs like RBP-6000 may help subdue the more serious symptoms from the physical side of addiction, but they can also present their own risks.

It is important to offer safe medical assistance, but we have to remember that these Big Pharma companies are not selling us instant cures to opioid addiction. This isn’t even the first time we have seen a new drug come out to try and treat the opioid problem from companies that are closely related or directly responsible for narcotic medications that helped fuel the issue.

Remember, there is not a quick fix for this problem. We cannot prescribe our way out of the problem. It is going to take better treatment resources beyond more medications.

Drugs like RBP-6000 from Indivior are not necessarily a bad thing, but they also may not be the kind of treatment people should focus on. Instead, there are safe medical treatment options that offer holistic resources and mental health services. A lasting recovery begins with effective treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling, please call toll-free now.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

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