Every case of opioid addiction is unique, and the addiction recovery tools that work for one individual might not work as well for someone else. For this reason, it is important to consider all potential options. If you have been struggling with an addiction to heroin, prescription painkillers, or any other opioid narcotic, Suboxone could be very beneficial in early recovery. Suboxone is a maintenance medication, meaning that it is used to help alleviate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal – including the intense psychological cravings that drive many individuals to relapse within the first few months of sobriety.
Suboxone is a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine, and it is most frequently prescribed in a medical detox or inpatient treatment setting. Many benefits result from taking this medication as part of a comprehensive opioid addiction treatment program. However, there are also several setbacks. Take a look at the pros and cons involved in Suboxone maintenance.
Pros of Suboxone Maintenance
When it comes to Suboxone maintenance, there are many benefits. Along with a significant reduction in acute and post-acute withdrawal symptoms, one of the biggest benefits of Suboxone is its ability to eliminate psychological cravings. Intense cravings are responsible for the vast majority of early recovery relapses, and if they can be successfully quelled, the potential for relapse is diminished significantly.
It can also be difficult for individuals who are new to sobriety to focus their attention on their recovery program if they are suffering from symptoms of post-acute opioid withdrawal. Suboxone diminishes these symptoms, freeing up patients to focus their full attention on their recovery, and ultimately helping them pave a solid road to long-term recovery.
Cons of Suboxone Maintenance
Individuals who take Suboxone as part of a comprehensive treatment program are liable to experience some side effects. Very few medications are completely free of physical and psychological side effects – for this reason, Suboxone is always prescribed short-term and is never considered a long-term solution for opioid abuse or addiction. Some of the side effects of this medication include:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Insomnia or other sleep-related disorders
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Stomach issues, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Impaired coordination
The physical and psychological side effects are not the only con. In some instances, Suboxone can be abused. When used in a medically monitored detox or inpatient treatment environment, abusing Suboxone is very difficult seeing as all use is closely monitored. Individuals can abuse this medication when it is not being administered by a medical professional, however. It is important to note that contrary to popular belief, using Suboxone is not “replacing one addiction with another.” This medication has proven effective in the maintenance of sobriety during early recovery.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence
At Recreate Life Counseling, we utilize medication-assisted treatment (MAT) whenever we deem that doing so is necessary. We never utilize Suboxone as a long-term solution to opioid addiction, and we always combine MAT with a wide variety of other proven recovery methodologies. Our therapeutic program is grounded in the group and individual therapy sessions, all geared towards helping our clients develop and maintain the skills they need to remain sober and avoid relapse for the remainder of their lives.
If you or someone you love has been affected by the nationwide opioid epidemic, we at Recreate Life Counseling are available to help. We understand the severity of opioid addiction and we are thoroughly familiar with all available and effective treatment options, including MAT. To learn more about our program of recovery, please feel free to reach out to us today – we look forward to speaking with you soon.