The numbers surrounding opioid addiction are staggering. To wit, 130 Americans die because of an opioid overdose every day. More eye-opening is the fact that 80% of heroin users started by misusing prescription painkillers. This means that opioid addiction affects millions of people, regardless of social or economic status, making it an equal opportunity problem.
At Ferguson Family Medicine, our goal is to help our patients in Mesa, Arizona, lead happy, healthy lives. If addiction is part of the landscape, we have the tools you need to break free from the problem, and Suboxone is one such tool that puts you firmly on the road to recovery.
Here’s a look at how Suboxone can help you or your loved one effectively put opioid addiction in the past.
The opioid problem
The hold that opioids can have on your physical and mental health cannot be underestimated, which is what makes the substance so highly addictive. Opioids attach themselves to receptors in your brain, creating a pleasurable effect, enough so that your brain rewires itself to receive more of the drug. Thus, an addiction begins.
As the opioids take over your brain, you’re left with uncontrollable cravings and the inability to stop. But this addiction is only half the equation. Opioid use also leads to dependency, which means your body goes into withdrawal when you take opioids away.
And the physical withdrawal symptoms from opioids can be awful, with flu-like effects and body aches that send even the strongest-willed back to using to find relief from withdrawal.
Between these withdrawal symptoms and the hold that opioids have on your brain, quitting opioid use is a tough road. And that’s where Suboxone comes in.
A leg up with Suboxone
There are two active ingredients in Suboxone: buprenorphine and naloxone. The first ingredient, buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which blocks the opiate receptors in your brain, thereby reducing your cravings and reducing or eliminating withdrawal symptoms. The second ingredient, naloxone, works as a deterrent to keep the patient from abusing (snorting and/or mainlining) the medication.
In other words, Suboxone delivers enough of the opioid to offset withdrawal but prevents the drug from having an effect on your brain’s wiring. The net effect is the patient is able to carry out the normal functions of daily living without the withdrawal symptoms. This will allow us to figuratively walk the patient down this mountain of addiction by slowly reducing their dose over time. This combination of ingredients eases the way through withdrawal and helps to prevent relapse by interrupting your brain’s wiring and the demand for more.
How effective is Suboxone?
It’s impossible to put a number or guarantee on how effective Suboxone is for kicking opioids. Getting yourself disentangled from an all-encompassing addiction requires a commitment to the process and using all of the tools available, including therapy, both individual and group (think 12-step meetings).
Suboxone does a great job of getting you through the first, and arguably the hardest, step of breaking an addiction. So, in that regard, Suboxone is highly effective. The next steps are yours to make. Rest assured, we’re here to help through every step, and we’re committed to your road to recovery.
To learn more about breaking free of opioid addiction with Suboxone, please give us a call at (480) 685-8007.