Opioid use and abuse are not new problems, but it is a problem that has seen an uptick in the past decade or so. Opioids are prescription medications that are given to those in a hospital or prescribed by a doctor to use at home. They include morphine, Percocet, Demerol, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, and Codeine. When these drugs are prescribed and used as they are intended to be, they can bring a great amount of pain relief to those with physical ailments or those who have undergone a procedure.
The problem comes when these medications are used outside of those scenarios. Or used for longer than a doctor intended. Opioids are incredibly addictive and can severely impact your health and the quality and length of your life. When someone becomes addicted to Opioids, they often prioritize it over everything else. Getting their hands on the next batch is all that matters. They neglect important and necessary parts of their lives in order to secure what they want and need.
Deciding to quit and detox from Opioids is an important and valuable decision — but not a simple one. Opioids are so incredibly addictive and come with severe withdrawal symptoms. This is what makes quitting these drugs so difficult and why so many people who want to quit end up relapsing.
Symptoms of withdrawal from these drugs include:
- High blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
- Fast heartbeat
- Body aches
- Belly cramps
These symptoms all depend on how long you have been using the drug and several other factors. They can last for a few weeks, but are incredibly difficult to deal with on your own or without professional help1https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/opioids/signs-of-opioid-abuse.html.
Thankfully, there are methods that have been developed to help those going through this process due so successfully. Medication-Assisted Treatment is a method used to help those with problems like Opioid addictions work their way through the withdrawal phase. Suboxone and Suboxone Clinics are one of these life-changing methods and medications.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a prescription medication that is intended to alleviate opioid addiction and dependence on the drug. Suboxone is a combination of two different drugs. Buprenorphine and Naloxone. It works by not completely taking away the feelings and euphoria that those addicted to Opioids are addicted to.
Opioids attach themselves to certain receptors in our brains. This is how the pain you feel when you take an Opioid is temporarily relieved. These pain receptors are infiltrated by the Opioids and therefore your body and mind cannot make the pain connection. Suboxone works because it also attaches itself to those receptors, but only to a certain amount. Users do not experience the exact same relief of pain or euphoria that they get with Opioids, but the feelings of euphoria and pain relief are present enough to make cravings go away and keep withdrawal symptoms from occurring.
The idea of the Suboxone Clinic was created to help those seeking out assistance have an easy-to-find, consolidated location to receive it. Suboxone is not the only medication available to those seeking out assistance and is typically seen as one for those with slightly less severe withdrawal symptoms2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855417/. Those with the most severe withdrawal symptoms will likely be prescribed something like Methadone and their treatment program and schedule will look different than someone who is using Suboxone.
A Suboxone clinic is somewhere you go, usually an out-patient clinic, to visit a doctor who specializes in addiction, receive your medication, and attend counseling and other forms of therapeutic activities. The therapy and counseling will depend on the specific program you attend and the severity of your issue.
What to Expect at a Suboxone Clinic
When you arrive at the clinic for the first time, you will be meeting with various healthcare providers to discuss your scenario, so that they can grasp how severe your addiction and withdrawal symptoms are. You will fill out an intake form, just as if you were having a regular doctor’s appointment. Once the healthcare team has enough of a grasp on your profile and situation, they will create an individualized care plan specifically made for you.
This can be adjusted as you go along if something is not working well. You will then receive a prescription for Suboxone. This will be based on your history and symptoms and can also be adjusted as you move along through the program. You will then follow your doctor’s directions on how often to take the medication. Depending on your situation, you may be required to go to the clinic every day to receive your medication or you could be given a certain amount to take home.
People can earn certain privileges as they move along through the program if they are following their care plan. These privileges can be having to come in fewer times per week or month for medication dispersion.
The length of time you are expected to stay in a Suboxone treatment program depends on you and your situation. Most patients should stay in the program for at least one year to ensure that they do not develop any symptoms or cravings that make them want to relapse. Some patients may stay in a treatment program for a much longer period of time. It all depends on you and what your specific needs are.
Whenever you decide to stop the program, your healthcare provider will slowly decrease and taper off the amount of Suboxone you are prescribed. Hopefully, by the time it is lowered to nothing, you have developed enough resistance that no symptoms or cravings will develop.
A Suboxone clinic may not be for everyone. Medication-assisted treatment is incredibly helpful for those with severe withdrawal symptoms from opioids, but Suboxone is not the only medication offered for these processes. Many experts say that Suboxone is perfect for those who have severe enough withdrawal symptoms that they need MAT, but not so much that they have to be in a clinic every day. Those with the most severe of symptoms often use Methadone. Both are extremely effective treatments and your doctor can decide if Suboxone is the best MAT option for you.
References: Suboxone Clinic
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