Suboxone – How to Cope with its Withdrawal? Tips and Treatments
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What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a prescription-only drug that reduces or prevents withdrawal symptoms that occur with opioid addiction. People use opioids to relieve the acute or chronic pain of severe nature. They include morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone. They act on specific sites, called opioid receptors in the brain and peripheral nerves. By changing the level of mood-altering neurotransmitters, they change the brain’s response to pain. As a result, you feel pain-free and relaxed. The major drawback of this class of pain medications is they are habit-forming. Your brain will become addicted to the euphoric feelings caused by the opioids. As a result, you will start to seek more of it to quench your cravings. That’s when a scary long-term addiction kicks off.
The woes increase when you deprive your body of the “opioid kick” as you have discontinued the opioids. Withdrawal symptoms are a host of physical and mental problems that arise after you stop taking opioids. Suboxone contains Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Doctors prescribe them to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms or prevent their occurrence.
Buprenorphine is an opioid with milder effects. Meanwhile Naloxone prevents narcotics from binding to their receptors. Why did your doctor prescribe a weaker opioid in place of the stronger ones? Doing so will make your cravings and other symptoms more manageable. On the other hand, Naloxone works to lessen the effects of opioids. It does this by preventing them from binding to opioid receptors. In essence, the combination works in a dual manner to reduce cravings and manage other withdrawal symptoms.
You have to note that Suboxone itself has some degree of abuse potential. As a result, this makes things a bit more complex. When you take Suboxone for a long time, your risk for addiction increases greatly. For many, it may seem like an endless journey. First, they have to fight against opioid addiction. Then, they have to fight against Suboxone withdrawal.
However, there are some tips and treatment strategies. They can make getting out of the Suboxone withdrawal more comfortable.
What are Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms?
Some common withdrawal symptoms of Suboxone include:
- Digestive disorders like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain
- Headaches and muscle ache
- Loss of sleep
- Increased irritation
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of concentration
How Long does Suboxone Withdrawal Last?
Well, no one has a definitive answer for this. Of course, this depends on the doses you have taken and duration of the therapy. Suboxone withdrawal can last anywhere from a few days to a month or even more in some cases. Moreover, the length of Suboxone withdrawal symptoms also depends on your personal physiology and genetic factors.
The symptoms go through a series of phases. Notably, the worst symptoms during the first three days as the drug starts leaving your bloodstream. In the next week, you will experience a combination of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. They include sleep problems, depressive thoughts, and body pains. As the time moves forward, the symptoms become less prominent. Yet, the cravings can last for up to a month.
What Can You Do During the Suboxone Withdrawal Phase
The withdrawal phase is a very difficult time to cope. Cravings will reach their pinnacle. Then you have the pain of fighting the weird withdrawal symptoms. Finally, it leaves you with a heap of problems. This is the time when your cravings can topple your achievements so far. But with little changes in thoughts and lifestyle, you can emerge a winner.
Consider following tips and strategies to become cleaner again:
- Eat Well: A balanced diet containing all essential nutrients will make sure that you maintain your overall health. No one wants to be ill while craving for the drugs. A healthy body is more likely to resist those cravings than a diseased one.
- Exercise: Exercises of any type will help ease the withdrawal symptoms while making you healthier. Also, certain exercises release mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain. As a result, it may curb your cravings for the drug.
- Sleep Well: A quality sleep is a must when you are bidding a final farewell to the addiction. When you get sleep, your brain gets enough rest. So, you wake up ready to endure another day of withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, mental problems like anxiety and depression also ease with quality sleep.
- Do not rush: You have to remember that rushing to freedom from addiction will only make things more difficult. Getting back to sobriety is a long term process. So, you need to be patient enough to achieve your treatment goal.
- Be informed: Being aware of your condition in advance will allow you more time to get prepared. This way, you can cope with the problems better. Make sure you listen to your doctor carefully and follow the instructions.
- Stay close to your friends and family: An emotional support team that comprises of close friends and family members. In fact, it’s one of the most important parts of the total Suboxone treatment plan. Talk to your friends. Share your thoughts to make yourself lighter and more cheerful.
- Stay in regular touch with your doctor: This is more important especially during the first few days of the withdrawal phase. It will be when the symptoms are at their worst. Still, scheduling routine doctor visit is necessary. this way they can track your progress and report any problems.
Suboxone detox is a difficult but an achievable goal. The outcome of a Suboxone treatment plan depends upon several factors. They include your will for recovery, length of the abuse, and efforts from your rehab team.
The road to recovery is bumpy. Thus, rehabilitation treatment is your best option to get back to your normal life. Suboxone treatment centers are experts in rehabilitating this specific subgroup of patients. They have a team of highly qualified and skilled healthcare professionals and counselors. Moreover, they will provide you all sorts of medical treatments, counseling, and follow-up cares.
Are you or anyone in your family fighting against Suboxone withdrawal or is in need of rehabilitation? Talk to the experts in the field. Click here for more.
- Blum K., Oscar-Berman M., Femino J., et al. Withdrawal from Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Maintenance with a Natural Dopaminergic Agonist: A Cautionary Note. Journal of Addiction Research and Therapy. 2013; 4(2): 10.4172/2155-6105.1000146. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000146. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3835595/.
- Westermeyer J., McCance-Katz E. F. Course and treatment of buprenorphine/naloxone withdrawal: an analysis of case reports. The American Journal on Addictions. 2012; 21(5): 401–403. doi:10.1111/j.1521-0391.2012.00259.x. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3723396/.
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