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What is Suboxone and How is it Beneficial for Opiate Withdrawal?

Suboxone, also known as Buprenorphine, is a prescription medication that was made available as an alternative to Methadone for opiate addiction treatment. Suboxone was first marketed by Reckitt Benckiser in the early 1980's as a pain reliever. They claimed that in very small doses it was more effective in treating pain than Morphine. The chemical make up of Suboxone is very similar to Morphine and Heroin but is said to not get the user "high" which is a major problem with most opiates.  Opiate addicts enjoy the "high" that the medication gives them, which can be very mentally and physically addictive.

Fast forward to the present moment and Suboxone is one of the most prescribed medications for opiate addiction treatment. Many addicts looking for help hear about how Suboxone will keep them from having withdrawals and can be taken daily in a regiment prescribed by a doctor. It works by tricking your brain into thinking it is still taking opiates without giving the "opiate" high. The main idea is that the Doctor then slowly tapers you off of the Suboxone so that there are no withdrawals. This has been beneficial to many people as it can help them get off of opiates without major physical withdrawals.

Many experts believe the medication is being over prescribed. Not in the sense of the amount of people being prescribed the medication but in the terms of dosage per day and length of time on the medication. Many experts say that Suboxone should be a short-term medication (20-30 days with tapering every few days) but some patients have been prescribed for multiple years with no plans of being taken off. This presents many problems for patients due to the very high price of the medication. Many insurance companies do not cover Suboxone and those who do not have insurance are looking at paying anywhere from $200-$500 for a month supply, not to mention having to pay a Doctor.

Suboxone helps to alleviate the physical addiction to opiates, but not the emotional addiction which is very important to understand.  Suboxone is not a miracle cure. It's still going to take time for your brain to adjust, and you must be emotionally prepared to get off of any powerful drug such as opiates, Methadone, or Suboxone.  Being mentally prepared is going to be one of the most important parts of recovery.  Before you go the doctor and try to get on a Suboxone program, please research the medication and educate yourself on what you are getting yourself into.


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