Approximately three million U.S. adults and 16 million people worldwide have had or currently have an opioid use disorder, but very few get the professional treatment they deserve. One of the reasons why overcoming opioid addiction is so difficult is because people who are addicted experience painful, flu-like withdrawal symptoms and intense drug cravings when they try to stop taking opioids. These barriers often stop people from seeking treatment.
Medications like Suboxone exist to make recovery easier by reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings. When combined with behavioral therapy and counseling, Suboxone can improve treatment outcomes and reduce the risk of relapse.
If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, reach out to the admissions specialists at Arise Treatment Center today to see if Suboxone treatment in California is right for you.
What is Suboxone and How Does it Work?
Suboxone is a prescription medication that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for the treatment of opioid use disorder. The medication is intended to be used as part of a complete substance abuse treatment program that also includes behavioral therapy and counseling.
Suboxone comes in the form of a sublingual film that contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist-antagonist that blocks opiate receptors in the body, reducing physical withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone, the other ingredient, is an opiate antagonist that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. It is added to buprenorphine to reduce the abuse potential of the medication. Together, buprenorphine and naloxone work together to reduce withdrawal symptoms during detox and alleviate drug cravings for people in recovery.
In 2018, the FDA approved generic buprenorphine/naloxone sublingual films for the treatment of opioid use disorder, so there are generic forms of Suboxone, as well.
When Can Patients Start Taking Suboxone?
If you are considering taking Suboxone and discussing the medication with your healthcare provider, it’s important to be honest about your drug abuse history, including when your last dose of opioids was and what kind of opioid you used. This is because taking Suboxone too soon after taking opioids can result in painful, serious withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, severe anxiety, and digestive upset.
Generally, patients must wait 12-24 hours after their last dose of opioids before starting Suboxone. You will take 1-2 doses a day as directed by your physician. Some people only need to take Suboxone during detox while others will continue taking it during and after treatment. Like all medications, how long patients stay on Suboxone is on a case-by-case basis.
What is it Like Taking Suboxone for Opioid Addiction?
Suboxone treatment centers in California carefully monitor each patient’s prescription and medication adherence to ensure they are taking their medication correctly. When taken as directed, Suboxone is safe and effective at treating opioid addiction.
If you are at a residential addiction treatment facility, you will receive your dose early in the morning from the staff nurse. But if you are in outpatient treatment, you may be able to take your prescription home with you as long as you show up for your scheduled therapy sessions and doctor’s visits.
As a sublingual film, you’ll need to place the medication under your tongue and let it dissolve. You shouldn’t chew or swallow the film because it can reduce the efficacy of the medication. Suboxone sublingual film may have a tart or bitter taste that some people find unpleasant, but most people get used to it over time.
Suboxone may cause side effects including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Numbness or tingling in the mouth
- Dizziness or fainting
- Inability to concentrate
- Irregular heartbeat
- Back pain
If side effects become severe or persist for longer than two weeks, let your doctor know what you are experiencing. Suboxone isn’t right for everyone, and there are alternative medications you can take for opioid addiction.
What to Expect During Suboxone Treatment in California
Suboxone is most effective when combined with a holistic, comprehensive recovery program, so taking the medication daily is only a small part of the treatment. Treatment happens in three stages:
- Detox – You can begin taking Suboxone during detox to alleviate symptoms of withdrawal. Opioid detox centers offer 24-hour monitoring and medical support for your comfort and safety.
- Inpatient and outpatient rehab – You can expect to participate in a variety of group and individual therapies that are designed to help you address the root cause of your addiction. Therapies include mental health counseling to address trauma, depression, and anxiety, family and couples therapy to heal intimate relationships, and relapse prevention counseling that helps you develop healthy skills to cope in the future. Rehab may also assist with improving your physical health, career, living situation, financial positions, and more. Suboxone reduces cravings so you can focus on what is most important: your recovery!
- Aftercare – You begin navigating life in sobriety with the help of an aftercare plan. Aftercare may involve sober living, recovery coaching, 12-Step programming, alumni groups, and ongoing counseling. If you are still taking Suboxone at this point, you may also have monthly or bi-monthly doctor visits to discuss your medication, symptoms, and treatment progress.
This comprehensive, integrated approach to addiction treatment is known as “medication-assisted treatment” or MAT.
Find an Addiction Treatment Program With Suboxone in Southern California Today
Suboxone cannot cure addiction, but it can provide relief for withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making recovery more attainable for people struggling with opioid use disorder. If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids, Suboxone may be able to help you achieve a sober future. Contact our team at Arise Treatment Center today to discuss your treatment options and find out what program is right for you.