If you have been struggling with opiate addiction, your doctor may recommend suboxone treatment. This is a medication you can take to help ease the withdrawal symptoms you will typically experience as you cease to use your drug of choice. However, you probably have a few questions you'd like answered before you start using the medication. Below, you'll likely find those questions — along with answers.
1. How does suboxone work without making you feel high?
Suboxone works by binding to your opiate receptors, much like heroin or morphine would to those receptors. This is how it prevents you from feeling withdrawal symptoms — those symptoms are the result of having your receptors unbound. In binding to the receptors, however, suboxone does not make you feel high like morphine or heroine would. As such, you are not feeling the addictive high experience you would get with other opiates, but you are avoiding the withdrawal symptoms you would get if you quit using completely.
2. Will you get addicted to suboxone?
This is a common concern among patients. They fear that by using suboxone, they are just trading one addiction for another. For a time, yes, you will basically feel addicted to or dependent on suboxone, as taking it will keep you from experiencing nausea, headaches, etc. However, you won't be taking suboxone alone. Rather, you'll be taking it as a part of a bigger treatment plan enacted by your team or doctors and counselors. The goal will be to wean you off of suboxone slowly, over time, in a way that minimizes withdrawal symptoms. So while you may initially feel addicted, the approach essentially breaks through that addiction.
3. Are there risks of taking suboxone?
As with any medication, there is some risk of side effects. Occasionally, patients experience shortness of breath, profound drowsiness, or a rash when taking suboxone. However, if you have been taking other opiates without these side effects, the risk of experiencing them with suboxone is very low. Rather, taking suboxone is often seen as the least risky way to withdraw from opiates as it helps prevent extreme nausea, chills, headache, and suicidal thoughts experienced by patients who quit cold turkey.
If you have any additional questions about suboxone treatment, don't hesitate to ask your doctor. They typically want to make sure their patients are well aware and informed before beginning a treatment protocol with this medication.