People around the country have noticed a growing epidemic of the misuse of opioids. In 2016, about 2.1 million people in the United States depended on or misused opioids, including medication to reduce or eliminate pain. If used incorrectly, these medications can turn into an addiction. In some cases, when an individual misuses or abruptly stops using opioids, their withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating and could cause long-term depression. Luckily, there are forms of treatment to help reduce the side effects opioid withdrawal and to overcome opioid addiction, such as Suboxone®. Suboxone® is comprised of a combination of two active ingredients: naloxone and buprenorphine. These active ingredients play an integral role in preventing relapse. However, some individuals aren’t completely aware of the advantages of Suboxone®. Thus, it’s important for individuals to understand the benefits and effective impacts Suboxone® can provide for those who are recovering from an opioid addiction. Here are some of the common myths surrounding Suboxone® debunked.
Myth 1: “Suboxone® is a Gateway to Other Addictions”
Those who are not familiar with how opioid withdrawal prescription medications work or who may not be aware of the importance of these medications in opioid withdrawal treatment often assume that Suboxone® is another prescription drug that serves as a gateway to further addiction with other prescription medications. However, the common saying that medication-assisted treatment replaces one drug with another is wrong and explains the resistance to this treatment. Suboxone® is a common form of medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction treatment and is approved by the FDA. There are also several reliable facilities that provide opioid addiction treatment with the help of Suboxone®, including AppleGate Recovery.
Myth 2: “Suboxone® Gives the Same high as Heroin”
Another popular myth about Suboxone® is that it can cause a highly euphoric state in those who take the medication. While Suboxone® may create a slight euphoric effect that can make some individuals tired, it has a much weaker side effect than the elevated state of euphoria that heroin provides. In fact, most individuals do not report having this feeling after taking Suboxone® because the patient works with their physician to find the appropriate dose.
Myth 3: “You Can Overdose on Suboxone®”
It is very difficult to overdose on Suboxone® alone when compared to other opiates. This is due to the fact that Suboxone® is only a partial opiate receptor agonist, which means that it is a prescription medication that only activates certain parts of the brain with a less intense effect than full agonist opioids, such as morphine or oxycodone. Those who attempt to overdose on Suboxone® may encounter a “ceiling effect”. However, there is a limit on how much opioid receptors are able to be activated by the drug, which makes it less likely for those taking Suboxone® to overdose. This is because the naloxone helps to prevent misuse and causes withdrawal symptoms in the event that someone tries to inject Suboxone®. It also deters people from using other illicit opioids.
Myth 4: “Suboxone® Should Only Be Used for a Short Time”
Practitioners have different views on how long an individual should use Suboxone®. However, there is no supporting evidence that dictates the length of time Suboxone® should be used. However, those prescribed to this medication should follow the recommended time and amounts their doctor prescribes, and let their doctor know if they have any questions or concerns.
Reducing or eliminating the stigma surrounding Suboxone® requires debunking common myths. By helping individuals understand the effectiveness of Suboxone® in treating opioid addiction and that Suboxone® also helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms, these individuals can take advantage of enhanced recovery options for long-term recovery.