Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride dihydrate. The drug, which has recently been approved for the treatment of opiate addiction can help by alleviating the withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate addiction. Suboxone detox requires the commitment to sobriety from the individual but helps to curb cravings and reduce the withdrawal symptoms that are felt making opiate detox easier to maintain.
Who Should Try Suboxone Detox
Although Suboxone detox is not for everyone, those who suffer from an addiction to opiates such as heroin, OxyContin, Percocet or Methadone can benefit greatly from Suboxone detox. Suboxone detox is solely used to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms and will not work for people who are addicted to other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine or alcohol. Suboxone detox centers can help an addict to determine if they are a good candidate for Suboxone treatment or if another form of treatment may be more beneficial.
For some people who use opiates, the drug should be tapered off before beginning a Suboxone detox program. If high doses of heroin or methadone are currently being used then it is advisable that the doses be lowered before beginning the Suboxone detox for best results and reduced chance of relapse.
How Suboxone Detox Works
Suboxone is administered in a pill form that is dissolved under the tongue. The pills usually take about 10 minutes to dissolve but can take longer if the mouth is dry. To speed up the process you can drink some water just before placing the Suboxone pills under the tongue to assure that the mouth is moist.
When you begin Suboxone detox you must already be experiencing mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms in order for the Suboxone to work most effectively. For those who take Suboxone before they are experiencing opiate withdrawal symptoms the Suboxone will cause withdrawal symptoms similar to opiate withdrawal which can be very uncomfortable which is why you must already be feeling withdrawal symptoms before taking the first dose of Suboxone.
Suboxone Detox Dosing
The doctor will determine how much Suboxone you need to take during Suboxone detox by asking you questions about your drug use. It’s important that you answer all questions truthfully in order to get the best possible Suboxone detox treatment and care. Once the doctor has determined the smallest possible dose of Suboxone that you need to stabilize and not feel any opiate withdrawal symptoms you will take this dosage for a specified period of time and then gradually wean off of the Suboxone. Suboxone treatment can last anywhere from a week to a month or more depending on the decision made between you and your physician as to how you wish to be treated.
Side Effects of Suboxone Detox
Suboxone detox can have similar side effects to an opiate detox but the side effects are usually not as severe as with a traditional or cold turkey opiate detox. The following side effects are commonly reported during Suboxone detox:
- Flu like symptoms
- Cold symptoms
- Mood Swings or irritability
When Suboxone detox is undergone and other depressants are taken the drug can result in respiratory depression. If you experience a difficulty breathing it is important to discuss this with your Suboxone detox physician immediately so that another route to opiate detox can be considered.
Risks Associated with Suboxone Detox
Suboxone detox has similar risks to other maintenance or medication based detox programs in that it is possible for the addict to become addicted to the Suboxone as a result of long term use. Additionally, Suboxone has not been thoroughly tested and studied for use during pregnancy and in similar situations. Some long term side effects of Suboxone detox may not yet be known as the drug is still relatively new on the market. As with any type of medication, the risks associated with the medication should largely be weighed before making a final decision for Suboxone treatment.