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What to Expect During Suboxone Treatment

a patient asks her doctor about how does suboxone treatment work

Living with opioid use disorder (OUD) can make life seem bleak, and you may feel there is no way out of your addiction. OUD is highly stigmatized and often viewed as a problem that mainly affects poor people who choose a lifestyle of drugs and do not have the willpower to stop. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Opioid use disorder impacts people from all walks of life, most of whom find themselves consumed by opioid addiction without understanding how they got there. The nation’s current opioid epidemic is a direct consequence of the overuse of prescription painkillers, which doctors were led to believe were safe and nonaddictive.

If you have asked yourself, “how does suboxone treatment work?” you are not alone in wondering about this treatment. Suboxone treatment is widely misunderstood as an approach that promotes trading one addictive substance for another. It allows people to safely and effectively overcome OUD and co-occurring disorders. MD M.A.T.T. in Frederick provides suboxone treatment in person and via telehealth services. Reach out to our team at 410.816.9457 to see if you can benefit from Suboxone treatment.

What Is Suboxone Treatment?

Have you wondered, “how does suboxone treatment work?” OUD is challenging to overcome because opioids rewire the brain to focus almost exclusively on their need, resulting in extreme cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with Suboxone helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone that chemically work together to reduce the intensity of cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It does so by binding to the receptors in the brain that crave opioids but not activating them to create the “high” associated with opioid use.

Suboxone contains 20% naloxone and 80% buprenorphine, which work in the following ways:

  • Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that attaches to opioid receptors to block and reverse the effects of other opioids.
  • Buprenorphine is a partial agonist, which targets the same receptors as opioids but binds to them more tightly, thus dulling the euphoric effects.

Opioid agonists like heroin, oxycodone, and morphine, activate pain-blocking receptors in the brain and release immense amounts of endorphins that mimic euphoria. This “opioid effect” pushes many toward dependency and subsequent addiction because their brain wants to seek that rush of endorphins continually.

By blocking the brain receptors that crave opioids, Suboxone prevents the brain from sending signals that cause cravings and withdrawal symptoms. If other opioids are used while on Suboxone, they will not create the desired “high.”

Suboxone Treatment Side Effects

As with most medications, Suboxone does have potential side effects, including:

  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Back pain
  • General opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Numb mouth or painful tongue
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Back pain
  • General opioid withdrawal symptoms

For most people using Suboxone, side effects will be mild and temporary as your body adjusts to the dosage. These common side effects generally go away within the first few days or a couple of weeks. If any side effects persist or worsen, you must contact your doctor.

Serious side effects of Suboxone are rare but can occur. These may include:

  • Liver damage
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms
  • Allergic reactions
  • Respiratory problems
  • Hormonal problems
  • Coma
  • Abuse or dependence

It is vital to note Suboxone abuse or dependence is rare, while the therapeutic effects are substantial. Suboxone is not a cure-all, but it saves lives, primarily when utilized as a part of a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment program.

Learn More About Suboxone Treatment at MD M.A.T.T.

The highly-trained and experienced treatment team at MD M.A.T.T. understands the unique challenges of treating OUD. We specialize in creating individualized treatment plans using Suboxone-focused MAT. We bring medicine, technology, and community together to help patients overcome OUD while receiving therapy to address the underlying mental health issues associated with addiction.

Suboxone treatment helps patients overcome OUD and experience lasting recovery as part of an integrated, comprehensive treatment plan. If you are still wondering, “how does suboxone treatment work?” Contact us at 410.816.9457 to learn more about Suboxone treatment and if it could be right for you.