Narcotic Dependence Treatment with Suboxone
Narcotics (opioids) addiction is an epidemic claiming almost two thirds of drug overdoses in the United States and around 90 lives every day. When used correctly, prescription narcotics can make post-surgery or severe injury pain more manageable by reducing perceptions of pain and stimulating feelings of pleasure. Due to the highly addictive nature of opioids, however, dependence grows quickly, with the odds of you still using them a year later increasing after just five days of usage.
There are different types of narcotics that may be prescribed by your doctor and must be used as directed, including:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Heroin is an illegal, synthetic narcotic that will never be prescribed by a medical provider and should be avoided at all costs.
How Does Narcotic Dependence Occur?
When you are hurt, pain receptors release neurotransmitters with a message through the spinal cord to your brain, and then back down as a response in the form of “Ouch!” When narcotics are ingested, the opioid attaches to the nervous system’s receptors to swap the intended message for an excessive release of dopamine, making you feel relief. This feeling can be quite exhilarating, resulting in the brain naturally wanting to elicit this response again – the first step in possibly gaining dependence.
Succumbing to this desire only makes it harder to come back from with each misuse. Consequences and side effects range, but commonly include constipation and nausea. Other possible side effects of taking narcotics are:
- Drastic weight loss
- Respiratory complications
- Decreased heart rate
- Flu-like symptoms
If you have been using opioids and feel like you may be experiencing these symptoms, consult with your doctor for more information, treatment options, and programs.
How Suboxone Helps with Narcotic Dependence
Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) is a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) prescribed by your doctor to help treat narcotic dependence, in addition to other treatment programs. It’s a dissolvable film that is placed on the tongue and works to steady the effects of withdrawal as a user goes through a detoxification process.
Suboxone has two main ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that blocks receptors and produces mild opioid effects, reducing withdrawal symptoms. The second part of the medication, naloxone, is the opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of its counterpart, reducing the effects and acting as a deterrent for misuse.
Is Suboxone Right for Me?
Suboxone is part of a complete treatment program to give you the best chance at recovery. It may be right for you if you have been diagnosed with opioid use disorder (OUD) and have begun your detoxification process. It may not be right for you if you are allergic to buprenorphine and naloxone or actively consume opioid medicines, benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants.
While it is used to help taper reliance on narcotics, it can lead to more dependence if used against your medical provider’s instructions. Talk with your doctor before, during, and after being prescribed Suboxone and maintain full disclosure of all health and lifestyle facts.
Narcotics dependence and addiction is very serious and far too often leads to overdose. You have options and a team at Neuro Behavioral Center ready to help you understand and create a plan that increases your likelihood of recovery. We have the knowledge and passion to help you get back on track and the support to keep you there. Call us at our office in Walpole, Massachusetts, at (508) 660-1666, or schedule an appointment online.