What Is Suboxone Treatment?

Suboxone is one of several medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat drug and alcohol use disorders. For people working to overcome an addiction to opioids, Suboxone treatment can make lifelong recovery more achievable.

How Suboxone Works

Since Suboxone is designed to treat addiction to opioids, it combines two medications—buprenorphine and naloxone—that target opioids’ effects on the body.

Buprenorphine is a medicine designed to treat pain without the addictive properties of pain medications like morphine. Because buprenorphine works on the same brain receptors that opioids do, it lessens painful withdrawal symptoms in a body and brain that’s accustomed to opioids. However, buprenorphine has a much milder effect than opioids themselves, so those who take Suboxone won’t experience the extreme good feelings or “high” that can lead to addiction. Buprenorphine also has a “ceiling effect” or upper limit (after a high enough dosage, the opioid effects don’t increase), which reduces the risk of overdose.

Naloxone is a medicine that works against opioids, blocking and reversing the damage of any opioid overdoses. Since overdoses can be deadly, and even nonfatal overdoses can do medical damage, the combination of naloxone and buprenorphine may save the lives of people who relapse during Suboxone treatment.

Participants in Suboxone rehab typically take the medication as a film that dissolves under the tongue.

Who Needs a Suboxone Addiction Treatment Program?

Suboxone treatment programs are a form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), where clients receive targeted medications along with behavioral therapy, primary care, and social support. Suboxone treatment can be offered on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on your needs.

Though Suboxone won’t be right for everyone’s recovery, it can benefit people in certain circumstances. A Suboxone addiction treatment center may help you if you:

  • Regularly use opioids like heroin, hydrocodone, or fentanyl
  • Have developed an addiction to pain medication like morphine or oxycodone
  • Tried and failed to stop using opioids without the aid of medication
  • Have overdosed on opioids before
  • Are you ready to stop opioid use for good, but you’re not able to commit to a residential program

It’s important to note that while Suboxone can cause dependency, Suboxone use doesn’t result in swapping one addiction for another. Clients take the medication under the direction of a doctor, and Suboxone is much safer than opioids. Because Suboxone reduces the physical discomfort of withdrawal, clients are better able to focus on relationships, employment, and other aspects of rebuilding their lives.

The length of Suboxone treatment varies depending on the individual. The drug is safe to use for months or even years, but some clients are able to discontinue use on a shorter timetable. Once you’ve achieved stability on Suboxone, your doctor may decide to lower your dosage to a “maintenance dose” or taper you off the medication entirely.

What to Expect During Suboxone Rehab

When you begin Suboxone treatment, you’ll meet with a medical professional who will supervise your first dose. You won’t start on Suboxone until 12 to 24 hours after your last opioid use, and you’ll begin with a smaller dose which the doctor may increase as needed.

You should feel relief from withdrawal symptoms a few hours after you take Suboxone, though the adjustment period varies depending on individual factors like weight and history of drug use. Suboxone’s effects typically last for 24 hours, so you’ll only need to take the medication once a day.

Unlike some other MAT medications like methadone, Suboxone can be prescribed for clients to take at home. This may be an option for clients attending Suboxone rehab on an outpatient basis once they’ve achieved stability and reduced cravings.

Federal law requires Suboxone treatment programs to include counseling and therapy. Behavioral counseling is often just as important to recovery as medication, and therapy can be a great way to examine the causes of your addiction and develop a strong peer support system. Treatment may also include resources to help with the logistics of recovery, like housing and employment assistance.

Suboxone Treatment at Lotus Recovery Centers

Does Suboxone rehab sound right for you or a loved one? Lotus Recovery Centers offer comprehensive Suboxone treatment at our West Virginia and Delaware locations. Both residential and outpatient clients can participate.

Our medical staff will be there for you during detox, maintenance, and the ongoing work of recovery. Individual and group therapy sessions are part of the program, including a range of therapy techniques, like cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing, to meet everyone’s needs.

We’re committed to helping as many clients as possible, and we accept both Medicaid and private insurance. Don’t let cost be a barrier to high-quality treatment. Contact us at 833.922.1615 or online to find out more.