You can get addicted to opioids – if you’re not taking your medications according to the prescribed directions, or you’re using them to get high, or you’re taking someone else’s opioids.
Opioid abuse is a serious problem. It takes more than a willpower to get rid of painkiller drug abuse. However, proper treatment and counselling can help people skip the cycle of detox and relapse.
How to treat opioid addiction?
Like other chronic diseases, such as heart disease or asthma, drug addiction isn’t curable but can be managed. Proper treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s disruptive effects on their brain and behaviour and regain control of their lives. Treatments for opioid addiction include:
- Medicines such as buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®), methadone, and extended-release naltrexone (Vivitrol®)
- Counselling and behavioural therapies
- Medication-assisted therapy (MAT), which includes medicines, counselling, and behavioural therapies.
- Residential and hospital-based treatment
Opioid withdrawal can take hours to several days – and sometimes weeks. It depends on a drug you were taking, how long you took it and how much.
Symptoms of Opioid withdrawal
Long-term use of prescription drugs affects almost every part of your body’s systems. When you cut off the opioid supply, you’re likely to get withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Craving for drugs
- Large pupils
- Chills and goosebumps
- Belly pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Body aches
- Agitation and severe bad moods
IS Suboxone the right medicine?
Healthcare providers manage opioid addiction with medication-assisted treatments. Medicines allow you to regain a normal state of mind and reduce the issues of craving and withdrawal. The most common medications used for opioid dependency are naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine (Suboxone). These medications help opioid abusers to stay sober while reducing the craving which can lead to relapse and lessens the side effects too.
Suboxone treatment – Suboxone is used to complement the counselling, education and support measures of medication assistant treatment. Suboxone was approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat opioid abusers.
It has numerous advantages over other medications – naltrexone and methadone. Buprenorphine suppresses withdrawal symptoms and craving for opioids far better than other drugs. Moreover, it doesn’t lead to the sense of euphoria in the patient dependent on opioids. Since Buprenorphine does not cause euphoria in opioid abusers, chances of getting addicted to it are lower than methadone.
Side effects of Suboxone/ Buprenorphine
Doctors’ usually prescribe a low dose of suboxone initially. This dose can be adjusted according to the needs. Make sure to take the dose as prescribed by your doctor. Suboxone can make you feel drowsy, consult your doctor ASAP if drowsiness continues to be a problem for you. You may need to take suboxone for days, months, or years according to the requirement to prevent relapse. Some of the side-effects of suboxone are:
1)Headaches, body aches, and cold or flu
6)Sleep problems including tiredness
7)Upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhoea
Make sure that you don’t decrease or increase your dosage by yourself to avoid any long-term side-effect.