Opioid addiction is more than just a behavior, it’s a developed dependency. Getting off of an opioid can be a major struggle when the brain has changed due to long-term use. Brain scans have shown changes in the brain makeup of opiate addicts, mainly in the parts that control decisions, judgment, and behaviors. These are all crucial areas for gaining control over a dependency. It’s as if the circuits of the brain have been rewired; these changes result in compulsive use and cravings, similar to the way we all crave food to survive. Although Suboxone treatment can help, unfortunately, opiate use is often destructive and debilitating, and the instinct to use is painfully hard to break.
The changes that have occurred in the brain aren’t permanent per se, but will not revert to their previous state quickly after the use of opioids has ceased. Cravings can still occur months or even years after the user has stopped. Even if someone is strong enough to stop using altogether without aid, these strong craving can come on unexpectedly, bringing about discomfort and even relapse. Because of this, addiction or dependency to opioids is a long-term condition benefiting from watchful treatment.
Suboxone Treatment Can Help
In order to ease symptoms and break free for good, a drug like Suboxone can be used. Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) is a sublingual film, meaning it’s administered under the tongue. It works because buprenorphine attaches itself to the same receptors as opioids. In doing so, withdrawal symptoms are quashed and the risk of cravings is lowered significantly. In the past, buprenorphine has been used as an intravenous painkiller, so there was cause for concern over possible abuse. Naloxone was added to help prevent abuse; if someone if were to try injecting it, withdrawal symptoms would likely occur. Naloxone is inactive when taken by mouth, and passes through the gastrointestinal system without side effects. However, when injected, it has an opposite effect on opioids, bringing on those unwanted symptoms. It’s even used in emergency rooms to reverse opioids in the case of overdose.
This drug comes in very useful for people who have the urge to abuse any type of medication, and people with opioid dependency often have that trait. It’s often difficult to start a medication with the potential for abuse when you’re not sure you can trust yourself, or when your doctor doesn’t feel comfortable prescribing it. Suboxone removes that cause for worry altogether.
This medication is a wonderful breakthrough for opioid addiction treatment. It takes so much of the strain off by suppressing unpleasant side effects for someone who wants to get clean. No matter how much someone can desire to end their dependency, the brain can have other plans, making the path to recovery very unpleasant and strenuous.
With help, saying goodbye to opioids for good can be completely attainable, and easier than ever. Addiction Outreach Clinic is a Suboxone Clinic in Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Whether treatment is for you, a family member or a friend, we are happy to speak with you about our outpatient drug treatment program, and how AOC can help patients with their opioid addiction recovery. Since 2007, AOC has helped thousands of patients on their path to recovery.