Detox Treatment Center in San Juan Capistrano, CA

California Treatment of Opiate Addiction

Opiate Addiction Recovery can be a very painful process. Under a licensed doctor there are new medications that make recovery a painless and worry free seven to ten day program. Opiates grab a hold of the brain and the spinal cord. With this in mind the brain then starts relying on the opiates instead of the brains natural resources. When the opiates are taken away the brain cannot catch up and horrible withdrawal symptoms occur almost immediately.

Now remember, the opiates attached to the spinal cord so the nervous system is full of opiates and since the brain has stopped making adrenalin and other needed chemicals, the body and mind can convulse, hallucinations will occur, bone and muscle pain are quick and extreme. Most will feel hot or have cold chills or both, nausea and vomiting and gut wrenching constipation will occur without the help of a physician. Without this help the patient could receive permanent damage to the heart or even death.

Subutex and Suboxone are now approved in the United States for the treatment of opiate addiction. These two medications contain Buprenorphine. This medication used alone does not produce the level of physical dependence as other opiate medications.

However, because Suboxone does not produce the same pleasure sensations that traditional opiates do, there has been a rise in Suboxone related overdoses in recent years. In a search to try and push this medications effect , which does not typically produce a pleasure sensation or “rush” like Heroin does, the user will ingest a high amount of Suboxone. When this happens the user will not feel a physical pleasure based high but will indeed begin to shut down the breathing patterns in the body sometimes resulting in death.

Suboxone  is the complete “out-patient” nature of the medicine itself. As of this update (February 2003) Subutex & Suboxone are still relatively rare medications and finding physicians willing to dispense the medicine can be even more difficult. OBOT- an anagram for Office Based Opiate Treatment is a brand new Federal designation allowing physicians to treat addicts legally for the first time in nearly 90 years. OBOT provides a new option to help those afflicted with an addiction problem, but as history has shown us with addiction it is a physical and emotional problem, only so much help can be provided in a simple office-visit. It should also be noted that there tends to be a knee-jerk reaction whenever a new form of treatment arises with a particular problem in that it may provide the “easy cure”.

With opiate addiction Subutex & Suboxone represent the first new medications to be introduced specifically for opiate addiction in nearly 30 years. Of course without an in house Drug Detox Program the use of these drugs are dangerous.

Is a “live in” treatment program needed after a Subutex & Suboxone assisted withdrawal?

The answer is yes. These medications only deal with that initial “first step” of getting the active opiate abuser withdrawn from daily use. Some will choose to stay on the second medication for maintenance medication.

In either scenario these drugs do not treat the reason why that person began to abuse opiates in the first place. Furthermore, there are studies that indicate that Nalaxone (an co-ingredient in Suboxone) can actually produce a reverse tolerance to strong opiates like heroin which can often end up with the user overdosing if they were to relapse and use street Heroin.

What are Subutex & Suboxone?

Subutex and Suboxone are medications approved for the treatment of opiate dependence. Both medicines contain the active ingredient, buprenorphine hydrochloride. This drug works to reduce the symptoms of opiate dependence.

Why are there two medications?

Subutex contains only buprenorphine hydrochloride. This formulation was developed as the initial product. The second medication, Suboxone contains an additional ingredient called naloxone to guard against misuse. Subutex is given during the first few days of treatment, while Suboxone is used during the maintenance phase of treatment.

What are the effects of these medications?

The most common reported side effect of Subutex and Suboxone include: cold or flu-like symptoms headaches sweating sleeping difficulties nausea mood swings. Like other opioids Subutex and Suboxone have been associated with respiratory depression (difficulty breathing) especially when combined with other depressants.

What are some Treatment Alternatives to Subutex & Suboxone?

If you are considering attempting Buprenorphine “Maintenance” or you have tried this therapy and are still abusing prescription opiates like Vicodin, Lortab, Oxy-Contin, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Demerol, Darvon, or Heroin, contact Solutions For Recovery. The Solutions for Recovery program utilizes unique therapeutic approaches which address the underlying causes of addiction in an intensive manner and from many different angles. The result is a person who has dealt with the sense of hopelessness which causes a person to get on drugs in the first place. This individual, in most cases, no longer feels the need to use drugs.