Since the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services (HHS) has started to fight the opioid addiction crisis, there has been a 4.1% reduction in drug overdose deaths and a 142% increase in patients receiving medication-assisted treatment. Currently, the HHS estimates that 1.27 million Americans receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Suboxone is one type of medication-assisted treatment 一 and it’s available here at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health in Newport Beach, California.
Below, board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Hadi Estakhri discusses what Suboxone is and how it can help control your addiction.
What is Suboxone?
Despite the myths, addictions are not a matter of willpower. Addictions are chronic (but treatable) medical diseases. In particular, opioid addictions can be particularly difficult (if not impossible) to overcome on your own because of intense cravings and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. That’s where medication-assisted treatments come into play. These treatments address the cravings and the withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone is one type of MAT designed to help people overcome opioid addictions by curbing cravings and reducing withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone is the brand name for a medication that contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone is available in two forms: a dissolvable tablet and a sublingual film, which dissolves under your tongue.
How Suboxone helps control your addiction
Drugs such as heroin, oxycodone, and morphine are considered opioid agonists. This means these drugs interact with the pain-blocking receptors in your brain and trigger pleasure. Suboxone helps to control your addiction thanks to how the two ingredients 一 buprenorphine and naloxone 一 interact with your brain. The main active ingredient, buprenorphine, is a partial agonist as well as a long-acting opioid.
On the other hand, naloxone is an opioid antagonist 一 the opposite of an opioid agonist. As an opioid antagonist, naloxone works by binding to the same receptors in the brain as other opiates, and in doing so, counteracts the effects of the opioids.
Together, these two active elements in Suboxone work to:
- Reduce cravings
- Reduce symptoms of withdrawal
- Help you transition away from the cycles of cravings and withdrawal
In other words, Suboxone blocks the “opioid effect” caused by taking opioids.
Suboxone is just one component of your recovery
While Suboxone can be a game-changer for those struggling with cravings and withdrawal symptoms, Suboxone (or any other MAT option) is just one component of your recovery journey. It’s important to address the underlying causes of your substance use disorder so that you can grasp it.
One in four individuals with a serious mental health disorder also has a substance use disorder, so you may also benefit from treating any other co-occurring mental health disorders. Dr. Estakhri treats a variety of mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia.
Depending on your specific needs, a full recovery treatment plan includes:
- Evidence-based treatments for any co-occurring disorders
- Lifestyle changes
- Other MAT options, such as Vivitrol
- Support groups
- Recovery coaching
Each recovery journey is unique, and Dr. E helps you make educated decisions at every step of your journey. If you think Suboxone may be right for you, request an appointment today and take the first step toward recovery! You can also reach us at 949-258-7135.