For a number of years, those individuals who were dealing with an opioid addiction, the only method of treatment was to visit a methadone clinic daily. While this method was proven effective, it had a downside: taking time out every day to visit the clinic; the stigma associated with visiting a clinic; a loss of privacy and close doctor/patient relationship in the treatment of the addiction.
Of course, without following these methods, the patient either needed to stay on the opioid, or deal with the symptoms of withdrawal, which could include rapid breathing, incessant yawning, crying, hyperactivity, sense of heightened alertness, agitation, an increased heart rate, fever, dilated pupils, gooseflesh, tremors, muscle twitching, hot and cold flashes, aching muscles, appetite loss, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
When SUBOXONE was approved for use in the treatment of opioid addictions, many patients and doctors recognized the value that it would add to treatments. Studies not only identified that the drug was an effective first line treatment for opioid addiction; it was also proven to be an effective home-based treatment that could eliminate the daily clinic visits.
While every patient is different and reactions will vary according to a number of variables, the overwhelming majority of those sharing their experience with SUBOXONE have been positive. One patient in particular noted her excitement for leaving the methadone clinic behind while also relieving all cravings for opioids. Some side effects were noted in this case, but nothing that thwarted her enthusiasm for SUBOXONE.
Another patient testimony shared the improvement in the quality of life. She is more active than ever and feels more alive than on any other treatment. She truly believes that SUBOXONE gave her back a normal life. At the same time, another patient cited the horrors of her experience with the drug. In that particular instance, the patient felt she was erroneously put on the SUBOXONE to treat a pain condition. She had never had an addiction to opioids and the chemical reaction in her body to the SUBOXONE wreaked havoc on her system that landed her in the emergency room.
SUBOXONE can be very effective for those dealing with an opioid addiction as it allows the patient to get slightly high, without allowing them to get “wasted”, presenting a ceiling effect. With a half life of around 35 hours, patients only need to dose once or twice a day, enabling them to break their behavioral habits that generally accompany addiction. The drug eliminates crashes or even feelings of “coming down” off the drug, allowing the patient to feel steady.
The use of buprenorphine – the active ingredient in SUBOXONE – has only been available for the past few years to treat patients with opioid addictions. Until this drug became available for patient prescription within their private doctor’s office, patients had to enter detox for the initial stages of withdrawing from the opioid. Daily visits to methadone clinics followed and didn’t always prove successful.
SUBOXONE allows these patients to have greater privacy and control over the treatment of their addiction, while also removing the severe withdrawal symptoms associated with coming clean from an opioid drug. Most importantly, it has allowed many patients to keep off of the opioid drugs for long periods of time or even for good. Severe withdrawal can be the main obstacle in recovery from opioid addictions. By removing the severity of the treatment, SUBOXONE has proven to be able to give patients a steady choice in treating withdrawal and enabling recovery.