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What is Suboxone? How Does it Work?

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Suboxone is often the M in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder. It is a sublingual film with a combination of its active ingredients – Buprenorphine and naloxone – that creates unique properties that lower the potential for misuse or overdose and diminish the withdrawal symptoms and cravings caused by physical dependency on opioids.


Buprenorphine is the main ingredient. It is an opioid partial agonist. That means that it acts as an opioid, just like oxycodone, heroin, or methadone, but in low to moderate doses. Think of the opioid receptors in the brain as a door. Your brain throws the door wide open for most opioids, but only partly open for Buprenorphine.


Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that blocks opioid receptors from the effects of an agonist. So, it acts to counteract the high you might otherwise feel from the Buprenorphine.


These two ingredients work together effectively when administered in doses which are slowly decreased over time. This enables a person to work through recovery while leading a more normal life without the intense pain and suffering of opioid withdrawal.


Suboxone was developed to ease the severe symptoms of opioid withdrawal. If an individual has a strong desire to stop taking opioids, but is powerless to get through the withdrawal symptoms, then that person may be a candidate for a monitored and regimented Suboxone program.


Some people consider Suboxone controversial. This article, 5 myths about using Suboxone, from the Harvard Medical School, addresses some of that controversy.


Chief Medical Officer of Symetria Recovery Dr. Abid Nazeer adds, “Suboxone, when prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment program including mental and behavioral health therapies have proven to be extremely effective for lasting opioid use recovery.”


There are also many YouTube videos from persons who have used Suboxone to help their recovery and from doctors who prescribe or recommend it. Here is one that might provide some insight.


If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, please reach out to us today.

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Dale Willenbrink
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If you’ve been worried about a loved one, or if you’re concerned about the way you use your pain medication, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible for help. To take the first step, contact us online or call 855-993-0960  right away.

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