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The Effects of Subutex
Is Subutex Harmful?
When taken properly, Subutex is not hazardous. Nonetheless, it may certainly be harmful and addictive when misused. With the proper support system and counseling, Palm Beach Recovery Group can help you overcome your addiction in any form.
Here are Some Facts
Subutex is one brand-name formulation of a medication known as buprenorphine. As a partial opioid agonist-antagonist, buprenorphine shares some properties with other opioid substances such as:
In the early 2000s, buprenorphine was authorized to treat opioid addiction and dependence, which means that if someone was physically dependent on an opioid, they could be prescribed buprenorphine to counteract the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that can lead to relapse.
Subutex is not to be confused with Suboxone. Both have buprenorphine, and both are used to manage opioid dependence– the distinction is that Subutex is comprised of buprenorphine only, whereas Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is what’s known as an opioid receptor antagonist– i.e., a substance intended to reverse or block the effects of opioids in the body.
Although Subutex is meant to treat opioid dependence, it is an opioid substance itself. Perhaps paradoxically, it can thus be misused, and its abuse can ultimately lead to addiction.
Are you not able to control your Subutex use?
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When used as prescribed, Subutex can:
- Reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms of somebody with an opioid dependency.
- Lower the risk of overdose from opioids.
- Lower the misuse of opioids in the future by obstructing their effects.
The ultimate point is important because Subutex has a “ceiling effect.” This means that the desired effects of the substance gradually level off even when the dosing increases. Taking more will not always lead to more favorable effects.
Subutex is a substance that gives a partial opioid response in the body, which means it will replicate many of the same effects of drugs like heroin or prescription painkillers but to a lower degree. Short-term effects of Subutex include:
- Mild feelings of euphoria.
- Reduced sensations of pain.
- Physical and mental relaxation.
- Slowed breathing.
Subutex is not without its undesirable side effects. Some may show immediately while others may develop over time or when dosing is altered. Side effects from Subutex include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Muscle pains and cramping.
- Reduced quality and quantity of sleep.
- Increased cravings for the substance.
Mixing Subutex with Other Drugs
Dangerous circumstances may arise when Subutex is mixed with other depressant substances that slow down the body, featuring alcohol or sedative medications like diazepam. The mixed effect can lead to negative physical and emotional ramifications like:
- Respiratory depression.
- Cardiovascular collapse.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting the side effects of Subutex abuse, consider seeking help. Making a phone call to Palm Beach Recovery Group at 1-888-414-7282 can present you with more information on Subutex and appropriate treatment choices.
Long-Term Effects of Subutex
The long-term health effects of Subutex abuse are mild when compared with full agonist opioids. Some of these dangers are associated with exacerbations of pre-existing health conditions, including reactive airway disease (e.g., asthma) and liver disease. It is in your best interest to disclose a full medical history prior to being started on a Subutex regimen, to prevent the worsening of these medical conditions. Of course, the abuse of Subutex suggests a non-adherence to prescribed Subutex dosing criteria, so the likelihood of health effects or the compounding of pre-existing conditions will be even higher, and dose-dependent.
Specific drug interactions with other prescription medication may also occur– if you are using benzodiazepines or antidepressants while using Subutex, you may subject yourself to life-threatening respiratory depression or cardiovascular collapse.
Additionally, if you take Subutex within 6 hours of taking an opiate drug like heroin, you can go into precipitated withdrawal. This means that you end up suffering a very nasty and unexpectedly abrupt withdrawal approach. This is one of the key reasons to listen to your doctor when taking the medication and be truthful about your last use of opiate drugs.
Further, if you stop taking Subutex and return to abusing opiates, your body may be hypersensitive to the effects of that opiate– meaning your risk of overdose and death is increased.
Lastly, if you inject Subutex instead of taking it sublingually (under the tongue) as directed, you are at risk for abscesses, bloodborne diseases, and other complications associated with injection drug use.
Another long-term effect of Subutex abuse is addiction. Addiction is the process of continuing to acquire and use the substance even when negative repercussions are likely to result. Addiction can take place even when the medication is prescribed to you.
Signs of addiction are:
- Taking the substance more often or in larger doses than intended.
- Talking the substance for reasons other than intended.
- Buying, selling, and trading to get more of the substance.
- Taking Subutex that is not prescribed for you.
As addiction intensifies, other elements of life become less important and less pleasing as more time and attention are given to the substance.
Someone addicted to Subutex may:
- Have monetary troubles marked by not being able to pay bills or taking extraordinary steps to make more money.
- Have failing relationships with increased conflict or seclusion.
- Miss work or other responsibilities.
- Have more erratic habits with mood swings.
- Show no interest in tasks or behaviors that were once pleasurable.
Subutex Addiction Treatment
When someone is thinking about ending their use of Subutex, consulting with a medical or substance use professional is incredibly important. Ending use on your own is possible; however, to ensure safety and maximize comfort, medical supervision is often suggested. Furthermore, supervised treatment tends to end with better results and extended periods of recovery.
Withdrawal Symptoms You May Encounter
- Loss of hunger.
- Increased pain.
- Craving for the substance.
People abusing Subutex may start treatment with a duration of detox. During this, the substance will be enabled to clear itself from your body in a safe, systematic way. Helpful measures and, potentially, additional medications may be utilized to handle your withdrawal symptoms. This is done in an inpatient environment, so that your status can be vigilantly monitored.
Following detox, the treatment phase of addiction begins. Some courses will be housed at a residential rehab center– where those in recovery stay for a period between 30 and 90 days. This time will provide some division from the stresses of their home environment, and afford the recovering individual the time and therapeutic attention needed to begin working on and resolving their troublesome relationship with Subutex and other substances. Individual, group, and family therapy will be part of many rehab solutions.
Outpatient therapy is an alternate option to rehab, but often occurs in addition to it once the patient finishes the rehab program. Outpatient mental health and/ or substance use therapy will carry on the process of addressing the triggers and underlying factors that feed into substance use. Plans will be made to prevent relapse by considering cravings and following through with alternative behaviors.
Outpatient treatment can carry on for years following last use, as can 12-step and community-based treatments. By enrolling in a 12-step program, someone in recovery can develop a support system based on a substance-free way of life. With the use of sponsorship or mentoring, someone new to recovery can acquire information useful in recovery from others that have had their own success.
Call Palm Beach Recovery Group at 1-888-414-7282 to learn more about Subutex abuse and possible treatment options. Addiction is a serious disease and one that will follow a different course of development for each person individually. With the proper treatment, addiction to Subutex can be effectively managed.