Unfortunately, patients cannot quit opioid addiction cold turkey, because doing so isn’t quite as simple as just not taking the drug. In fact, less than 25% of patients are able to abstain from drug usage for a full year after quitting cold turkey. Stopping drug usage involves a change in a patient’s thinking, behavior, and environment, too.
Luckily, family practice doctors have the option of helping their patients with a medication-assisted-program, one of the most effective of which is a Suboxone treatment. Already one of the most prescribed medications in the country, Suboxone treatments have been called “miracles” by family practice centers and patients alike.
To help you decide whether this treatment option may be best for you or a loved one, here are a few things you should know about Suboxone treatments.
What Are Suboxone Treatments?
Suboxone is a formulation of the unique opioid buprenorphine, which was approved as a way to treat opioid addiction by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002. When used as medication-assisted-programs, Suboxone treatments suppress patients’ withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings, and block the problematic effects of other opioids used in the past, all without causing the euphoric feelings that could lead to dependency. Suboxone treatments are so effective that they reportedly have a success rate as high as 60%, meaning patients stay drug free for a year or longer after receiving treatment.
How Are Suboxone Treatments Administered?
The effects of Suboxone last for 24 hours or longer, which means it only needs to be taken once a day. It comes in both a two milligram and eight milligram tablet, or a two milligram or eight milligram filmstrip. The tablet is taken under the tongue, where it will completely dissolve. The filmstrip is taken the same way, but dissolves much faster and has less of a potential to be abused, making it the preferred method of administering Suboxone.
What Do Patients Need to Do to Prepare?
Half an hour before taking Suboxone, patients shouldn’t eat, drink, or smoke, as each can impede the body’s absorption of Suboxone. In particular, chewing tobacco or dipping tobacco is particularly obstructive.
If you or a loved one is suffering from opioid addiction, consider contacting a family practice doctor to discuss whether Suboxone is the right treatment. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.