Suboxone is a buprenorhine medication. It is used to help people who are trying to stop an opiate addiction. It is a semi-synthetic agonist that has to be dosed just right in order to help people kick their opiate addiction. However, it is also used as a prescription drug for people dealing with chronic pain, in which case it can also lead to a dependency.
In most cases, suboxone works the way it is supposed to work. However, coming off it and going through withdrawal is often seen as much more difficult than they had expected. Indeed, some people find they would rather have come off their other opiates straight away. Some people simply feel unable to cope with life without the drug. It is also for this reason that it is classed as a Schedule III controlled substance.
Suboxone withdrawal is different for every individual. A lot of factors come into play, including at which dosage you took the drug, how long you took it for, your physiology and whether you want to go cold turkey or slowly taper off the drug. It is also important to understand whether or not you have fully come off the opiate that you were taking suboxone for. You must be in a position that you are in a stress-free environment and that you have learned to control your addiction. The withdrawal symptoms can be very severe and doing this when you are not in the right frame of mind is setting yourself up for failure. At Creative Care, our drug and alcohol rehab staff will be there to help you through this process.
A number of important factors will determine just how you will experience your withdrawal. This includes:
- Timespan – how long did you take the drug? The longer you have used it, the harder the withdrawal process will be. Suboxone lowers your levels of pain, but this means your brain forgets how to do this itself. Hence, the longer you took the drug, the more your brain will have forgotten, the stronger you will feel the pain and the longer it will take for the pain to go.
- Dosage – there are different ways of taking the drug (patches, pills and injections) and different dosages can be prescribed. It is generally best to opt for the lowest possible dose, as this is often as effective as higher doses. The higher the dose, the harder the withdrawal.
- Your physiology – every person is an individual, which means that they will have individual experiences when coming off the medication.
- Cold turkey or tapering – suboxone remains active in the system for around 37 hours. It is generally recommended to taper off the drug, often over a period of around 30 weeks. This will help lower the withdrawal symptoms.
What to Expect of the Withdrawal
Suboxone withdrawal is hard and many people say it is as bad as withdrawing from street drugs or other opiates. The Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms are equally distressing and these tend to affect the mind rather than the body. During this period, people tend to experience significant distress, anxiety and depression and this is often enough to lead them to relapse. At Creative Care, we understand how difficult this period is and we will provide you with the support you need in order to have a chance at beating the addiction. Furthermore, we specialize in treating people with a dual diagnosis, which means they struggle with a mental health condition as well as a substance abuse problem.
Suboxone withdrawal and detox is not pleasant. However, it is often less severe than other opiate withdrawals, even if some people wished they hadn’t started with the suboxone in the first place. When you visit Creative Care, our intake counsellor will discuss what you can expect and find a way that is most suitable for your personal needs in order to come off the drug. We are also keen to dispel the myth that suboxone leads to permanent brain damage. This is a reason why some people have refrained from seeking treatment, which has caused them to remain addicted for much longer. If you are currently taking suboxone and are ready to withdraw, please contact our Creative Care specialist team today.