The Irony of Drug Replacement Therapy

Treatment Alternatives, a treatment center in Boca Raton, knows that America has been battling a heroin and opiate epidemic worse than ever in recent years. Those who are fortunate enough live through their addiction and undergo treatment might believe they have no choice but to try drug replacement therapy. Drug replacement therapy involves replacing the user’s substance of choice with a less euphoric opioid instead of completely removing them from the drug.

A common replacement drug is Suboxone, which is an opioid manufactured similarly to opiates like heroin. It is used to treat narcotic addiction and opiate dependency. Suboxone is composed of buprenorphine, an opioid medication that relieves pain, and Naloxone, which blocks the effects of the buprenorphine that can lead to addiction and abuse. Many people have voiced negative attitudes toward drug replacement therapy, stating that it leaves the addict feeling just as sedated, lethargic, and anticipating the next dose. Former addicts have agreed that drug replacement therapy feels almost the same as regular drug addiction.

What is Suboxone, and how is it used?

Suboxone is typically taken as a sublingual strip, which allows the user to dissolve it in their mouth discreetly, without water. Suboxone acts as a depressant in the body, which slows down the central nervous system and minimizes brain arousal.

What are the short-term effects of Suboxone?

Suboxone provides the user with short term effects that are similar to the ones you get with opiate use. These include pain relief, mild euphoria, a sense of well-being, lower stress levels, and relaxation. This form of drug replacement therapy also provokes undesirable short term effects, including drowsiness, constricted pupils, nausea, respiratory depression, and confusion.

Is Suboxone addictive?

Suboxone is an opioid, which is highly addictive and likely to cause dependency. Over extended use, the user will build a tolerance to Suboxone and require heavier dosages to treat their symptoms. Your treatment center in Boca Raton says that long term drug replacement therapy can be just as harmful as a drug addiction. When the user goes without Suboxone they will begin withdrawing.  Withdrawal of this substance are very uncomfortable and cause flu like symptoms, constipation, diarrhea, joint pain, irritability, and dilated pupils.

What are the long-term effects of Suboxone?

Suboxone’s intended use is long term management of opiate addiction. However, the treatment center in Boca Raton is finding this to be ironic, since the medication is commonly abused itself.  Some people turn to Suboxone on their own terms for other reasons, such as a means of avoiding withdrawal symptoms in between each heroin use. The irony of using Suboxone to treat drug addiction is that it leads to the very same issues that long term drug abuse leads to.  Long term use of Suboxone causes constant drowsiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, decreased pain tolerance, depression, anxiety, isolation, and difficulty in social settings. Overtime, users will also experience strained relationships, failure to maintain responsibilities at work or school, financial issues, and potential legal problems due to addictive behaviors.

Once dependent on Suboxone, the user requires a medically monitored detox to avoid serious sickness and discomfort. Many recovery and halfway houses are no longer accepting people using buprenorphine.

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