According to statistics, close to three million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with opioid use disorder. And out of that number, nearly three-fourths are using Suboxone to counter the effects of opioid misuse. However, like any other drug, the use of Suboxone does come with several side effects. This article will discuss more about Suboxone and the side effects that come with its use. Let’s roll!
What is Suboxone?
Before we can dive into discussing the effects of Suboxone, let’s take a look at its definition. Suboxone results from combining two opioid receptor antagonists, namely naloxone and buprenorphine. Naloxone helps block the effects of opioid medication use, like pain relief or the feelings that often lead to opioid use. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication, which is also referred to as a narcotic. Combining these two drugs helps treat opiate or narcotic addiction.
Side Effects of Suboxone
The side effects of Suboxone are split into short-term and long-term effects. Let’s take a look at these effects individually.
The short-term effects of Suboxone last up to three days. The three-day duration makes the drug’s adverse effects less intense and more dispersed. Despite having a lower risk, the effects can increase dramatically when Suboxone is taken with depressant drugs like alcohol or benzodiazepines. Combining Suboxone with these two drugs can lead to:
- Breathing problems
You don’t always experience negative side effects when using Suboxone; there are also some positives. These positives include mild euphoria, pain relief, and a significant reduction in opioid craving. There are, however, several dangers that come from abusing or taking too much Suboxone, and they include:
- Respiratory depression
Long-Term Effects of Using Suboxone
The use of Suboxone for a long duration of time can affect you both physically and mentally. Some of these long-term effects include:
- Low blood pressure
The chronic abuse of Suboxone may also cause depression, insomnia, and anxiety. Repeated misuse can also cause an addiction to develop, and this can cause problems like:
- Financial strain
- Failing relationships
- Trouble fulfilling your responsibilities, e.g., taking care of your children, going to work
- Legal problems that may come from driving while intoxicated or stealing
Can You Become Addicted to Suboxone?
Despite being used to help end the pattern of opioid dependency, it can be pretty easy to abuse the drug, especially if it isn’t prescribed. Taking Suboxone for other reasons than what it is primarily intended for increases your risk of restarting the cycle of addiction and abuse.
So, what does Suboxone dependency look like? As mentioned earlier, it’s not uncommon for some individuals taking Suboxone to become addicted to the drug as it does contain an opioid. Your body becomes dependent on Suboxone to feel well, and you may start feeling uncomfortable whenever you stop using it.
The primary sign that you are dependent on Suboxone is that you immediately start suffering from withdrawal after you stop using the drug. Withdrawal may not start up to 36 hours of your last use. The withdrawal symptoms of Suboxone mimic the flu, and they can last for a little over a week.
The flu-like symptom is a sign that the Suboxone and its toxic influences are relinquishing their grip on your body’s functioning and systems.
How Should Suboxone Addiction Be Treated?
While it may be a rare occurrence, Suboxone addiction does happen. Here is a full range of treatments that can be used to help treat Suboxone addiction. These stages include:
Detox: This will involve a set of interventions that will help ensure you get through your withdrawal safely. Your detox process may occur on an outpatient or inpatient basis.
Therapy: Once your detox is complete, the next step will be therapy. Depending on your rehab program, your therapy may be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis. Therapy will help you understand what triggered your addiction to Suboxone.
Your therapist will also be able to establish if your drug use was an attempt to manage behavioral or mental health issues or a means to self-medicate.
Recovery: This stage allows you to move forward after completing your rehab program. As Suboxone is out of the picture when it comes to opioid use disorder management, you get new tools you can use to recover from your opioid addiction.
While Suboxone may be a solution to treating opioid use disorder, it does come with several side effects. Therefore, ensure that you only take the drug under the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.