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Addiction is a trap that many people fall into. They abuse drugs because it feels good, not thinking about the consequences. They take large doses of their medications because it gives them a euphoric high—not knowing that it can make them physically dependent.
Addiction is a terrible and complex condition that can affect a person physically, emotionally, socially, and even financially. It affects many aspects of a person’s life. And all of this could be avoided with enough education and information regarding the effects of substance abuse.
Knowing more about certain drugs can help us stay away from the temptations of drug use. Hopefully, it can lead to an understanding of the dangers of addiction—and why you should stick with your doctor’s prescription.
Today we are going to take a look at buprenorphine: a substance that works well against opioid withdrawal. What exactly is it? Along the way, we’ll learn a little more about the nature of narcotics: what they are, and how they work.
Buprenorphine is a prescription medication derived from thebaine, which is an alkaloid of the poppy Papaver somniferum. It is the main ingredient in drugs such as suboxone.
At low doses, it produces enough agonist effects to enable drug addicted people to discontinue the misuse of opioids. Oddly enough, buprenorphine itself is an opioid, except it is less likely to get you addicted.
Still, misusing this drug can lead to the same effects you are trying to avoid. To an extent, we can say that all opioids are addictive when taken recreationally—so make sure you use this as intended. But oftentimes, buprenorphine is administered as part of a comprehensive drug treatment program. This may include inpatient treatment, so there would be little chance for someone to abuse this drug anyway.
Is It a Narcotic?
There’s a negative connotation behind the word “narcotic” and it’s most likely because of the legal definition of the term. In law enforcement, all mind-altering drugs are narcotics. Casually, the word is used to refer to any illegal drug. That’s why it has such a bad reputation.
But the medical industry has a more specific and more accurate definition of a narcotic. Only opiates and opioids are technically classified as narcotics. And because buprenorphine is an opioid, it is therefore a narcotic.
This only proves that most narcotics are good for you when you use them properly—emphasis on that latter part. Opiates and opioids are helpful substances that are often used as pain medications. They provide pain relief.
The only difference between opiates and opioids is that opiates are naturally derived from the opium poppy plant. Substances that are synthetic or semi-synthetic derivatives are classified as opioids.
These are prescribed for conditions like moderate pain or severe pain. In buprenorphine’s case, it is used to prevent the effects of opioid withdrawal, so it becomes easier to quit eventually.
As helpful as these drugs are, they can be dangerous and addictive when abused (taken in high dosages or taken too frequently, for example). They can cause different adverse effects. And once somebody is addicted or dependent, they cannot quit abruptly, or else they’ll go through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
This is where buprenorphine comes in. It is used as part of addiction treatment, so that the addicted person’s drug intake can be lowered slowly, and over time.
Conclusion: Buprenorphine as a Narcotic
Buprenorphine, and other narcotics for that matter, are not bad. They have a specific function that can really help individuals who need them. And because of its safety profile, buprenorphine is an efficient tool that can help people get sober again. It even produces less euphoric effects.
It is important to know that opiates and opioids are not inherently bad. They only become when people abuse them.
If you know someone who is struggling with addiction, you have to keep in mind that pursuing sobriety is still an option. It may be a difficult process, but know that it is possible to become free from the effects of addiction. Look for a drug rehab facility near you today to find out more.