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Suboxone and subutex are two different drugs that have the same purpose. Both of these medications have been approved by the US Food and Drug administration (FDA) for the treatment of opiate and opioid addiction. But these two are not exactly the same.
Understanding the difference between suboxone and subutex can go a long way in helping patients use them properly and avoid further problems involving addiction.
The Reasons for Comparison
Of course, the reason these two medications are being compared is the fact that they are so similar. They have the same function: helping addicted individuals get over their addiction. These two drugs work against opiates and opioids: natural and synthetic derivatives of the opium poppy plant, also called narcotics.
Opiates and opioids are given to patients suffering from moderate to severe pain. These prescription medications can help relieve pain, but are quite habit-forming because of the way they induce euphoria. This makes them prone to being abused. People take them recreationally in order to get high, and eventually form an addiction.
Suboxone and subutex both eradicate the effects of opiates and opioids in the person’s brain. They protect addicted users from the euphoric high while also keeping them away from dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Both suboxone and subutex can also help ward off intense cravings that cause people to relapse.
Both drugs also contain the same active ingredient: a substance known as buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is an partial opioid agonist, which means it interacts with the same receptors in the brain that are affected by opiates and opioids. But buprenorphine is special because it does not cause the same high. It takes the spot of opiates such as heroin so that the user can no longer feel high, but they’re also not experiencing the cravings or withdrawal.
Basically, suboxone and subutex can trick your mind into believing you’ve taken a narcotic.
How are they Different from one Another?
What sets suboxone and subutex apart is that the former has another active ingredient called naloxone; the latter does not.
Buprenorphine may be a partial opioid agonist, but it is still technically an opioid. So in order to prevent the possibility of abuse, naloxone is added in order to create the combination drug suboxone. This substance, naloxone, is an opioid antagonist. This means it can help prevent people from abusing the medication.
For example, if you are high on heroin and you took naloxone, you will suddenly enter a state of withdrawal. This is called a crash.
Subutex may have a decreased abuse potential compared to other opioids, but suboxone takes this even further. The decreased risk allows doctors to prescribe suboxone more frequently as a take-home medication.
Subutex is more commonly used under controlled environments, while suboxone is for those who are not at risk of abusing their medication.
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Unfortunately, both of these medications still have to be used carefully, because there are still some people who abuse them out of desperation. They want a high so badly that they’ll take large doses of suboxone and subutex. And ironically, it is still possible to get addicted to these medications.
If you know someone who is addicted to opioids, or even suboxone and subutex, just know that they can still recover. With the combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy, some time and patience, they can become sober again and live their life to the fullest. It’s going to be tough, but it’s also going to be worth it in the end.
Look for a drug rehab near you today!