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Most people would agree when we say it’s quite ironic how certain medications that fight against addiction are also addictive themselves. But is suboxone one of them? This is a substance that’s only given to people who are struggling with opioid abuse. But upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that suboxone itself is an opioid.
Does that mean you can get addicted to this drug? On this article, we will talk about suboxone abuse, misuse, and everything you need to know.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a combination drug made up of two main active ingredients. It contains buprenorphine and naloxone. It is designed to fight the effects of opioid addiction by preventing withdrawal and reducing cravings.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. This means it takes up the same receptors that opioids attach to. Basically, when you take this drug your mind thinks you’ve already taken a narcotic. It will stop giving you signals like intense cravings. It will also prevent you from going into withdrawal.
Another drug that’s very similar to suboxone is subutex. Its main active ingredient is also buprenorphine. The only difference between these two is that suboxone also contains naloxone.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. Its purpose is to discourage misuse and drug abuse. This way, patients are encouraged to take suboxone properly. If someone abuses suboxone, they may go into withdrawal right away.
How is Suboxone Taken?
Suboxone isn’t swallowed like most other prescription drugs. It comes in strips and placed under the tongue in order to dissolve. This is because suboxone doesn’t get absorbed in an acidic environment—like our stomach.
If someone were to swallow suboxone, very little of it would be absorbed into the bloodstream. Thankfully, the mouth has a neutral acidity. Unless you recently drank coffee, tea, or other acidic drinks, suboxone would easily be absorbed into your bloodstream. Patients are discouraged from drinking these beverages at least 20 minutes before they take their suboxone dose.
Can Suboxone Get You High?
The reason this drug is being used for opioid addiction treatment is that it has a low risk of abuse. It attaches to the same opioid receptors, but gives off very little euphoric effects, despite buprenorphine being an opioid itself and thus making suboxone a narcotic. It would take large doses before you can get high on this drug.
But you’ll be surprised by the determination of some illicit drug users when they really want to get high.
Despite its low potential for abuse, some people do get addicted to this substance. Some will try to snort suboxone, some will try to inject it directly into their bloodstream. And of course, these methods are very dangerous.
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Anyone who abuses suboxone is not recovering from addiction—they are merely replacing one addiction with another. But fortunately, it is possible to get sober from suboxone addiction.
All it takes is a combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy, preferably done in an inpatient treatment program. If someone is abusing suboxone, then perhaps outpatient treatment is not suitable for them, knowing they don’t have the discipline to use their addiction medication properly. In an inpatient setting, medical professionals can manage their drug intake and guide them towards sobriety.
Look for an addiction treatment facility near you today to avail of rehab services!