They are medications used to detox people from opiates like Roxycodone, Oxycodone and Loretab. These medications can also be used over long periods of time like months or years to continually block the cravings for opiates.

This is extremely important valuable. You can take someone who is addicted to Roxycodone also known by the street name “blues”, and detox them painlessly with Subutex /Suboxone. In days past the treatment would end at that point. The individual would detox and then be sent home, but what happen was a post acute withdrawal syndrome. The individual would crave opiates and these craving periods have been described as unbearable which would lead people to relapse. Individuals become irritable, anxious, insomniac, fatigued, and obsessed with getting and using drugs. The street term for this is called “jonesing”.

The advantage of Subutex/Suboxone is the drug Buprenorphine. These pills stimulate the brain into thinking it has an opiate on board. The difference is the individual does not get high, drowsy, have any risks of overdose, and does not engage in drug seeking behaviors. They no longer obsess about drugs, the desire and wanting to use them is diminished. They remove themselves from the drug world. Their lives can normalize and their thinking clears so they can make better decisions. This medication has changed many lives in which other people thought those individuals were hopeless.  The Subutex/Suboxone can be tapered and stopped when the individual is confident of his/her sobriety.  This medication itself is habit forming but much less so. Most people come off it easily. Twenty to thirty percent have problems coming off. This is nothing like the problems of coming off an opiate like Roxicodone, Oxycodone, Lorcet, and Loretab.

Common questions are: “What is the difference between Suboxone and Subutex?” Both medications have Buprenorphine. Suboxone has Naloxone, which prevents an individual from using the drug intravenously. If injected the individual will go into opiate drug withdrawal and almost immediately.

Another question is “Why put someone on another addictive drug? “. Subutex and Suboxone are completely different. People on Subutex have clear thoughts, stop chasing after drugs. They can now respond to individual and group therapy and they are not drowsy or not nodding out. They can hold a job and their thoughts are not preoccupied with thoughts of getting drugs and getting high.

“Can someone abuse Subutex/Suboxone?” The chances are dramatically less. Who wants to take something you can’t get high with.  Working with this drug over the past six to seven years has made me a strong believer in its value in getting individuals free from the agony of opiate addiction.

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