Prescription opioids may effectively relieve pain, but they also create serious problems with addiction and misuse that affect more than 11.5 million people in the United States. The medical professionals at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center prescribe Suboxone® to treat opioid addiction at their locations in Lanham, Hyattsville, Gaithersburg, Dundalk and Pikesville, Maryland. If you’re in Maryland or the Washington, D.C., area, schedule a consultation online or by phone today.
Suboxone is a prescription medicine that treats opioid addiction in adults. The medicine comes in the form of a sublingual film, which is a strip that dissolves beneath your tongue. The compassionate physicians at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center may prescribe Suboxone as part of your comprehensive opioid addiction treatment plan.
Prescription opioids, also called narcotic painkillers, carry a high risk for addiction and misuse. Examples of common prescription opioids used to treat pain include oxycodone and hydrocodone.
As many as one in four adults who receive long-term opioid treatment become dependent on these drugs. Once you’re addicted, it’s very difficult to stop. However, the team at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center can help.
Suboxone contains two medications: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, while naloxone is an opioid antagonist. It may seem odd to treat an opioid addiction with another opioid, but the combination of a partial agonist and antagonist makes Suboxone both unique and effective.
An agonist is a drug that activates specific receptors in your brain. Conversely, an antagonist blocks those receptors without activating them.
Full opioid agonists, such as oxycodone, produce a strong opioid effect because they completely activate those brain receptors. As a partial agonist, buprenorphine activates the same opioid receptors, but to a much lesser extent.
The opioid effects of Suboxone are strong enough to prevent withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking a full agonist. However, Suboxone is less likely to make you feel “high” and cause physical dependence than other prescription opioids.
First, your physician at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center performs a physical exam and reviews your medical history to make sure you’re a good candidate for Suboxone treatment. Then, they recommend a multidisciplinary opioid addiction treatment program, which may include counseling or behavioral therapy in addition to Suboxone.
To begin your first dose of Suboxone, you must be in a moderate state of opioid withdrawal. When you’re no longer experiencing withdrawal symptoms or strong cravings for opioids, your provider at CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center helps you transition to the maintenance phase of treatment. After the maintenance period, your provider helps you slowly decrease your dose of Suboxone until you no longer need it.
To find out if Suboxone is right for you, call CHOICE Pain & Rehabilitation Center or schedule a consultation online today.