Buprenorphine Addiction and Treatment

What is Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is derived from an opioid alkaloid called thebaine. Buprenorphine is prescribed to patients addicted to morphine or other pain relievers, and opiates such as heroin. It falls under the class of mixed opioids, and is used to prevent symptoms of withdrawal from other opioids. It is implemented in many drug abuse treatments, in combination with counseling, and close monitoring.

How does Buprenorphine work?

Buprenorphine is a mixed opioid that has been proven to work well in substance abuse treatments and help patients get over their methadone or heroin addictions. Although its effects are milder that those of methadone or heroin use, it works in a similar way to other opioids, by producing a feeling of euphoria, while helping to relieve pain.
It has a long-lasting effect, which means that a lot of the patients won’t have the need to take it every day.
Its unique properties lower the chances of a potential Buprenorphine abuse, help you get over your withdrawal symptoms, and defeat your drug cravings.

How to use Buprenorphine

Always read and follow the medication’s label, so that you can guarantee your safety. It’s important you understand everything written down on it, and if not, you may want to consult your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you’re using Buprenorphine correctly.
Always use Buprenorphine exactly as your doctor prescribed, and don’t alter your dosage without a prior consult.
Do not chew or swallow the tablets with water. To obtain the best result, you need to put each tablet under your tongue and wait 5 to 10 minutes for it to dissolve.

When is the best time to start your Substance Abuse Treatment?

The optimal time to start taking Buprenorphine, and begin your Drug Abuse Treatment is no earlier than 4 hours after your last opioid use. Be careful not to start your treatment before the given time, since it may cause you to develop withdrawal symptoms.
You need to follow your doctor’s instructions and use the medication regularly in order to see results.

What are Buprenorphine’s possible side effects?

Possible Buprenorphine side effects include:
• Constipation, vomiting and nausea
• Increased cravings
• Insomnia
• Muscle cramps and pain
• Fever and irritability

What is Buprenorphine Abuse?

Since it has effects similar to those of other opioids, it can be misused, especially by people that are not dependent on opioids. To decrease the chances of it being abused, Naloxone is usually added to it. When taken as sublingual tablets, the opioid effects of Buprenorphine dominate, and Naloxone is the one that prevents and blocks the withdrawals. If, however the tablets are crushed and injected, they can easily lead to withdrawal symptoms.

Is Buprenorphine dangerous?

It’s highly important for patients to be aware of the possible dangers and side effects of Buprenorphine abuse, no matter if they are currently following a substance abuse treatment or are still addicted to opioids. There are a few precautions you need to take when using Buprenorphine. You need to make sure to consult with your doctor regularly, and have them monitor your condition and your progress. You need to avoid the use of any kind of tranquilizers, sedatives, alcoholic drinks and illegal drugs, and you cannot take any medication without consulting your doctor first.

Substance abuse treatment with Buprenorphine

The ideal candidates for an opioid dependency and drug abuse treatment with Buprenorphine are people that:
• Have been diagnosed with an opioid dependency,
• Have not shown any signs of conflicts while using Buprenorphine,
• And have gone through all other possible options before deciding to do the Buprenorphine treatment.

How does the Buprenorphine drug abuse treatment work?

The treatment is composed of 3 phases: the introduction, the stabilization and the maintenance phase.
The first phase is always conducted in a doctor’s office, where the physician administers approved Buprenorphine products, only to patients in the early stages of their withdrawal. As we mentioned before, it’s important that the patient is in the early stages of withdrawal, since Buprenorphine can lead to an acute withdrawal if a patient has other opioids in body, and has not yet seen signs of withdrawal.
The next phase starts when the patient no longer experiences any side effects, or opioid cravings, and that’s when your doctor usually changes your dosage to an alternate-day dosing.

The treatment ends with the maintenance phase, where each patient follows a specifically tailored and steady dosage, according to his or her needs. The patients are then encouraged to take an alternative approach to their treatment, and go to a supervised withdrawal by their doctor, and start their psychological healing along with the physical one.
Patients are also encouraged to seek substance abuse therapy in the form of individual or group sessions and consult with their doctor if they start experiencing any kind of withdrawal symptoms or reactions.