Suboxone Treatment in Arizona

Despite Arizona’s best efforts, the opioid crisis claims more victims throughout the desert and the nation with each passing year. However, there is a medicine called Suboxone, which compliments traditional narcotic addiction treatment. This article discusses Suboxone, its uses and side effects, and how patients can benefit from this medication in conjunction with rehab.

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What is Suboxone?

Overall, Suboxone helps treat patients with narcotic addiction. But, as with most drugs, it does have specific side effects.

Simply put, Suboxone is a combination drug with both buprenorphine and Naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medicine, also known as a narcotic. Naloxone blocks the effects of narcotic medication, such as pain relief and euphoria.

By canceling out the addictive components of Buprenorphine, Suboxone becomes safe to administer to patients without concern of furthering addictions.

Under medical direction, patients ingest this drug sublingually, which means it goes under their tongue and dissolves.

If you or someone you know is struggling with narcotics addiction, consider contacting our rehab specialists. Local specialists are consistently available to answer questions and help find the best treatment for you or your loved one.

What Does Suboxone Do?

In short, Suboxone helps to reverse the side effects of short-acting opioids, including heroin and other prescription painkillers. In addition, it prevents or eliminates negative withdrawal symptoms caused by addiction.

Patients can use it at the beginning of treatment and in continued therapy for recovery. Suboxone is only an aid in recovery; it is not THE treatment plan. It’s best if the patient has a comprehensive treatment plan with their medical team while utilizing Suboxone.

It helps the patient move into the maintenance phase of recovery during the withdrawal phase. Upon treatment completion, the patient’s doctor will reduce the dosage until they no longer need it.

When taken correctly, the patient will have little to no cravings or withdrawal symptoms and begin to feel a bit more normal.

What Are the Side Effects of Suboxone?

Side effects from this drug include the following:

  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • Breathing that stops while you sleep
  • Light-headed feeling
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Extreme weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Liver problems such as upper stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice, or loss of appetite
  • Low cortisol levels- nausea, vomiting, worsening tiredness or weakness
  • Opioid withdrawal symptoms such as goose bumps, shivers, sweating, feeling hot or cold, watery eyes, runny nose, watery eyes, muscle pain, and diarrhea
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Feeling drunk
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Tongue pain, redness, or numb feeling inside the mouth
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Fast or pounding heartbeats

Although this is not a complete list, these are the more common side effects. If you have questions about other side effects, discuss them with your doctor to get their medical advice.

Furthermore, if you have an allergic reaction, such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling, call for emergency medical help.

Who Shouldn’t Take Suboxone?

Firstly, a few essential things to know about when taking this drug.

  • It is not a pain medication.
  • It can stop or slow a person’s breathing.
  • It may be habit-forming if misused.
  • It may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms to the child upon birth if taken during pregnancy.
  • It can be fatal if taken with alcohol.

Also, if you have had any of the following, discuss it with your doctor before taking the medication:

  • sleep apnea
  • urination problems
  • liver or kidney disease
  • problems with gallbladder
    adrenal gland or thyroid
  • head injury
  • brain tumor
  • drug addiction
  • alcoholism
  • mental illness

Additionally, Suboxone can interfere with other medications. Therefore, the patient must be honest with their medical team about their substance use.

Furthermore, patients should follow all medical directions while taking this treatment.

It is crucial not to share this medication with another person- especially if they also have a history of drug abuse or addiction.

How Does Someone Take Suboxone?

Firstly, when taking Suboxone, the patient must always use dry hands and place the tablet under their tongue.

If it is a film instead of a tablet, patients place it against the inside of their cheek. Allow to dissolve; do not chew or swallow this.

Secondly, it is imperative that patients not stop using Suboxone suddenly, as this can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Thirdly, patients should never crush, break, or mix it into a liquid for injection, as this can be fatal.

Finally, if a patient misses a dose, they can take medicine as soon as possible. However, they should not take it if it is close to the next dose. Patients should never take two doses at once, as this can cause an overdose.

What Are the Signs of an Overdose?

Symptoms of an overdose include:

  • drowsiness
  • cold or clammy skin
  • small pupils
  • fainting
  • slow heart rate
    coma

Additionally, patients should not operate heavy machinery or drive until they know how the medicine affects them.

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Are Suboxone Clinics Safe?

Overall, Suboxone treatment is for those addicted or going through withdrawals, making recovery easier for a patient.

A person can call local rehab specialists to locate a Suboxone clinic. However, Suboxone clinics typically use the drug as the primary treatment, which is not always the best method.

These clinics are why the patient can take Suboxone but should also have a comprehensive treatment plan prepared—only using Suboxone as an aid to help the patient.

Doctors at these clinics use Suboxone as the primary treatment when it should only be an aid. Therefore, the patient should contact a treatment facility or rehab specialist before contacting a Suboxone clinic.

Furthermore, the patient can learn about other medications that might be available, such as Methadone.

Is Methadone Better than Suboxone?

Methadone is another medication available for opioid treatment. Depending on the severity of the addiction, the patient’s doctor may prescribe either of these drugs.

Methadone changes how the brain and nervous system respond to pain. As a result, it lessens the painful withdrawal symptoms and blocks the euphoric effects of drugs that cause addiction.

In addition, doctors can prescribe Suboxone, whereas Methadone is administered only in an opioid treatment program.

The dosages for Methadone are built up over time to avoid an overdose. Methadone treatment is typically used in more severe cases as it is more potent than Suboxone.

Typically, Methadone comes as a liquid, film, or tablet and dissolves under the tongue. Furthermore, Methadone is administered to the patient as long as the patient is stable and has beneficial effects from the treatment.

What Are the Effects of Methadone Treatment?

The effects of methadone treatment are similar to that of Suboxone. However, this drug copies the body’s natural pain-killing endorphins in the brain, which is why it can relieve pain, unlike Suboxone.

However, it can cause drowsiness, mild euphoria, slow breathing, constipation, and excessive sweating. Like Suboxone, it is not safe to mix with alcohol as it can cause death.

How the Opioid Crisis Affects Arizona

The number of opioid problems in Arizona has been increasing over the years. Moreover, in 2018 there were 67,367 drug overdose deaths reported, and opioids caused 46,802 of them.

Opioid deaths account for almost 70% of all overdose deaths in the same year.

These opioid overdoses continue to rise at a rate of about 9.9 each year. In 2018, Arizona doctors wrote about 50.7 prescriptions for every 100 people for opioid drugs, compared to the nation’s average of 51.4 prescriptions per every 100 people.

Arizona patients continue to struggle through the opioid epidemic due to local physicians’ liberal and often unnecessary opioid prescriptions.

There is Always Hope and Help Available

Lastly, regardless of a person’s situation, any addiction deserves medical care, compassion, and appropriate treatment.

Despite the ongoing opioid epidemic, there is hope for recovery, no matter how bad the situation is. Furthermore, experts and professionals can help anyone take their first step toward recovery.

From resources to planning an intervention, rehab specialists and treatment experts can help you or someone you know find the proper treatment.

Sources

[1] ADHS – Opioid Prevention – Home (azdhs.gov)
[2] A recent report on opioid deaths in AZ and concerns around fentanyl – Arizona PBS (azpbs.org)
[3] Teen opioid overdose deaths – A Better Today Recovery Services (abtrs.com)
[4] Addiction Treatment [Rehab] Get Help Now – Recover Today (abtrs.com)

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ABTRS Content Team

ABTRS Content Team

The ABTRS Content Team is a group of writers specializing in addiction and recovery topics.

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