Buprenorphine is one FDA-approved treatment for opioid addiction in the form of Suboxone. But it works a little differently than you might guess. After all, buprenorphine is itself an opioid.
Opioids here mean natural and man-made drugs that relieve pain. Opioids include morphine, methadone, oxycodone, and heroin. But being lumped into this large group doesn’t mean that buprenorphine is just another addictive opioid that will undermine the patient’s treatment.
Buprenorphine helps those recovering from opioid addiction overcome the withdrawal period, where the body experiences painful cravings. This pain is what buprenorphine relieves. Not with the pleasurable high that hooks people on heroin, but with a gentler pain-relief.
In addition, buprenorphine works as an opioid antagonist (a chemical that denies the physical high opioids cause). This prepares their body to respond less to opioid highs, and becomes stronger when paired with naloxone, the second ingredient in Suboxone. With careful instructions from doctors, Suboxone can help you begin recovery while also preparing your body to maintain it.
There’s a risk of addiction, but it’s less than that of morphine, or even methadone. Doctors recommend tapering off of Suboxone gradually, to prevent withdrawal. And opioid recovery programs include mental and behavioral therapies to cement a holistic change in the patient.
What Can I Do About It?
Addiction Treatment in Community
The site also connects readers to the community of In the Rooms, where anyone suffering from any addiction can receive convenient support — online peer groups. Opioid recovery requires both time and community, and we’re glad to partner with In the Rooms as it helps users follow lifelong sobriety.
And In the Rooms will soon be adding its own directory of opioid treatment doctors. There’s likely to be overlap between that list of Suboxone doctors and ours, which helps everyone involved. Doctors might find new patients, and potential patients might find doctors — that’s what we facilitate here at Buprenorphine Doctors.
If you’re a buprenorphine doctor or connected to a buprenorphine practice, take a look at how you can advertise your practice and reach a wider pool of potential patients.