Buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone, was approved by the FDA in 2002. This drug is given to those who struggled with an addiction to opioids. It is meant to help them to overcome their substance abuse disorder. In recent years, there has been an increase, even an epidemic, of those who have an opioid addiction. There are many people who are overdosing on opioids and dying from opioid abuse as well. Suboxone should help these people have a higher chance of overcoming their addiction, right? Well, just as with any other medication, there are downsides to using it.
After Buprenorphine was approved, naloxone was combined with it. Naloxone is another drug that was created to stop an opioid overdose. Naloxone connects the brain’s opioid receptors, knocking opioids from them. If someone is experiencing an overdose from opioid abuse, Naloxone is the drug that reverses overdose effects. Medical attention is needed immediately to help combat the overdose. Naloxone and Buprenorphine combined make Suboxone.
When used as prescribed, either in a filmstrip or the pill, Buprenorphine that is in Suboxone, reduces symptoms of withdrawal. It helps to ease cravings in someone who is trying to overcome a drug addiction as well. The Buprenorphine does stay in the body for quite some time which helps when someone is fighting urges to use while in recovery. Buprenorphine relieves pain, as well. There have been many people who have used Suboxone to help them overcome addiction.
There are some people who abuse Suboxone. When doing so, Buprenorphine gets to the opioid receptors after the Naloxone. This causes instant symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms are short-lived, generally less than half an hour, until the Buprenorphine connects to the opioid receptors. If someone is struggling with an addiction to opioids, the withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable. They aren’t usually dangerous, though.
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Injection Based Suboxone Abuse
As mentioned, there are some people who become addicted to Suboxone. For those who are unfamiliar opioids, or who haven’t abused narcotics which are stronger, they can get high from the Buprenorphine. Some Suboxone users figure out how to skip the effects of Naloxone to get a bigger dose of the Buprenorphine, so they can get a high. This is generally done through injections.
In theory, the presence of Naloxone in Suboxone should prevent abuse of the drug. However, if the flimstrips or pills are crushed or broken down, mixed into water, and injected. Naloxone kicks in before the Buprenorphine. Members of the FDA have warned people that shooting up or injecting Suboxone could cause severe withdrawal symptoms. These might include the following:
When someone injects a larger dose through injection, the Naloxone may not be strong enough to stop the high from the Buprenorphine. This is where the abuse happens.
Suboxone Abuse Symptoms and Risks of Injecting
It can be helpful to know more about the Suboxone abuse symptoms. Some of these might include the following:
- Feeling little to no pain
- Euphoric sensations
- Sedated feeling
- Reduced, slow, or shallow breathing
- Pinpointed pupils
- Feeling confused
- Lowered inhibitions and lack of proper judgment
- Flushed skin
- Slurring of speech
- Severe fatigue
- Feeling sleepy
These are some of the symptoms someone may experience when abusing Suboxone.
There are risks involved with injecting this drug as well. Some of these risks include the following:
- Infection at the site of injection
- Collapsed veins
- Higher risk for contracting hepatitis or HIV
- Clotting of blood
- Bruising around injection sites
Some of these risks can be dangerous or even life-threatening.
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Treatment for Suboxone Abuse
Suboxone can be helpful when someone is trying to overcome an opioid addiction. However, if you or someone you know is struggling with Suboxone abuse or addiction to this drug, treatment might be needed. There are drug rehab centers that treat Suboxone abuse and addiction. The patient may receive other medications to combat withdrawal, therapy, and aftercare services as well.
Anyone who struggles with abusing Suboxone or has become addicted to it should be aware there is help available right away. If there is someone who is injecting Suboxone, that is a sign of addiction. Getting into a rehab center and working with medical professionals is the first step to getting clean. The medical professionals will help you to start tapering off from Suboxone. They will make the detox process as comfortable as they can. Those who attend a drug rehab center can start reducing their dependence upon the drug.
Make the call today. If you are the one who is suffering from the addiction, ask for help to get enrolled into treatment immediately. If you know someone who needs help to overcome a Suboxone addiction, talk to a professional about how you can help them. The help is there. You just have to make the call.
Want more information about how Chapters Capistrano can help? Feel free to call 949-371-4198 and one of our addiction specialists will help get the information and help you need.