What Happens When Taking Suboxone Too Early?
What Is Suboxone?
The opioid epidemic is taking lives and destroying families and communities across the U.S. This particular drug epidemic is especially troubling because it often begins with the use of prescription pain relievers. People can inadvertently become psychologically addicted and also physically dependent on drugs they need for pain. Prescription narcotics aren’t the only opioids leading to addiction and overdose deaths, however. Another culprit is heroin, an illegal drug sold on the streets.
Any opioid can trigger physical dependence, which is different than addiction. Addiction is a chronic disease with symptoms that include out-of-control drug use and compulsive drug-seeking behaviors. Physical dependence can occur in people with or without an addiction. Dependence occurs when someone’s body needs a drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Opioid withdrawal symptoms are incredibly uncomfortable. These symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, and aches and pains. Withdrawal is a big reason people aren’t successful in a drug treatment program.
Withdrawal also tends to be characterized by intense drug cravings, and when people aren’t successful in drug treatment, it’s typically because they couldn’t get past this period. Prescription drugs are being introduced to help people stop using opioids, at least during detox. One such option is called Suboxone. Suboxone is a combination prescription drug that is used as part of a larger drug treatment program.
Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine acts like a mild opioid but with less severe side effects and a lower potential for abuse. Buprenorphine allows individuals dependent on opioids to avoid some of the withdrawal symptoms and cravings for the drugs during detox. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids, so if someone attempts to abuse Suboxone or other opioids, the naloxone will block the sought-after effects like euphoria. Suboxone is a relatively effective way for people to get through detox. It has a lower risk profile than other medications used to get off opioids, such as methadone or buprenorphine alone.
Have more questions about Suboxone abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
Inside Addiction, Nov. 24–30: Trump’s Medicare Proposal, Amanda Bynes’ History of Addiction, Bruce Springsteen’s Mental HealthNovember 30, 2018
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