Is Suboxone Maintenance Treatment Effective?
Suboxone Maintenance in Pennsylvania
The controversy over this life-saving medication should not even exist. Suboxone, which is made up of Buprenorphine, and Naloxone SAVES LIVES. Say it louder for the people in the back! Despite what your local internet troll/keyboard warrior writes on Facebook community groups or articles about addiction medication-assisted treatment(MAT) works. Why? Because Science, and Logic. Buprenorhphine is a partial agonist that attaches to the same receptors as other opioids and reduces their effect by blocking them from the same receptors. Translation: You can't get high. Naloxone blocks receptors that are activated by opioids. Translation: Reduced cravings.
Not being able to get high + No cravings = RECOVERY
Suboxone maintenance should be inducted under the care of a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, and must include a comprehensive treatment plan that includes intensive counseling, and psychosocial support ideally through peers.
Suboxone maintenance or MAT is considered an evidence-based practice(EBP). EBP incorporates the best current evidence or research to make a clinical decision regarding patient care. There have been many studies that support this model to reduce opioid use and opioid use disorder related symptoms such as infectious disease transmission & criminal behavior. Medication-assisted treatment also increases the percentage of treatment completions exponentially, reduces opioid overdoses & death, reduced risk of HIV, lowered chance of criminal justice involvement, and greater chance individuals will get and keep a job. MAT keeps individuals alive, and out of trouble so they can hear a life-saving message of recovery which will hopefully change, and save their life! Although all the good things that come with a harm reduction method it still gets looked at as the ugly redheaded stepchild of addiction treatment.
Misconceptions of Suboxone Maintenance
Everyone has heard it in the past "It's replacing one drug for another" or " you are still getting high". While you can experience euphoria by taking suboxone it does have the same effect on an individual who has a significant tolerance to opioids. When prescribed to individuals with a high tolerance, and due to pharmacodynamic, and pharmacokinetic properties these medications do not produce a euphoric high, but instead minimize withdrawal symptoms, and cravings. Suboxone maintenance allows individuals to live a normal life where they can attend school or work without experiencing the tremendous symptoms and consequences of untreated addiction to opioids. Through this medication, they are able to participate in drug & alcohol treatment, recovery support services, and mutual aid support groups to become free of their substance use disorder over time.
Often it is stated that "you are just going to be stuck on that medication for the rest of your life". The sole goal of medication-assisted treatment is to get you free of opioid use. The decision or gaol can be made to wean off of the medication at any time, and their is a lot of success for those who do. This should be planned thoroughly with the medical provider who is prescribing the suboxone. After years of opioid misuse, it will take time for the mind, and body to heal fully.
Ultimately Suboxone Maintenance saves lives so who is anyone to judge what path to recovery to take? Everyone must find in their own time, and in their own way how to recover. If what you are doing today is keeping you alive, and well then keep doing it. Don't let anyone judge you out of recovery.
If you or a loved one wants to learn more about Suboxone Maintenance please feel free to call us at 610-233-4342 or email [email protected].
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