Suboxone is a synthetic, FDA-approved, opiate that is specifically used to help people with opiate addiction. Since it was approved in 2002, a debate has been raging about whether it delivers the intended outcome or not. Many detractors claim that the Suboxone drug is nothing more than a less-dangerous substitute for opiate addiction and doesn’t actually help addicts kick their habits.

Suboxone comes in pill form and was a much welcomed advancement in opiate addiction treatment. Previous to its federal approval in 2002, the only other method to treat opiate and narcotic addiction chemically was through methadone clinics. Methadone is a less powerful opiate that required doctor and clinical regulation to ensure that patients weren’t getting addicted.

Suboxone has several obvious benefits over methadone, one being its ease of use (pill as opposed to a red clinically-administered liquid). Previously, kicking opiates on a methadone treatment required daily clinic visits to receive your dose. Suboxone eliminates the need to visit a clinic daily and puts the control int he hands of those in recovery – which is precisely the problem, some say.

As a powerful opiate in its own right, Suboxone is often accused as prolonging addiction and fostering the addict mindset. Buprenorphine, the active chemical ingredient in Suboxone, delivers the opiate effect, however there is an additional ingredient used in Suboxone to prevent the abuse of the drug. Naloxone, which makes up about a fifth of Suboxone’s chemical composition, acts as an opioid antagonist designed to prevent abuse.

Those in favor of Suboxone cite its unique chemical make-up as the main reason they think it’s a beneficial way to treat addiction. Since it is a “partial-agonist”, Suboxone possesses a ceiling effect that makes treating opiate addiction possible. At a certain maximum dosage, Suboxone will stop delivering its effects on the body, thus preventing the abuse, over-consumption, and overdose of the drug.

The debate is split right down the middle. Many doctors and medical experts are lauding Suboxone as a great advancement in the chemical treatment of narcotic and opiate addiction. Skeptics, which included patients of the treatment and their doctors, argue that Suboxone’s ability to to prove addicting is dangerous. As of right now, there’s no clear evidence on what the long term effects of Suboxone-use are; whether it allows damaged brain chemistry to heal at all is still a mystery. But as it stands, Suboxone is the best alternative that we’ve got to treat opiate addiction. It offers a structured, gradual detox which is often seen as a more manageable and safer method, preventing relapse.

What are your thoughts about the debate? Is Suboxone a great treatment for opiate and narcotic addiction? Or is it just the lesser of two evils? Post your input on the Hickory Wind Ranch Facebook page under the link to this post.

You can also find an entire page dedicated to Suboxone and Sober Living on our site.


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