Opioid addiction is very serious, but if you’re ready to take action, we can help. One of the medications used to treat opioid addiction is called Suboxone®.
Our team at Drug, Alcohol, Mental Health Counseling & Evaluation Services, Inc. in Honolulu, Hawaii, proudly offers Suboxone treatment. As a specialist in the field of addiction, we are happy to help you overcome your opioid dependency. If you’re unsure about taking Suboxone or need more information, we discuss some myths and facts about it below.
Myth: You can easily overdose from Suboxone
In fact, it is rare to overdose from Suboxone due to the two medications it contains. Medications prescribed for opioid addiction usually fall into two categories: opioid agonists or opioid antagonists. Opioid agonists bind to opioid receptors in your brain to reduce cravings and dull the effects of other opioids. Opioid antagonists block these receptors causing withdrawal.
Suboxone has both an opioid agonist, Buprenorphine, as well as an opioid antagonist, Naloxone. Buprenorphine is a type of partial opioid agonist, which helps you most when managing your opioid cravings. This ingredient often ensures that you won’t need opioids at all after a while.
Naloxone is a type of opioid antagonist that can prevent an overdose as it blocks the effects of opioids. Because it is meant to be taken under the tongue, Suboxone’s opioid antagonist is only activated if the medicine is injected in order to prevent medication misuse.
Because of these ingredients, the risk of overdosing from Suboxone by itself is very low. In order to reduce the risk further, our team only prescribes Suboxone for patients in our comprehensive opioid treatment program, which includes counseling and behavioral therapy.
Myth: Taking Suboxone keeps you addicted
It can feel unusual to take another medicine if you are addicted to opioid medications. Some people mistakenly feel this merely replaces one addiction with another.
However, it’s impossible for most people to quit opioids cold turkey due to the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. Taking Suboxone as prescribed does not constitute an addiction. It is in fact more like taking a life-saving medication for a chronic illness.
You can take Suboxone in a film or tablet that dissolves when put under your tongue. You then take Suboxone as prescribed by our doctors, which might be a short-term or long-term course.
Once our doctors agree with you that you are ready to stop Suboxone, our team helps you taper off with an individualized plan.
Myth: Most people have to take Suboxone for life
While some people continue to take Suboxone for the rest of their lives, you can also stop taking Suboxone if you and your doctor decide you are ready. If you choose to do so, we develop a plan to slowly reduce your Suboxone intake until you stop entirely.
Because opioid withdrawal can be intense, we usually start by prescribing a low dose of Suboxone to help with your cravings. At this point, you need to stop taking opioids because taking opioids and Suboxone together can worsen your withdrawal symptoms as Naloxone blocks the opioids.
During the second phase of Suboxone treatment, we gradually increase your prescription to find the right maintenance dose for you. This can be different for each person, which is why we individualize each stage of treatment to your needs. Once you have the right maintenance dose, you can stick to that dose for as long as you need.
If you feel ready to talk about your opioid addiction and start Suboxone treatment, our team at Drug, Alcohol, Mental Health Counseling & Evaluation Services, Inc. can be contacted at (808) 400-5003. You can also book online or use our contact form to receive additional information.