If you’re one of those who have fallen victim to opioid addiction, you are not alone — and recovery is 100% possible. Medication-assisted treatment using Buprenorphine has been hailed as a revelation for individuals who are struggling with opioid dependence.

When combined with targeted therapy and a structured recovery program, this type of addiction treatment is highly effective for opioid use disorders. It prevents the body from going into shock and eases the uncomfortable feelings associated with quitting such addictive substances.

Buprenorphine eases withdrawal symptoms, reduces cravings and provides a realistic route for weaning clients off substances like heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone. It comes in two forms, a sublingual tablet and a film. You can also place the Buprenorphine film in the buccal position between your gum and cheek.

Drug abuse is usually a signal that your mental health and nervous system require attention from medical professionals. At Brookside Treatment, we offer medication-assisted treatment and use Buprenorphine alongside behavioral therapy for eligible clients. Call us today at 606-342-7089 to find out more about how to start a substance abuse treatment program here with us.

Buprenorphine is a partial agonist for opioid drugs, which means it gently triggers the opioid receptors. However, it’s much weaker than the psychoactive substances you were addicted to, so it’s unlikely to give you a palpable high. Instead, it delivers mild pain relief for mental and physical withdrawal symptoms. Heroin, for instance, is a full opioid agonist. It triggers the receptors in your brain, causing major disruption to your mind and body.

The other active substance in Buprenorphine is naloxone, which is a full opioid antagonist. It prevents opiates from attaching to the receptors and reverses the effects of full agonists already in the system.

Taking naloxone alone would be dangerous because it can trigger withdrawal symptoms in someone who hasn’t fully detoxed. Combining it with buprenorphine mitigates this risk, making it one of the most effective medications on the market to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Many people experience few side effects at all when they take Suboxone. However, there are a few individuals who experience some adverse symptoms after using the medication. Some of the common side effects of Buprenorphine include:

  • Back pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach cramps
  • Runny nose
  • Breathing problems
  • Respiratory depression
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Liver damage
  • Withdrawal syndrome

If these symptoms don’t go away after a few days or you experience severe side effects, seek help from a doctor.

How Long Should You Be on Medication Assisted Treatment?

You should take Buprenorphine at least six hours after detoxification from opiates. This lowers the risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, but 12 hours is ideal. It’s important to note that it should also be at least 24 hours after methadone use. This medication is designed for short-term use to help you overcome the acute stages of withdrawal.

In some cases, with particularly severe drug addictions, your doctor might prescribe Buprenorphine to help with the maintenance phase of recovery. This involves taking a small, stable dose for a few months to a year.,

How Long Does It Work to Help with Opiate Withdrawal and Cravings?

It usually takes around three or four hours for Buprenorphine to kick in and reach its peak effect. It’s then about three to five days before you start to experience withdrawal symptoms from the low buprenorphine levels. Interestingly, naloxone and buprenorphine have different half-lives — with the latter dictating how long the effects last.

Dangers of Buprenorphine Addiction

Buprenorphine is an excellent tool for opiate addiction when used as part of a treatment program overseen by a health care provider. However, it does still have opioid effects, and there’s a risk of psychological and physical dependence.

The addiction risk is much higher if you use this medication and drink alcohol or engage in illicit drug use. If you’re dependent on Buprenorphine and stop taking it, you might experience withdrawal symptoms that will range from mild to severe, depending on how long you’ve been using it.

The Importance of Taking It Responsibly

Due to the risks involved in using Buprenorphine, it’s only a viable treatment route for individuals who are serious about recovery. If you use this drug irresponsibly, you run the risk of merely transferring one addiction to another. Make sure you follow all medical advice you’re given to the letter to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms or drug interactions.

Dosage for Drug Addiction Treatment

Buprenorphine is a controlled substance that is FDA approved for treating opioid dependence. During the first stage of treatment, it’s used to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The maximum dosage on the first day is 8 mg buprenorphine / 2 mg naloxone. If this doesn’t control your symptoms sufficiently, the doctor will up the dose the following day. Your maintenance dose is determined when your symptoms are under control for two consecutive days.

If you require further maintenance treatment, you’ll stay on the same dose until the medical team thinks you’re ready to taper. The tapering process usually takes several weeks to several months.

Find Out More About Buprenorphine Treatment Today

If you’ve been struggling with your relationship with prescription drugs or illicit opiate substances like heroin, we can help. At Brookside Treatment, we’ve helped thousands of people overcome addiction and rediscover their passion for life. Call us today at 606-342-7089 to book an appointment.