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Suboxone and Replacement Therapy

Suboxone is intended for short term use only in detox. Make the permanent choice not to replace or relapse at Saint Jude Retreats

Suboxone and Replacement Therapy

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone, a drug combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone, is a drug that is used to help individuals detox from other drugs, mostly opiates and opioids. While the drug has successfully helped millions of individuals detox comfortably from drugs such as heroin, many others become dependent on it and use Suboxone as a replacement therapy drug. Suboxone affects the central nervous system and the brain to block the opioid receptors; the part of the brain that distinguishes between pain and pleasure.

Similar to heroin, Suboxone is a very strong drug and is, unfortunately, not without a certain amount of side effects. The side effects from taking Suboxone may include agitation, anxiety, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, mood swings, nausea, vomiting, depression, insomnia, cramps and nightmares. In addition, it is "stickier" to opioid receptors than other drugs such as morphine. Whereas morphine has a half life of 2 hours, Suboxone's half life can stretch from 24-60 hours so it is much more difficult to stop using Suboxone than heroin.

The problem with Suboxone

The problem lies in the fact that many individuals who begin taking Suboxone never actually stop taking it. In fact, studies show that some individuals have been taking Suboxone for more than 20 years. This replaces one substance for another and is simply not helpful to free individuals to move forward without a continued dependency. Although the potential for physical dependency is great, individuals who take Suboxone only through the withdrawal stage of their detox from other drugs can typically taper their dosage of Suboxone without any complications and without the risk for physical dependency.

Do You Need to Detox From Suboxone?

To accomplish a medical detox comfortably and successfully, it is not uncommon for substance users to admit themselves into a reputable detox center. There are several different types of detox methods from holistic to traditional hospital detox, but the type most recommended by doctors is intravenous (IV) therapy medical detox.

Once detox is complete, it may be necessary to enroll in a substance use program that can help the individual start life fresh without the need for Suboxone or any other substances. There are several different kinds of programs consisting of natural, holistic remedies, traditional 12 Step programs, and non-12 Step programs that offer Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE).

Many detox centers provide people Suboxone during detox. Often times however, they are not completely weaned off of the drug before leaving the detox or are even sent home with an on-going or maintenance prescription. Some detox centers believe in using Suboxone as a replacement drug therapy method, which should be avoided at all costs. Suboxone is not the answer to solving a drug problem permanently.

12 Steps programs, along with 12 Step meetings, teach individuals that drug use, even drugs that are taken as a substitute to other drugs, is part of an incurable, progressive disease. 12 Step programs may even promote that the problem is inherited genetically and that the only cure available is to surrender to a higher power and attend support group meetings for the rest of one's life. The individual's personal choice and responsibility is absolved as they are taught they are powerless to resist drug use and doomed to relapse over and over in the future.

A Non-12 Step Solution

Non-12 Step or alternative programs offer different approaches and philosophies in opposition to the 12 Step ideologies. The Saint Jude Program offers Cognitive Behavioral Education (CBE) and help individuals reconsider their past choices and behaviors. CBE uses specific research that shows that substance use is not a disease and that the individual has the absolute power to make more positive choices going forward. The truth is substance use is a choice and a learned behavior, not a medical disease inherited from a damaged gene of "addiction". Substance users can stop using drugs if they desire and there is no need to rely on an external source for sobriety such as religion, a higher power, or replacement therapy drugs such as Suboxone.

The CBE program at Saint Jude Retreats provides skills and information people can use to move past their substance use permanently as well as give them a means to self-evaluate their success with goal setting and moving along their path to happiness and productivity. If you would like to learn more, please call Saint Jude Retreats today at 888.424.2626.

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