Most Common Suboxone® Myths
Medication-assisted treatment is at the forefront of opioid addiction treatment, but many people are unaware of how the medications used in these programs work. Suboxone® is a life-saving combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, which work together to relieve withdrawal symptoms while also blocking and reversing the effects of opioids. Still, common myths prevent those who need help from seeking it due to misinformation spread about MAT therapies despite their evidence-based success in helping those with opioid addiction.
Myth: MAT with Suboxone® is not “real” recovery
The concept of medication-assisted treatment has been around since the 1960s, helping reduce the withdrawal symptoms of opioid addiction while also allowing a taper schedule that eventually weans patients off medication if they chose to do so. MAT is an essential form of recovery because it allows for people to supplement their healing of opioid misuse with the help of medications specifically created to aid the process, which are FDA-approved. Medications like Suboxone® combine a partial agonist, buprenorphine, with naloxone, a powerful opioid antagonist, which can block and reverse the effects of opioids in the body.
Myth: Suboxone® can be bought illicitly, making it ineffective
Unfortunately, almost every prescription medication is found sold on the street due to the nature of the drug trade and addiction. Suboxone® is still an FDA-approved medication that, when used as directed, can provide a life-changing effect on opioid use disorder for many patients who are committed to long-term recovery.
Myth: Suboxone® is a short-term solution
Experts in the field of addiction and opioid use disorder recovery have various theories on the best treatment length for Suboxone® patients. Still, there’s no solid evidence suggesting that it should only be taken for a limited time. Many patients successfully remain in recovery while taking Suboxone® for a longer period, using the medication as one would with any other kind of chronic illness. The average length of Suboxone® treatment will depend on the patient, their needs, and the recommendations of their medical provider while working towards recovery.
Myth: Patients misuse Suboxone® like other opioids
Buprenorphine, a component of Suboxone®, is a weak partial-agonist opioid which means it has a limit or “ceiling” effect on its impact on opioid receptors in the brain. The medication cannot create the same high as full-agonist opioids that are more easily misused. The medication can not only deter relapse by satiating cravings, which is a setback that’s considered part of recovery, but it can also prevent overdose death in the case of misuse, as well. The most dangerous misuse of the medication is combined with other sedatives that cause slowed breathing, like alcohol or benzodiazepines. Thankfully, patients in MAT also receive substance use counseling that addresses underlying issues that lead to substance misuse and addiction, helping them avoid such interactions and maintain a better focus on recovery.
Recovery Services of New Mexico is determined to help the surrounding community through the ongoing opioid epidemic by providing effective, evidence-based opioid use disorder treatment. Those seeking help for their addiction are strongly urged to contact their local clinic today to learn more about treatment programs that can get them set on the road to recovery.