Opioid dependence or prescription painkillers addiction is a curable condition. People who are addicted to opioids find it difficult to deal with the urge to satisfy or avoid withdrawal symptoms on their own. Suboxone, also known as Buprenorphine, can help people with opioid addiction to suppress or minimize cravings hence focus on reconstructing their lives.
Preparation for Suboxone treatment is very crucial. It is important to help a family member addicted to opioids by seeking help from a doctor and educating yourself about the treatment in advance.
Your first dose of treatment would take about two hours to administer. It is best you don’t work that day. Your doctor will recommend about 8 mg to 16 mg of Suboxone on the first days of treatment.
The first dose of Buprenorphine should be administered when the patient has started experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If the drug is administered before the patient experiences withdrawal symptoms, it could cause more serious withdrawal symptoms.
The effect of Buprenorphine on the brain’s receptors is much stronger than any other opiate like heroin, methadone, or painkillers. Therefore, Buprenorphine will be used as an alternative to the other opiate hence causing rapid and heightened withdrawal symptoms.
Expected doctor visits
This depends on your doctor. Most doctors could see a patient at least twice in the first week and at least once every week in the subsequent weeks to ensure the patient can take the prescribed medication correctly and that the right dose has been administered.
Before the patient starts treatment, it is important to conduct a urine test to screen for all substances that he has been using including heroin and marijuana. Drug screening will be random and a necessary part of the treatment.
How the patient will feel during the first week
The patient will be doubtful of the medication’s ability to reduce withdrawal symptoms, but it will be administered nevertheless. Repeated drug administration means that the patient’s withdrawal symptoms may take some time to end because the brain’s receptor cells are not calm. However, the withdrawal symptoms often disappear by the end of the first week.
When you will be able to work
Take the first week of treatment off. Afterwards, you can resume your work normally.
Family members often take time before they can learn to trust the addict again. During treatment, recovering addicts are encouraged to talk about family issues with their counselors.
Contact with Friends
It is important for the recovering addict to distance himself from friends who are still addicts once he begins treatment. The recovering addict should be kept off from anything that may make them crave the drugs again.
Keeping off temptations may not be enough. Counseling is an important part of the treatment regimen because it helps them learn how to avoid the temptation of using again. Counseling will help the addict learn strategies and skills for beating addiction and rebuilding his life.
Taking the medication
It is important for the addict to take his medication at the same time daily. There are several reasons for this.
i. The patient should take Buprenorphine at the same time especially in the morning when it is quiet and he is not distracted.
ii. Distributing the dose over the course of the day gives the addict a better chance to forget old behaviors.
iii. Some people become energetic and active after using Buprenorphine. This could distract their sleep patterns if they take the medication at night. Therefore, it is important to take the dose in the morning or mid-day.
Some of the feelings the patient may experience on the first day of treatment include agitation, chills, sweat, stomach cramps, and restlessness. These symptoms should end after about twenty to thirty minutes of the first 4mg dose. After an hour, the patient should take a second dose, which should calm him.