Subutex Abuse Treatment

Subutex Abuse Treatment

Subutex abuse and addiction not only affects the patients but those around them. The social effects of Subutex addiction to any drug often outweighs the physical effects to the patient. Once the patient becomes dependent on the drug (for Subutex this can be after a period of several weeks of sustained use), they discover that they have to use increasingly higher doses to achieve the same effect as before. This is referred to as the development of tolerance for the drug. Subutex treatment is offered to patients who are addicted to the drug.

The FDA requires doctors who prescribe Subutex as treatment for opiate addiction to patients to closely monitor the prescriptions as well as keep updated records of the patient in an online registry. This helps them to track their patients and can detect when the patient is doctor hopping; a practice where the patient shifts from one doctor to another in an attempt to obtain more drugs and is an indicator of drug abuse.

Subutex Abuse Treatment

Subutex is mainly administered in hospitals as Suboxone. Suboxone is chemically similar to Subutex but with an additive called naloxone. Naloxone is added to Subutex to discourage its abuse, where it acts by reversing the effects of opiates in the brain thereby producing severe withdrawal symptoms commonly associated with withdrawal from opiate use. This is likely to occur when the patient for instance crushes the drug or mixes it with another liquid for injection.

Subutex Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Nervousness
  • Muscular
  • Spasms
  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Severe mood swings
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory distress

Treatment of Subutex withdrawal occurs by a gradual reduction of the drug in a medically supervised facility.

It is sometimes obtained from the streets illegally by addicts who wish to quit the habit without going on record and who do not wish to stop taking the drug ‘cold turkey.’ When the patient tries to stop taking the drug ‘cold turkey’ a practice where the patient withdraws from the drug and stops taking it abruptly-severe symptoms such as confusion, unconsciousness and even death can be encountered.

The effects of Subutex are due to the buprenorphine present in it (Buprenorphine Hydrochloride) which acts on special receptors in the brain called opioid receptors. Buprenorphine has a higher affinity for these receptors and will displace the molecules of the opiate in use .The body is capable of detoxifying from buprenorphine by breaking it to its metabolite known as Norbuprenorphine.

The concentration of these two related substances in the body fluids is used to determine in a test whether the patient is abusing the drug or in a forensic examination. Drug addicts look at obtaining buprenorphine in the streets as a cheaper alternative to getting it in a health facility a claim that holds water considering that it costs $300 for a first visit to a buprenorphine clinic and a couple of hundred dollars for each subsequent visit.

Typically, it takes a few weeks for a patient to be considered completely cured from Subutex addiction although results vary from patient to patient. Relapses are also quite rare if treatment is done in a medically supervised facility 800-303-2482.

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