Addiction treatment centers strive for safe and comfortable strategies to help their clients withdraw from drugs and alcohol, yet some drugs pose a problem for treatment. For instance, sudden withdrawal from many drugs may result in a medical emergency. Still, it is not feasible in most cases to slowly wean the addict off of his or her drug of choice. For opiate withdrawal, Suboxone has proven an effective method.
Suboxone is a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is a narcotic medication that is used to treat opiate drug overdoses by reversing how opiates act in the body. Buprenorphine is mild opiate (also a narcotic), and like any other opiate, Suboxone binds to opiate receptors in the brain.
The difference between Suboxone treatment and using opiates that people use to get high, like heroin or OxyContin, is that this withdrawal medication can't be used to get high. In fact, it prevents the feeling of euphoria that users seek while providing enough relief to make withdrawal far more comfortable.
Suboxone treatment has two separate functions, fulfilling the need for an opiate and preventing further opiate use. The two drugs in this medication, buprenorphine and naloxone, work together to achieve this result.
To understand opiate addiction, and to help you understand how medications like Suboxone work, it's helpful to understand how the body processes drugs. The brain contains receptors for every type of substance. These receptors are special places where substances work like keys to unlock certain specific "doors" to the brain. If the key fits, the drug can produce a result.
In much the same way, some drugs block receptors so the keys will not fit. A drug that works as a receptor key and produces a result is called an agonist. A drug that works as a receptor key that blocks a result is called an antagonist. An antagonist may also be called a blocker because it blocks other keys, or substances, from fitting into place in the receptors.
Suboxone treatment essentially takes the place of the opioid that the addict uses to get high. For instance, let's assume the drug of choice is Vicodin. When someone wants to get high, he or she may take Vicodin. The Vicodin travels to the brain and then acts as an agonist in the opiate receptors in the brain. In other words, the Vicodin keys fit into the Vicodin receptor locks in the brain and work to unlock the action of the Vicodin - relief from pain or other pleasurable feeling.
Buprenorphine is an opioid agonist. That means that it acts the same way as an opioid like Vicodin. Buprenorphine, however, does not produce the same high that other opiates produce because it is not as strong. They make the user feel good (or feel relief from the discomfort of withdrawal), but the user will not get high off of buprenorphine.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. It blocks opioid receptors in the brain. If someone who was taking naloxone tried to take Vicodin (or other opiate) to get high, they would not get high because the naloxone was blocking the Vicodin from unlocking the opiate receptors in the brain. So, when buprenorphine and naloxone work together as Suboxone, they both help the user feel better while preventing them from getting high.
To find out more about the Suboxone treatment options call Denver Drug Treatment Centers, today at (303) 225-2945 and speak to an addiction specialist who can answer your questions and help you find centers that suit your specific needs. Don't put it off any longer.