Suboxone for Detox From Opiates

Perhaps you or a loved one has repeatedly attempted to stop using heroin or opioids, only to fall down again.  Desiring to end the bondage to drugs and be able to function normally again is the ultimate goal, but unfortunately it remains elusive.  For many, successfully completing detox seems impossible due to the withdrawal symptoms that are part and parcel of the detox process.  In fact, while long-term recovery from an opiate addiction is the goal, just making it through the 5-7 days of (not gonna lie) sheer hell of detox is the first order of business.

When it comes to getting through the medical detox process successfully so you can enter treatment and change your life, why not access all the tools available?  Suboxone for detox from opiates is one of the tools in the recovery toolbox that should be considered. 

While not appropriate for everyone, Suboxone is indeed helping people get through detox and avoid relapse, two of the most important things in the world to an addict who just wants to get clean and sober.

What Happens in Opiate Detox?

Entering into detox, the first stage of recovery from an opiate addiction, can be a source of great anxiety.  Most addicts are fully aware of the unpleasant experience that is ahead, having experienced withdrawal symptoms between doses or when attempting to stop using the drug.  But detox serves an important purpose in starting the recovery process.  The biochemical changes that have occurred in the brain must be allowed to correct, and that requires detoxification.  The lingering toxins or chemicals will be released from the body over a period of about a week.

Unfortunately, the individual must endure some discomfort during this process.  The body and brain is basically rebelling in the absence of the drug, resulting in withdrawal symptoms that are highly unpleasant.  Fortunately, detox specialists will monitor the process and administer medications and physical relief to help mitigate these discomforts.  The severity of the opiate detox symptoms depends on the specific drug of abuse, the typical dosing of the drug, the frequency of the dosing, the length of history of the addiction, any co-occurring mental health conditions, and the overall physical health of the individual.

What are the Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms will commence within about 12 hours after the last dose of the drug.  Initially they feel like flu symptoms, but will reach a peak in intensity on days 2-3 before beginning to subside.  Most opiate detoxes are completed within 7-10 days.

Opiate withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Goosebumps on skin
  • Watery eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Cravings
  • Fatigue

Opiate withdrawal doesn’t carry a risk of death like withdrawal from some other substances.  However, because the withdrawal symptoms are so intense and uncomfortable the individual could just give up and return to the drug in order to stop the pain of detox.  For this reason, a medically supervised detox is important in successfully managing withdrawal symptoms and guiding the individual into treatment.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a drug that contains buprenorphine and naloxone, and is typically used in film form, placed on the tongue where it will dissolve.  The buprenorphine ingredient is an opioid itself that acts as a partial agonist, which can block the effects of the opiate, reducing the cravings for it.  Naloxone is added to deter the individual from misusing the product by injecting it, as intense withdrawal symptoms will result.

Suboxone cannot be introduced at the beginning of detox.  The client must be opiate-free for at least a few days before starting on Suboxone for detox from opiates.  The detox professionals will administer an assessment called the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale, which can safely determine if the client is clear to begin Suboxone treatment. 

How Does Suboxone Help During Detox?

When it comes to determining how long a client should use Suboxone in recovery, the treatment professionals will base their recommendation on factors such as they type of opiate involved in the addiction, the length of time addicted to the drug, if there is family history of addiction or substance abuse, and how the client is progressing in treatment.  Generally, the client will start with a three-month prescription.

Suboxone can make a positive difference in the life of someone in recovery from opiates.  It can allow the client to return to work sooner and resume normal functioning by helping to stabilize brain chemistry and control cravings. 

Suboxone and Early Recovery

The statistics on relapse after rehab are sobering.  According to a study conducted in Ireland, about 80% of those who had completed inpatient treatment for opiate dependency relapsed within the first month following rehab. The first year following treatment is the riskiest, as the brain learns how to manage daily life without the opiate.  The brain requires about a year just to return to normal functioning with regard to regulating emotions, impulse control, and decision-making.  It takes time to create new healthy habits and to put into use the coping skills and relaxation techniques learned in rehab. 

Using Suboxone for a limited period can have a profound impact on the recovery outcome.  Suboxone should not be used long term, as it can itself become a substance of abuse, only leading to a new addiction.  But if used for the first 3-6 months, Suboxone can substantially reduce the compulsive desire to use the opiate by curbing cravings.  This reduces the overall risk of relapse and improves the recovery outlook.  The client should continue to attend recovery group meetings and participate in ongoing therapy to further fortify their recovery.

Solutions 4 Recovery Provides Suboxone for Detox From Opiates

Solutions 4 Recovery provides customized treatment for addiction and dual diagnosis in San Juan Capistrano, California.  Solutions 4 Recovery is committed to utilizing all the tools in the recovery toolbox, including Suboxone for detox from opiates, and to also diminish the risk of relapse in early recovery.  Solutions 4 Recovery also offers sober living housing and outpatient programs in addition to the inpatient treatment.  For more information about how to successfully complete detox and rehab using Suboxone, please contact Solutions 4 Recovery today at (888) 417-1874.