Physicians and addiction experts in rehab facilities across the U.S. all agree that overcoming a substance use disorder, otherwise known as addiction, means first getting through detox. And for many individuals, this is where the journey to sobriety starts and ultimately ends. Essentially, detox is a process whereby the body naturally rids itself of drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous contaminants soon after an individual stops using.
This all-important step toward achieving sobriety is challenging since the abrupt cessation of drugs or alcohol often triggers a wave of unpleasant symptoms. And these symptoms are so severe sometimes that they can push some people who are otherwise ready to regain control over their lives back into using again. Of course, none of this is ground-breaking news to the physicians and addiction experts who work in rehab facilities across America. And it should also come as no surprise that many of these same facilities offer medication-assisted detox to help individuals cope with severe withdrawal symptoms and, more importantly, stay the course in terms of putting addiction behind them for good.
Why Rehab Facilities Across Are Proponents of Medication-Assisted Detox
Although many medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can help individuals cope with severe withdrawal symptoms on their detox journey, some are more sought-after than others depending on the nature of someone’s addiction.
And this is an opinion shared by many physicians working in the more than 14,000 rehab facilities throughout the U.S. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), medications commonly prescribed by many of the physicians in rehab facilities offering medication-assisted detox include the following:
Why Suboxone Ranks as One of the Best When It Comes to Medication-Assisted Detox Drugs
Ultimately, the drug used as part of a medication-assisted detox program has a lot to do with the type of substance abuse problem an individual has, say most physicians with rehab facilities across the U.S. For example, Disulfiram and Acamprosate are considered go-to drugs for combating symptoms resulting from alcohol detox. The same is generally true for the prescription drug Naltrexone as well. That said, the same physician as these rehab facilities interspersed across the country agree that combating withdrawal symptoms associated with an opioid detox requires a much different approach. And this is where Methadone and Buprenorphine come into the picture. After all, both are effective in terms of reducing opioid cravings and easing severe withdrawal symptoms. But there is one drug that rehab facilities are prescribing more so than Methadone and Buprenorphine for those trying to quit opioids, and it goes by the name of Suboxone.
What is Suboxone?
First and foremost, Suboxone is a combination prescription-based drug insofar as it contains both Naltrexone and Buprenorphine. And the benefit of this drug when it comes to helping individuals end their relationship with opioids is twofold. In short, the Buprenorphine ingredient in Suboxone acts as a partial opioid agonist, which limits the effects of full agonist street-level and prescription-based opioid drugs, such as heroin and Oxycodone, for example. While this is happening, the Naltrexone ingredient in Suboxone acts as an opioid antagonist. Naltrexone only works when an individual consumes full agonist drugs insofar that it will trigger a wave of unpleasant symptoms that help deter individuals from falling off the proverbial wagon while going through opioid detox.
What You May Not Have Known About Suboxone Withdrawal but Probably Should
While Suboxone is an absolute game-changer in battling opioid addiction, the drug is not for long-term use. That said, when individuals do stop taking it, some find themselves struggling with Suboxone-related withdrawal symptoms. To prevent these symptoms, it is a good idea to wean one’s self off the drug instead of quitting in a single go. For reference, a single daily dose of 16mg of Suboxone is generally the highest single dose that most individuals trying to overcome prescription or street-level opioids will take. Most physicians will recommend that these individuals embark on a six-day weaning-off process when the time comes for them to stop taking the drug. And this means consuming 2 to 4 mg less each day. An example of this weaning-off process is as follows:
- Day 1 – 12 mg per day
- Day 2 – 10 mg per day
- Day 3 – 8 mg per day
- Day 4 – 4 mg per day
- Day 5 and 6 – 2 mg per day
Gradually lowering the single daily dose of Suboxone in this way can significantly minimize the risk of being met with the following withdrawal-related symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle aches
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
How Long Does Suboxone Withdrawal Last?
Suboxone withdrawals can still start and last for some time even when individuals slowly wean themselves off the drug. Generally speaking, withdrawal symptoms begin within 1 to 2 days once an individual lowers their daily dose or stops taking Suboxone altogether. And those symptoms will usually last for about 20 days. To learn more about Suboxone or for help finding a rehab facility near you, consider speaking with one of our associates today. Call us at 833-846-5669.