Buprenorphine – the active ingredient in Suboxone – helps patients enter and stay in treatment by:
- Relieving withdrawal symptoms
- Reducing cravings
- Reducing illicit opioid use
- Blocking the effects of other opioids
- Because Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, it binds strongly to the opioid receptors but does not produce the same euphoria – or “high” – that other opioids produce.
At an appropriate dose, Buprenorphine fills most receptors while blocking other opioids from attaching, thereby reducing the need for other opioids.
By treating the biochemical component of addiction, individuals can engage in the essential psychological and behavioral work sooner, reaching long term recovery faster.
Opioid dependence is an addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin that occurs with long-term use.
By attaching to receptors in the brain, opioids lead to a release of dopamine which can cause feelings of euphoria.
Over time, continued use of opioids leads to tolerance, whereby the receptors become desensitized, and higher doses of the substance are required to achieve the same effect.
Addiction is the process whereby physical and/or psychological dependence develops to a drug.
Dependence is characterized by unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that occur if use is stopped. The withdrawal symptoms for opiates include severe sweating, nausea, diarrhea, depression, fatigue, vomiting, and pain.