If the stereotypes are to be believed then people suffering from an addiction have done so by choice, they are scruffy, unkempt, live in squalor and commit crime to finance their addiction. In actual fact, this could not be farther from the truth. Anyone can suffer from addiction and while extreme cases may possibly end up like the stereotype, a lot of people seek help before it gets to that point. It cannot be denied that the number of people developing an addiction is climbing dramatically.
“Trend data between 2002 and 2012 show that the number of persons meeting the criteria for heroin dependence or abuse in 2012 was more than double that in 2002 (467,000 vs. 214,000), and the number of persons with pain reliever dependence or abuse rose from 1.4 million to 2.1 million between 2004 and 2012.”
One of the most common ways to detox from opioid addiction is to spend time in a rehabilitation center for a period of withdrawal. However, it is possible to receive treatment on an outpatient basis with the use of medications to slowly reduce dosage of narcotics.
One of these medications is called Suboxone. It is a mix of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a narcotic whilst naloxone works to stop the side effects of the narcotic, such as the feeling of the euphoria. This takes away the addictive nature of the drug and allows the narcotic dosage to be slowly decreased over time.
Of course, it is possible to pretty much trading an addiction from one substance to another by using this method and so the best way to try and avoid this is to stop the patient taking Suboxone at the earliest but safest opportunity.
“This makes the physical symptoms of detox very manageable, without causing the patient to become cross-addicted to Suboxone. I have found that Suboxone use for a longer period than this begins to cause a strong dependence on the medication.”
Obviously, Suboxone use will require very close monitoring and so if it is not possible or difficult for the patient to be seen in the community they will need to be admitted to a rehabilitation facility in order to detox first from the original addictive substance and it will be necessary to complete a Suboxone detox.
There are some physicians who are opposed to the use of Suboxone for addiction treatment, they believe it is simply swapping one addiction for another and will look for other ways to treat their patients, even if it means a painful cold turkey period. It is better to discuss all types of treatment for addiction and to then give the patient the choice of whether they want to go for an uncomfortable but fast period of detoxification, or whether they choose to take the Suboxone and then effectively have to beat an addiction to 2 different medications one after the other. If the patient chooses their own route to recovery then they are more likely to stick to it and be successful in becoming sober.