Taking Suboxone®, Subutex® or Buprenorphine
Today there are many people that are aware of Suboxone®, which is chemically buprenorphine, as a drug to use to help with opiate withdrawals. Suboxone® also has nalaxone added to the buprenorphine so that it is not injectible. Subutex® is a sublingual (under the tongue) tablet that is only buprenorphine. The effects of Subutex and Suboxone are almost identical.
Buprenorphine is a much better drug for curbing withdrawal symptoms than methadone, but it also has some inherant problems. Methadone withdrawals are much more severe than are the withdrawals from heroin, OxiContin or other opiates that cause physical addiction. We have heard many reports that withdrawing from methadone was ten times worse than detoxing from heroin.
Withdrawal symptoms from opiates are similar to a severe case of the flu with the added discomfort of high anxiety and sleeplessness. These symptoms are not to be taken lightly and are one of the main reasons that people addicted to opiates resist going to treatment or even getting off of their drugs.
Anyone that has been addicted to opiates will tell you that in a short time they were only taking the drugs to keep the drug-sickness away. People that are addicted to opiates are striving to feel normal and become quite anxious when they know that their suppy of drugs may be ending without any solution other than going into withdrawals.
About ten years ago, the FDA approved the sale of buprenorphine in the US. The methadone industry had faught to keep it out of the country because they feared that it would hurt their business. Buprenorphine had been used in Europe for many years and had proven that it was a much better solution to opiate withdrawals than methadone, but the methadone lobby kept that a secret to ensure their profits and not because they wanted to provide better patient care.
After 30+ years of working with opiate addicts that have been or are currently taking methadone, we can assure you that methadone has more negative effects than positive. It is difficult to find anyone that has taken methadone for more than six months that has anything positive to say about this drug. This is also true of Suboxone®! We have many patients that state that Suboxone® was much harder to kick than they were told. Be aware that you can’t believe everything you hear about any replacement drug therapies. Suboxone® will help you through the detox period and the withdrawal symptoms, but you should not take it over three months or you will find that you now have another addiction.
If you are going to take Suboxone to help you detox off of opiates, it is best to locate a physician that is certified to dispense this medication. These doctors can only have a maximum of 30 patients at any given time, so you may have to be on a waiting list to be seen. You can find these doctors in your area at: http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/bwns_locator/
Keep these facts in mind before you decide to use Suboxone®
Before you take a first dosage of Suboxone, you will have to abstain from all other opiates for a period of time to where you are feeling the beginnings of withdrawal pain. If you do not abstain, or if you take Suboxone® too soon after taking another opiate, you can enter into precipitated withdrawal which will put you immediate into a withdrawals that are much more severe.
We have seen the outcomes of buprenorphine in Europe before it became legal in the U.S. and we have followed Suboxone ® in America for the past 15 or so years. One of the pitfalls on all of these replacement therapies is the fact that most people don’t believe that they can ever stop taking them. This is what the prescribing physicians will tell these patients, but it isn’t true. This drug is very addicting even though many will tell you that it isn’t addicting.
Anyone starting to take this medication shouldn’t think of using it for more than one month, or two at the most. Actually, you can start tapering off of this drug after you are stabilized, in about a week and you should start as soon as you can. Don’t be afraid. It will help if you add a supplement that increases dopamine and serotonin, which is also much less expensive than buprenorphine. Go to this site to order this supplement Click HERE
How Long Should You Wait Before Taking Suboxone® or Another Form of Bbuprenorphine?
Buprenorphine works against the effect of the opiates which you are physically addicted, so you need to use precausion before you begin taking Suboxone®. If you take it too soon, it will actually cause withdrawals symptoms, meaning that it will kick you into worse cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
If you are seeing a doctor to get your Suboxone®, they will advice you of how long you should wait, but as a rule, you should follow the following times:
- Heroin – 12- 24 hours
- Percocet, Vicodin, or Oxycodone – 12-24 hours
- Crushed Oxycontin – 12 – 24 hours
- Oxycontin 24 hours +
- Methadone (must be at low dose) 36 hours (at least)
It is in your best interest to follow the advice and instructions of your doctor, and wait until you are truly in the early stages of withdrawal prior to taking a first dosage of Suboxone. After you take Suboxone under supervision in the doctor’s office, you can expect to feel much better within a very short time.
There is a subjective test, the COWS Test, that you can perform to see when it is save to use buprenorphine. Find the COWS test at this site: http://www.naabt.org/documents/COWS_Induction_flow_sheet.pdf
Find a Doctor in Your Area that Can Prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone® or Subutex®)
When buprenorphine was okayed by the U.S. government to be sold in America, the methadone industry and their providers faught to limit prescribing of this drug. Their battles led to regulations that limit the number of physicians that can prescribe this medicine and there are other restrictions that were placed on any doctor that prescribes this drug to someone that is addicted to other opiates. One of the restrictions was to limit the number of patients that can be seen by any one doctor to thirty.
To find a certified physician in your area that can prescribe Suboxone® go to this website: http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/bwns_locator/
Taking Suboxone® isn’t a solution to your opiate addiction. Using it to help with withdrawals symptoms is appropriate, but to use it as a replacement therapy will still keep you impaired and limitied in many ways. Call our helpline to find a total and final solution. 1-888-781-7060