A Complete Guide to Suboxone Treatment in Illinois
Quitting opioids isn’t easy. Whether someone is addicted to heroin, oxycodone, or morphine, opioids can be some of the most difficult drugs to get sober from. Fortunately, modern medicine and advances in addiction treatment have developed cutting-edge solutions to help aid the recovery process.
Suboxone treatment programs in Illinois use a medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone to help treat opioid addiction. These programs combine medication with therapy to reduce withdrawal symptoms, prevent drug cravings, and provide long-term solutions to addiction.
What is Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone)?
Suboxone is a brand-name prescription drug containing buprenorphine and naloxone. It is one of the most widely used medications in opioid replacement therapy programs (OTPs) and it is approved by the FDA to treat opioid dependence.
Suboxone comes in the form of a sublingual film that is dissolved under the tongue once per day. It is available in four different strengths:
- 2 mg buprenorphine / 0.5 mg naloxone
- 4 mg buprenorphine / 1 mg naloxone
- 8 mg buprenorphine / 2 mg naloxone
- 12 mg buprenorphine / 3 mg naloxone
Suboxone is a schedule III controlled substance. This indicates the drug has medical use, however, it may cause physical and psychological dependence if abused. As a result, it can only be prescribed by physicians who have completed specialized training and certification through the federal government.
Despite the risk for abuse and dependence, studies have found that Suboxone can effectively reduce opioid abuse and keep patients in treatment longer than patients who do not take the medication.
Suboxone Side Effects
Like any other medication, Suboxone can cause mild to moderate side effects. Some of the most common side effects experienced with Suboxone treatment in Illinois include:
- Back pain
- Burning tongue
- Redness or irritation in the mouth
Many of these side effects will subside within a couple of days or weeks. However, others may have more severe side effects, such as:
- Allergic reaction
- Abuse and dependence
- Breathing problems
- Hormonal problems
- Withdrawal symptoms
If any of these are experienced, the person should seek emergency medical attention.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) With Suboxone
According to SAMHSA, federal law 42.CFR 8.12 states that patients who are receiving opioid replacement therapy (OTP) medications, including Suboxone, must also receive counseling. This counseling can consist of behavioral therapy, vocational care, and educational sessions.
Regardless of if a person is in inpatient or outpatient rehab, Suboxone and other medications like it are more effective when combined with the above-listed counseling methods. Doing so is thought to provide patients with a “whole-person” approach.
The use of medications in combination with comprehensive addiction treatment is known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Contrary to popular belief, medications like Suboxone are evidence-based treatment options for addiction – they don’t simply serve as a replacement for opioid drugs.
With that said, Suboxone can be physically addictive if used long-term or if it is abused. As a result, patients should only stay on Suboxone for as long as their physician thinks is appropriate.
How Long Do People Stay on Suboxone?
Patients who attend Suboxone treatment in Illinois may begin taking the medication during detox. However, all opioids need to leave the system before taking Suboxone, otherwise, the drug can cause even more intense withdrawal symptoms.
Most patients will begin taking Suboxone 12-24 hours after their last dose of opioids. They may start at a high dose and continue taking that dose once daily throughout the duration of detox.
After detox, some patients will continue taking Suboxone while participating in therapy. Others will gradually start taking lower and lower doses until they are no longer experiencing withdrawal.
Ultimately, the amount of time a person stays on Suboxone depends on their symptoms, the severity of their addiction, and the expert opinion of the clinical team. The most important thing is to never stop taking Suboxone without consulting with a medical professional first.
Suddenly stopping taking Suboxone can cause withdrawal symptoms because buprenorphine itself is an opioid that can be physically addictive. Symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal mimic those of opioid withdrawal, however, they tend to be less intense.
The good news is Suboxone withdrawal can be avoided completely using a slow taper that gradually reduces a person’s dose over an extended period of time.
Benefits of Suboxone Treatment in Illinois
MAT treatment programs in Illinois, including those that use Suboxone, can significantly reduce a patient’s need for inpatient detox services. This is because the drug helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings – even in the earliest stages of recovery.
The goal of this approach is a full recovery without the use of medications. However, there are many benefits to this type of addiction treatment. According to SAMHSA, the MAT approach is proven to:
- Improve rates of patient survival
- Decrease illegal drug use and criminal activity among individuals who struggle with addiction
- Increase treatment retention rates
- Improve patients’ ability to secure and maintain a job
- Decrease the risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne illnesses
- Improve birth outcomes in opioid-addicted mothers who are pregnant
- Reduce the risk of relapse in patients with a substance use disorder
All medications have some risk, and when it comes to Suboxone, the risk for abuse is relatively low when it is used in combination with a comprehensive treatment program.
Start Suboxone Treatment in Illinois Today
Navis Health proudly offers medically-assisted detox services in Illinois for those detoxing from opioids and other drugs. Our state-of-the-art treatment techniques combined with our expert clinical team can help you find the freedom you need from addiction.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, pick up the phone and call now.