Suboxone is listed as a Schedule III drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which means that while it does have medicinal value, there is also a chance for misuse and dependency. According to the Washington Post, over 1 million people were prescribed Suboxone or a generic form of buprenorphine/naloxone in 2012.
The use of Suboxone, or pharmaceuticals, during addiction treatment is considered medication-assisted therapy, which can be very effective in managing withdrawal symptoms and cravings during recovery from an opioid dependency. Suboxone is still an opioid narcotic, however, with the potential for diversion, misuse, and dependency. While Suboxone is useful during detox from other opioids with shorter half-lives and more dangerous methods of abuse, it still needs to be managed carefully and under direct medical supervision. Even when taken as directed, Suboxone can create a physical and psychological dependency.
Manage Suboxone Withdrawal
It is never recommended to stop using an opioid drug, including Suboxone, suddenly. Opioid withdrawal can be tough with flu-like symptoms as well as psychological ones, including agitation, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Suboxone is meant to keep these symptoms, and drug cravings, to a minimum during detox from a dependency to drugs like heroin, methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and oxymorphone. You may experience withdrawal from Suboxone too, however. One of the best ways to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms is to taper gradually off Suboxone.
A medical professional can help set up a schedule wherein your dose is lowered slowly and in a controlled manner in order to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. It is important to listen to your body during this time. Some people report feeling jumpy, twitchy, on edge, or feeling like their skin is crawling during Suboxone withdrawal. Your dosage may need to be altered several times in order to manage these symptoms. By knowing what to expect, you can help your doctor make an accurate assessment of what the correct dosage may be.
Attend to Physical Well-Being
It is important to take care of yourself physically when recovering from a substance dependency. Being in tune with your physical needs can potentially make recovery go more smoothly. Addiction can take a physical toll on your body, changing your appetite and causing unhealthy weight fluctuations, as well as depleting important vitamins and minerals. Eating a nutritious diet can enhance your physical well-being. A well-balanced diet should include:
- High-quality proteins
- Plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits
- Organic and whole foods instead of processed ones
- Lots of water
Eating healthy foods, and limiting your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates can help to ensure your body gets the nutrition it needs. Your doctor may also suggest taking a multivitamin or other natural supplements.
Addiction creates an imbalance that your brain is struggling to restore during recovery. Anything you can do to boost natural endorphins will help, and this includes exercise. Exerting yourself physically through working out or other fitness activities releases these endorphins and may help combat the lows and cravings that can come during Suboxone withdrawal. Go for a walk, swim, bike ride, run, or lift weights regularly. Taking care of yourself physically can boost self-esteem and confidence levels, enhancing your emotional well-being simultaneously.
Consider alternative, or holistic, methods during recovery. For instance, yoga and meditation can improve both physical and mental health by restoring a balance between mind and body, increasing focus and self-awareness as well as decreasing stress.
Promote Mental Health
When it comes to successful recovery, mental health is just as important as physical health, so treatment models should include both a physical stabilization process as well as an emotional one. Behavioral therapies are an excellent way to uncover any and all potential triggers – emotional, social, or environmental – that may be responsible for self-destructive behaviors. Therapists and counselors can teach you how to have compassion for yourself and modify previous destructive thought and behavior patterns into more positive ones, bolstering self-esteem and self-confidence.
Keep in mind that you are not alone. Support groups including peer and family support, as well as 12-step programs, can help you to connect with others who may have shared experiences and similar circumstances. Avoid old stomping grounds and groups of peers that you used to abuse drugs with, as this may encourage a return to old habits. By surrounding yourself with supportive people who understand what you are going through, you can create a positive network going forward.
It is common for those recovering from addiction to also suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mood conditions. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that half of all drug misusers also suffer from at least one mental health condition. Co-occurring conditions are best managed with an integrated treatment model wherein both disorders are managed simultaneously by a team of medical professionals working together to achieve the same results.
Get Help Today for Suboxone Addiction
At Futures, we utilize evidence-based treatment models in order to provide complete care plans specifically tailored to each individual. Luxury accommodations and various amenities ensure that you or your loved one can recover in peace and serenity while attending to all physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
Our admissions counselors are standing by to provide you with a free confidential assessment. Contact Futures today.