How Suboxone Can Lend a Hand in Opiate Addiction Crisis

The opiate addiction crisis began in the late 1990’s when pharmaceutical companies began the heavy marketing of prescription pain relieving opiates. Without long term studies on the addictive qualities of these pain killers, it was quick work for the new drugs to demonstrate the ease in which its use can be diverted into full blown physical and chemical dependency. In 2017, there were over 2.1 million people abusing opioids and more than 47,000 Americans died of opioids overdose, including prescription and non-prescription opioids. It is important to get proper treatments for Suboxone addiction.

There have been many comments on why people are so prepared to abuse drugs. These vary from genetic to social explanations. While it could be and is likely to be a combination of factors, the one that really stands out is pain. Pharmaceutical companies represent some of the largest money making industries in the world, and their pain solutions are excessively abused. At once, the attempt to remedy disease is stifled by the appeal to painlessness. 

It seems that our society is becoming increasingly harder to be present to. In other words, an increasing social pressure is causing more and more discomfort, to the point that living and feeling is unbearable. It is unbearable to be present to the pain and so pain resolution and management is a hot commodity. A problem running parallel to this is that a “button which one can press” to alleviate pain, or a pill one can swallow, makes ignoring pain more desirable than managing it. 

Without regarding the problems of state, politics, healthcare, work, and other elements which weaken the structure of bearing life – there is a scientifically proven option to band-aid the wounds inflicted by the opiate crisis. 

A familiar pharmaceutical approach is Methadone. The term has been popularized by the implantation of Methadone clinics in cities and towns to support opioids addicts to help endure withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from a severe opioids addiction can lead to death. Other symptoms are anxiety, insomnia, sweating, depression, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and headaches to name a few qualities that may make life seem unbearable. 

Methadone eliminates the withdrawal symptoms because it essentially substitutes one opioids with another more controllable opioids. Buprenorphine has proven to be a successful treatment for heroin addiction by resolving the cravings and impulses of the addict while producing no dangerous side-effects and a more subtle high. So the potential for abuse and overdose still exists, but Methadone reduces certain criminal activity and prevents addicts from sharing needles or taking unknown substances in unknown quantities. 

Sharing the main ingredient in Methadone (buprenorphine) is Suboxone. Suboxone is different from Methadone because Suboxone contains an opioid-antagonist called Naloxone. When paramedics show up on site and find a patient demonstrating sure signs of opioids overdose, they can apply Naloxone gas to stop the effects of the opiate. This can be dangerous because the patient immediately begins to experience withdrawal, which could possibly make the patient extremely agitated or even violent. Suboxone does not have this effect because only a small amount of Naloxone can be effective when taken sublingually – and Suboxone is applied as a thin film underneath the tongue. Suboxone has both buprenorphine and Naloxone. Suboxone satisfies the withdrawal like Methadone does, but you would not want to inject it for a better high, because the Naloxone is highly effective when injected, rendering the opiate ineffective. 

So how can this and how has this helped with opiate addiction?

Like we had discussed earlier, drug addiction is complicated. The uniqueness of an individual’s human suffering is combined with brain chemistry imbalance and a myriad of other factors. There is pain – and it is not going away so easily, to put it plainly. When an individual can no longer get prescriptions for painkillers, since doctors can lose their license if they continue to supply an addict, they turn to illegal procurement of more dangerous substitutes. The dangerous substitutes have their own inherent problems such as disease, crime, shame, shadiness, introversion, higher highs and lower lows. This is one way treatments like Suboxone help. 

When an addiction is addressed and attended to by a professional, and by the community, there lies the possibility to help addicts manage their pain. If an addict is always on the hunt for their next fix – there is little initiative to look into the deeper roots of dissatisfaction and suffering. If an addict has a safe supply of what his body and brain need, complementary counselling and therapy can be implemented. As the counsellor or therapist work with the addict to manage pain and reduce suffering, life becomes more bearable and the need to shut off via opioids is increasingly reduced. Life can become more desirable. With the help of Suboxone, coming back to life no longer feels impossible.