Addiction is a double-edged sword because it’s damaging to stay addicted but it’s (more often than not) extremely challenging to recover from the addiction.
When a person decides to start recovery, they go through a medically supervised detoxification process to safely transition their body out of being dependent on the substance to function. This detox, while necessary and beneficial for your health in the long run, can be uncomfortable in the short-term as your body adjusts to its newly sober system.
Suboxone and naltrexone are two medications that are sometimes used within the recovery process in order to help alleviate some of the pain or mental distress.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at these two medications and what their role looks like within the addiction recovery process.
What is suboxone treatment?
Suboxone consists of two main components, Buprenorphine and Naloxone.
Buprenorphine is what’s known as a partial opioid agonist, which means it activates the opioid receptors in the brain, but to a significantly lesser extent than a prescription dose provides. It works in the same way nicotine does, providing minor effects to help you wean off completely, with naloxone included as a preventative measure against abuse.
Suboxone works by providing some level of relief from the unpleasant effects of withdrawal symptoms, helping reduce cravings, as well as having a built-in ‘ceiling effect,’ which means after a certain dosage, no greater effect will be felt.
This medication is most often used during the initial stages of recovery (like detoxification) to provide relief from uncomfortable or distressing withdrawal symptoms.
What is naltrexone treatment?
Naltrexone works in the opposite way that Suboxone does; while Suboxone is an opioid receptor agonist (activates opioid receptors in the brain), Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist (blocks opioid receptors).
Rather than mimicking the effects of opioids (on a far lesser level), Naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects from occurring in the first place. While this may seem like an easy way to recover to some, it’s essential to understand that medication can never take the place of personal commitment and perseverance.
Naltrexone is most effective when it’s used by individuals who are already dedicated to maintaining abstinence in comprehension with addiction treatment services.
This medication is most commonly used after the detoxification process is complete to help manage lingering cravings and prevent relapse.
Suboxone and naltrexone: an overview
When a client begins exhibiting signs of discomfort in their recovery, their physician may open a conversation about medication-assisted treatment. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) refers to the integration of intentional medications into a client’s already-existing treatment plan which typically consists of counseling and therapy.
Depending on where you’re at in recovery and other personal factors (such as medical history and treatment goals), either suboxone and naltrexone may be recommended for you.
Both suboxone addiction treatment and naltrexone addiction treatment have proven to be effective at helping individuals progress more smoothly through recovery, but medication is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Different bodies react in different ways to different pills.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder or addiction, you’re not alone — send a message to our team today, we’re here to help.
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Real Recovery specializes in providing prime addiction rehabilitation and mental health treatment to adult males who are ready to begin recovering the full spectrum of their health.
Some men experience doubts, self-critical thoughts or shame at the thought of reaching out for professional help — we challenge you to reach out anyways. You deserve to live a life free from addiction and mental health issues, and your loved ones deserve to experience that healthiest and happiest version of yourself.
Even if you aren’t ready to enroll in one of our programs, we’re still here to answer any questions you have, or support you in whatever way we can. Recovery begins with one step.