Opiate Addiction and Dependence

When someone is suffering from an opiate addiction, whether they are addicted to illicit street drugs like heroin or morphine, or common prescription pain killers like vicodin and percocet, it is not uncommon for the individual to develop powerful withdrawal symptoms if they abruptly stop taking the drug. This is because synthetic opioids, like heroin or prescription opiates, bind to the opiate receptors in the brain that are primarily used for pain management. After continued use the body builds up a tolerance to synthetic opiates and more and more of the drug is needed to experience the same effects. This not only can be physically dangerous to the user, but can also lead to long term addiction and dependence.

Opiate Withdrawal

Once an individual’s body has become completely dependent on synthetic opioids, the body can no longer regulate pain naturally as it once did. This can cause painful withdrawal symptoms that are triggered if the individual has abruptly stopped taking the drug. Opiate withdrawal can be very traumatic if not properly treated and can often keep people using the drug out of fear that the symptoms will return. Some liken opiate withdrawal symptoms to resemble the worst possible flu you can imagine, with prolonged nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and excessive sweating.

Other withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Strong Cravings
  • Diarrhea
  • Shakes
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritation
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive Yawning
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure

These symptoms usually last anywhere from 3-7 days. However, for some individuals withdrawal symptoms can last weeks, to even months in rare cases. While withdrawal symptoms are rarely life threatening, they can be major obstacles to individuals who sincerely want to quit using. For this reason doctors have created Subutex, a withdrawal pain medication to help combat the effects of opiate withdrawal.

Subutex Facts

SubutexSubutex, a variant of Suboxone, contains the active ingredient Buprenorphine, which is a partial opiate used to treat opioid dependency. It works by stimulating the opiate receptors in the brain, which helps combat any withdrawal symptoms the patient might be having. However, what makes subutex so effective is that it binds so tightly to the brain’s opiate receptors that taking any other opiate will no longer have the same effects.

Subutex is generally used in narcotic drug treatment programs as an opiate withdrawal medication and detoxification aid. Suboxone, a more popular version of subutex, is very similar to the drug but contains the additional ingredient naloxone, which helps to prevent subutex abuse.

Subutex Side Effects

Because subutex is a partial opiate is does come with the risk of addiction and dependence. This is why it is not intended for long term use, and is tapered down by your doctor once the patient is in the recovery phase. Subutex can be dangerous when mixed with other drugs, especially antidepressants, alcohol, and sleeping aids. Subutex can cause death from overdose if injected with a tranquilizer. More common side effects include drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, constipation, nausea, dark urine, and mood changes. For more information on whether subutex is right for you please contact a subutex doctor or treatment center for more information.

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