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Is Buprenorphine the Same as Suboxone?

Suboxone package

Table of Contents

When it comes to treating opioid addiction, there are several medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options available. Two of the most commonly used medications are buprenorphine and Suboxone. While these medications are often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between buprenorphine and Suboxone, and how they are used in addiction treatment.

Suboxone pills
Suboxone pills

What is Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means that it binds to the same receptors in the brain as opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers, but with a weaker effect. When taken as prescribed, buprenorphine can help reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms, without producing the same euphoric effects as other opioids.

Buprenorphine is available in several different formulations, including sublingual tablets, sublingual films, and extended-release injectable formulations. It is also available in combination with naloxone, an opioid antagonist that is added to deter misuse and diversion.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a brand-name medication that contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. It is available in sublingual film form and is used to treat opioid dependence as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and behavioral therapies.

The addition of naloxone to Suboxone is intended to deter misuse and diversion. If Suboxone is taken as prescribed, the naloxone has little to no effect. However, if Suboxone is injected or otherwise misused, the naloxone can cause sudden and severe withdrawal symptoms, making it less likely to be abused.

How are Buprenorphine and Suboxone Used in Addiction Treatment?

Both buprenorphine and Suboxone are used as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction. MAT is a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment that combines medication with counseling and behavioral therapies to address the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction.

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When used as part of MAT, buprenorphine and Suboxone can help:

  • Reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Block the effects of other opioids
  • Reduce the risk of relapse and overdose
  • Improve treatment retention and outcomes

To be prescribed buprenorphine or Suboxone, individuals must first undergo a comprehensive assessment to determine if MAT is appropriate for their needs. They must also be in a state of moderate to severe opioid withdrawal before starting treatment, to avoid precipitated withdrawal.

Once started on buprenorphine or Suboxone, individuals work closely with their healthcare provider to find the right dose and frequency of medication. They also participate in regular counseling sessions and other behavioral therapies to address the underlying causes of their addiction and develop new coping skills and strategies for recovery.

Sublingual strip of Suboxone
Sublingual strip of Suboxone

The Benefits of Buprenorphine and Suboxone in Addiction Treatment

Research has shown that buprenorphine and Suboxone can be highly effective in treating opioid addiction, particularly when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Some of the benefits of these medications include:

  • Reduced risk of overdose and death: Buprenorphine and Suboxone have a lower risk of overdose compared to other opioids, and can help reduce the risk of death from opioid overdose.
  • Improved treatment retention: Individuals who receive MAT with buprenorphine or Suboxone are more likely to stay in treatment and achieve long-term recovery compared to those who receive no medication or other forms of treatment.
  • Reduced criminal activity: Individuals who receive MAT with buprenorphine or Suboxone are less likely to engage in criminal activity related to their addiction, such as theft or drug dealing.
  • Improved quality of life: MAT with buprenorphine or Suboxone can help individuals improve their physical and mental health, rebuild relationships, and achieve greater stability and functioning in their daily lives.
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Choosing the Right Treatment for Opioid Addiction

While buprenorphine and Suboxone can be highly effective in treating opioid addiction, they are not the right choice for everyone. The decision to use MAT should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare provider, taking into account an individual’s unique needs, preferences, and circumstances.

At Destination Hope, we offer a range of evidence-based treatment options for opioid addiction, including MAT with buprenorphine and Suboxone. Our experienced clinical team works closely with each client to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their unique needs and goals, and provides the support and resources they need to achieve lasting recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, know that help is available. Call us today at 888-989-1479 to learn more about our addiction treatment programs and how we can help you take the first step towards a brighter future. Visit us for the leading substance abuse and mental health treatment in Fort Lauderdale, FL. We are located at 6460 NW 5th Way, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309.

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