The opioid problem in the United States was already labeled a crisis, but the number of deaths due to overdose topped 100,000 in the year ending in April 2021, up from around 78,000 during the same period the year before. These numbers are alarming, and we want to do all that we can to bring them down.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an opioid use disorder, Dr. Jonathan Singer and the team here at HealthFirst want you to know there are solutions that can help ease the road to recovery. At the head of this list is Suboxone®, and we explore how this medication can help you break free from opioids.
The hurdles to quitting opioids
When you develop an opioid use disorder, there are two challenges to overcome — addiction and dependence. The first, addiction, occurs in your brain as the chemistry adjusts itself in a way that favors opioid use. In the simplest of terms, this is what creates those uncontrollable urges to use as your brain demands more drugs.
The other challenge is that your body has grown physically dependent upon the opioids and goes into withdrawal when you try to quit, which can be very unpleasant. From flu-like symptoms to nausea and vomiting, these symptoms can be quite strong.
Between these two challenges, trying to quit opioids cold turkey can be a very tough road, which is why so many are unsuccessful.
Boosting your chances for success with Suboxone
Our goal in offering Suboxone is to address both of the challenges that come with quitting — addiction and dependence.
To accomplish this, Suboxone contains two ingredients that tackle both issues, including:
This ingredient is a partial opioid agonist that binds to the opioid receptors in your brain and blocks them. Buprenorphine satisfies your receptors, which quells your cravings, while preventing you from getting high. It also prevents your brain from sending withdrawal signals.
This is an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of opioids.
The agonist and antagonist essentially work together to convince your brain (and body) that nothing is too amiss.
Suboxone as a stepping stone
When we prescribe Suboxone, we want it to be a stepping stone toward sobriety, and there’s more that we can do to ensure your chances of success. By easing the detox process and the cravings in early recovery through Suboxone, you have more breathing room to add more tools to your recovery toolbox, such as therapy, support groups, and IV nutrient infusions.
During this time, we monitor your health and your dosage of Suboxone very carefully and gradually wean you from the Suboxone as you regain mental and physical strength.
If you’d like to find out whether Suboxone might be right for you, please contact one of our offices in Cheyenne, Wyoming, or Greenwood Village, Colorado, to set up an appointment.