The prevalence of drug abuse in our streets is in the rise and unless something is done fast to contain the increase then the dangers are likely to be fatal. Besides rehab centers we can also use certain medications like buprenorphine which is helpful in keeping off drugs like heroin from the streets by reducing the bad withdrawal symptoms when one ceases to use drugs. This medicine closely related to heroin and often administered as treatment replacement. It is the choice drug for many even though some people choose to progressively limit their dose and eventually come off it. Normally this drug last longer in the body system and therefore its prescription is a once daily dose. To regulate its use users may be required to be taking buprenorphine in the presence of a supervisor normally the pharmacist dispensing the drug to the user. This close supervision is to ensure that only the right dose is taken and with time the user can be allowed to be taking it all by themselves after ascertaining regular dose maintenance.
Just in like all other medications buprenorphine drug treatment equally has side effects for instance when you start using buprenorphine you may not get it out of your system with ease irrespective of what option you went for be it inpatient or outpatient in a rehab program.
As with all medications, Buprenorphine (Suboxone) drug treatment also has some disadvantages. It is still a medication and if you prefer to break free from any kind of addiction immediately, then Buprenorphine may not be the way to go. Also, you may not be completely Buprenorphine-free by the time you leave drug treatment, even if you opt for an inpatient drug rehab program.
- Some may consider these disadvantages while others consider them well worth the advantage of avoiding opiate withdrawal symptoms.
- Initial studies on long-term use of Buprenorphine suggest that there are anti-depressant effects of the drug as well.
- The dosing schedule is also relatively easy to maintain as most don’t even have to take it every day.
- Additionally, you can’t abuse Suboxone, get high off of it or overdose on it like you can with some other opiate addiction maintenance or detox drugs, like methadone.
Much as this may offer treatment for addiction, it is in itself addictive and should not be encouraged. Its shortcomings far much out ways the advantages as illustrated in the paragraphs below.
Certain medications are so reactive to people and especially to those with certain health conditions. Buprenorphine is such medicine that needs to be used with extra care being taken therefore before this medication is administered, your doctor must be aware of the following to help them make a decision whether to allow or not.
- Do you or have you ever had liver or kidney problems.
- Do you or have you ever had prostate problems or any difficulties passing urine.
- Do you have any breathing problems like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Have you ever been told that you have low blood pressure
- Do you have any problems with your thyroid or adrenal glands
- Are you epileptic?
- Do you have any problem with your bile duct
- Are you pregnant or breast-feeding
- If you have been constipated for more than a week or have an inflammatory bowel problem.
- Do you have a condition causing muscle weakness, called myasthenia gravis?
- Have you in the recent past had a severe head injury
- Have you ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine
- Are currently taking any street drugs or medicines including any medicines you are taking which are available across the counter without a prescription like herbal and complementary medicines.
- Occasionally when using buprenorphine you may experience some discomfort during the first 3 days, this is a normal reaction and you must not attempt taking heroin on top, and again do not take more than what the doctor instructed.
- Periodically keep regular consultations with your doctor or clinic for proper review of how you’re progressing. During these meetings you are likely to be requested to give specimen of urine from time to time for the evaluation exercise.
- You cannot get Buprenorphine without a doctor’s prescription and you will not be able to ask for any changes to be made to your supply because your pharmacist can only dispense the prescription exactly as per the instructions of your doctor.
- There are several different brands and strengths of buprenorphine tablets, so each time you collect a supply, check to make sure it contains what you are expecting.
- You are more likely to succeed in staying off heroin if you have support and counseling in addition to taking buprenorphine. Local drug community teams, self-help groups and other agencies may be of help.
- You must refrain from any street drugs or drinking too much alcohol while using buprenorphine because other street drugs such as benzodiazepines (benzos) and alcohol can affect buprenorphine and increase the chance of unwanted effects.
- You should tell the DVLA that you are taking buprenorphine if you are a driver. You are likely to be banned from driving at first, although you may be allowed to drive again later, subject to an annual medical review. Your doctor will tell you when you can resume driving.
- When there is need to stopping using buprenorphine discuss this with your doctor before stopping. It is important that buprenorphine should be taken regularly to reduce the risk of withdrawal symptoms occurring. When you are ready to consider becoming drug-free, your doctor will be able to help you decide on the best way to do this in order to keep withdrawal effects to minimum and manageable levels.
- If you are planning any visit abroad, you should carry a letter with you from your doctor to explain that you have been prescribed buprenorphine. This is because buprenorphine is classed as a ‘controlled drug’ and is subject to certain restrictions.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take with buprenorphine. Many other medicines have similar side-effects to buprenorphine and taking them together will increase the risk of unwanted effects.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking buprenorphine.
Finally you have had all the attached effects and conditions while using this drug, you may wonder why use such medicine with so much conditions and believe me you are right therefore for good healthy and user friendly alternatives talk to Dr. Dalal Akoury, Founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center. She is a medical doctor with over two decades of addiction treatment and together with her team of experts she is offering her exclusive NER Recovery Treatment to all patients across the globe as well to other physicians and health care professionals through training, clinical apprenticeships, webinars and seminars. Your condition will be safe at this facility and you will be among many individuals and qualified professional joining this truly successful and fast addiction recovery treatment.