Subutex treatment programs in Louisville, KY use buprenorphine in combination with therapy and peer support to help people overcome opioid addiction. Anyone who has been addicted to opioids knows how difficult it is to get through withdrawals, however, medications like Subutex help reduce withdrawal symptoms and restore normal body functioning. At the same time, Subutex also helps reduce drug cravings and urges, further helping people stay sober.
The most important thing to know about Subutex is that it should always be combined with a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program. At PAX Riverbend, our Louisville-area drug and alcohol rehab programs take an individualized approach to recovery. This means we evaluate the specific needs of each patient, prescribe the right medications, and tailor counseling groups to meet their unique needs.
If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids, Subutex treatment may be right for you. Let’s take a look at what Subutex is, how it works, and how it helps treat opioid addiction.
What is Subutex?
Subutex is a sublingual tablet containing buprenorphine. Buprenorphine was approved by the FDA in 2002 for the treatment of opioid dependence. The generic name for Subutex is Buprenorphine, however, both medications work the same way.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that binds to opioid receptors and partially activates them. A partial activation satisfies the opioid receptors to the point where users don’t feel withdrawal symptoms or experience cravings but they don’t get high, either.
Buprenorphine is considered safer than methadone, a medication previously used to treat opioid addiction, because it has a ceiling effect on respiratory depression. This means that even if a person takes a high dose of Subutex in an attempt to get high, the analgesic effects will plateau, preventing a person from being able to abuse this medication.
Subutex is used as one part of a comprehensive treatment program for opioid addiction. The medication is considered most effective when combined with medication management, counseling, peer support, and lifestyle changes.
Medication-Assisted Treatment With Subutex
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) refers to rehabilitation programs that combine medication and behavioral therapy in an individualized treatment program for patients struggling with addiction. While the ultimate goal of MAT is full abstinence from all mood or mind-altering substances, medication support can save lives and benefit treatment in a variety of different ways.
According to SAMHSA, MAT approaches are proven to:
- Improve patient survival rates after treatment
- Improve treatment retention rates
- Decrease rates of illicit drug use and criminal activity in individuals recovering from substance use disorder
- Improve the ability for patients to secure and keep a job
- Improve birth outcomes among expecting mothers who are addicted to opioids
- Reduce the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C by reducing the risk of relapse and other risky behaviors
The purpose of Subutex treatment is not to cure addiction; it is to help normalize brain chemistry that has been impacted by long-term opioid abuse. As such, the medication blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, helps prevent withdrawal symptoms, and alleviates drug cravings.
Subutex helps aid the addiction treatment process by dealing with the physical symptoms of addiction that must be overcome in recovery. This ultimately makes it easier for patients to focus on their personal recovery and therapies rather than the thought of using opioids.
SAMHSA explains that “under federal law 42.CFR.8.12, MAT patients receiving treatment in OTPs (opioid treatment programs) must receive counseling, which may include different forms of behavioral therapy.” Some therapies and activities patients may participate in include, but are not limited to:
- Group and individual therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Holistic therapies (art, yoga, recreation, meditation, etc.)
- 12-Step facilitation
- Peer support groups
- Trauma-informed care
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Motivational Interviewing (MI)
- Psychoeducational groups
- Relapse prevention planning
Using Subutex to Treat Opioid Addiction
Before patients can begin taking Subutex, they must stop using all other opioids for at least 10-12 hours. If buprenorphine-containing medications are taken while opioids are still present in the system, it can perpetuate withdrawal symptoms. Instead, users should be well into opioid withdrawal when they begin taking Subutex.
Subutex is available in two different strengths: 2 mg and 8 mg. It is administered once per day in the form of a sublingual tablet. The tablet takes between 5-10 minutes to dissolve once placed under the tongue
Individual dosage depends on a person’s body weight, severity of addiction, overall health, and response to treatment. Some patients may take Subutex for a couple of weeks while others will take it for months or more than a year. Stopping Subutex should always occur under the guidance of a medical professional. Suddenly stopping taking buprenorphine medications can cause withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, doctors can help patients taper off of buprenorphine to avoid withdrawal.
People taking Subutex should take it at the same time every day for maximum effectiveness. While the medication can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and alleviate drug cravings, it isn’t a fool-proof treatment method for addiction. Instead, Subutex treatment should always be combined with behavioral therapy and peer support in a drug and alcohol rehab setting.
Get Started With Subutex Treatment in Louisville, KY Today
When administered in a safe, supportive, and therapeutic environment, Subutex can be a highly effective treatment asset. Subutex isn’t for everyone, so it’s always important to speak with a medical provider before starting any prescription medication.
At PAX Riverbend, our medication-assisted treatment programs in Louisville, KY are here to help. If you or a loved one think Subutex may be right for you, contact one of our dedicated treatment providers today.
Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.