Suboxone is a drug-replacement treatment method used to reduce the withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioid addiction. The goal of suboxone treatment is help an individual stop using heroin or opioid medications. Unfortunately, many people remain on the medication for longer than expected and ultimately feel stuck on suboxone. Suboxone treatment is a short-term solution and can be impede upon the potential for recovery.
In order to shed light on the possible negative outcomes of suboxone treatment, we interviewed a woman named Natalie B. who was stuck on suboxone for over 9 months. This is her experience:
Why were you on suboxone? Did someone prescribe the treatment?
I was prescribed suboxone because I was abusing Percocet (acetaminophen and oxycodone) and Norco (acetaminophen and hydrocodone). I was abusing both drugs for 7 months, taking around 10 pills everyday. There was a day that I had taken too much and overdosed. I wanted help so I contacted my general practitioner. He specialized in addiction so I thought he could help. He was the one who suggested I start suboxone. I had never heard of it at the time but he assured me it would help me to get off the opiates I was addicted to.
How long were you on suboxone? What was the original treatment plan?
I ended being on suboxone for over 9 months. The only reason I got off of suboxone was because I relapsed one final time and entered treatment. The treatment center I entered were able to detox me off of suboxone after 4 days. The doctor initially told me that I would only be on suboxone for a few months, 4 months at the most. Based on our conversations over the months, it didn’t seem like there was a real plan for me to get off of suboxone. This doctor was also prescribing me benzodiazepines and marijuana for my anxiety, both of which are not conducive for sobriety. The combination of all three drugs didn’t help me to get sober, the combination kept me abusing drugs longer and getting increasingly sicker.
Did you experience withdrawal symptoms from suboxone?
Yes, I experienced withdrawal symptoms and they were more uncomfortable than the withdrawal symptoms I experienced from other drugs. I had muscle aches, flu-like symptoms, nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, insomnia and paranoia.
What were the positive outcomes from being on suboxone?
I the only positive thing about being on suboxone is that I didn’t overdose while from the other drugs I was using at the time. Other than that I was extremely depressed and honestly felt high while taking suboxone. I was on an extremely high dose for a long period of time. When the doctor finally lowered the dose I felt less high, but it kept feeding my addiction.
Looking back, do you think suboxone is good form of opiate addiction treatment?
Absolutely not. I don’t think suboxone is a good opiate addiction treatment method. I was on suboxone for too long and on a dose that was much higher than necessary. I was originally told that I would only be on suxboxone for a limited amount of the time but this is not was transpired. At the time, I thought that suboxone was going to help me to get sober. Once on the medication, I felt mind-altering effects that fed my addiction. I continued to use other drugs while on suboxone, some of which were prescribed by the same doctor. I feel that if I detoxed from the drugs I was abusing without the help of suboxone, I would have been able to get sober much earlier. I have now been sober for over 3 years and wouldn’t recommend suboxone to anyone.
Despite the detox benefits associated with suboxone, it does not offer a solution for long-term recovery. Suboxone is a drug-replacement method. When an individual is suffering from addiction, it can be detrimental to replace that addiction with another potential addiction. Suboxone helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms, decrease cravings, and eliminate the “high” experienced from opioid drugs. These are all immediate and short-term benefits. Suboxone is meant to be used short-term, unfortunately it is often used long-term. The long-term use of Suboxone impedes upon that individuals ability to achieve true relief from the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. There are other methods to help an individual suffering from opioid addiction, methods that do not include replacing one drug for another. For more information about Opioid detox and how to get help in recovery, do not hesitate to contact us at (888)357-7577.