Suboxone abuse is the poster child for replacing one addiction with another. The talk amongst families is that something’s seems horribly wrong. They wonder whether their kids really need to be on Suboxone in the first place and why doctor’s are keeping them on it for so long?
Parents have serious concerns
Parents are reporting many concerns about their children and their Suboxone treatment. Some are reporting that the treatment is never ending and they don’t understand why detox should take this long, especially for a young addict who is a relatively short-term user of the drug. Many doctors prescribe Suboxone initially as a detox agent; yet continue to prescribe it as a long-term maintenance medication.
Parents are fearful their kids will never get off Suboxone and aren’t being told the truth: that some youth just aren’t ready to get sober and the ones who are will need to do whatever it takes, which is suffering through painful detox symptoms to get to the other side. No parent wants to hear that their son or daughter needs to hit rock bottom before they’re ready to quit, but it’s the truth. Doctor’s and drug companies are making a lot of money on the emotions of parents.
Other parents report that they have discovered their kids are using Suboxone as a way to maintain their addiction instead of treat and eventually quit their opiate use. Some addicts are still using heroin, selling their Suboxone, while saving enough to get them through the withdrawal symptoms between highs. They crush and snort it but it’s still not the high they are used to or the one they want. Eventually, they return to full on heroin addiction once again. This is a vicious cycle and one that spiritually blocks an addict from ever getting well. The critical factor here is that the drug companies and doctors know this, yet they continue to prescribe the controversial drug.
There are dangers of using Suboxone in combination with Heroin
If an addict is physically addicted to heroin and shoots Suboxone or takes it under the tongue, it will cause immediate withdrawal symptoms. There is extreme danger when combining heroin and Suboxone. It increases the chance of respiratory depression (a decreased rate of breathing) and if respiratory depression is severe enough it can cause death.
Percy Menzies, a pharmacist and addiction expert states “Buprenorphine is one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in the world.” He told the National Pain Report, “We took an abused drug and we said let’s use it to treat addiction to heroin and opiates.” For a drug addict the most painful part of trying to quit a substance addiction are the feelings associated with the withdrawal. If they can regulate the degree to which they feel or don’t feel pain, then what motivates them to stop using?
Who is really benefitting here?
Doctors, drug companies and hospitals are counting on the fact that parents are uncomfortable hearing their children whine about heroin detox. Drug companies make tons of revenue making Suboxone. Doctors and hospitals profit as well by keeping the prescriptions flowing and recycling young people through the system, putting a Band-Aid on the problem and never addressing the need for a true physical detox once-and-for-all or speaking to the underlying issues leading to drug abuse in the first place. Everyone wants the quick and easy fix but with Suboxone it won’t be quick and with heroin addiction it is never easy!
If you really want to help your child quit heroin use, then you have to be willing to do whatever it takes and educate yourself. Remember with heroin addiction it’s all or nothing, there is no choice but tough love. This is not weed. It is not alcohol or coke or crack. It’s heroin, the worse drug in the world and the hardest to quit.
Long-term recovery community – not long-term drugs
Find out if possible, what pain is driving your child’s heroin addiction. Following primary treatment, placement in a long term, reputable recovery community will secure the detox. These parents found a peer-based recovery community that supported a 12 Step fellowship, and taught solutions to living “life on life’s terms”. Some kids detoxed without Suboxone, but the common theme among all was finding a recovery community of peers for aftercare support and a lifestyle change.