Continue to Stay Sober with Medically Assisted Treatment Suboxone

Are you trying to end your reliance on prescription painkillers such as morphine or oxycodone? Or have you stopped using such street drugs as heroin or fentanyl? If so, a medical assistance drug called suboxone may help you stay sober.  

Suboxone is a medication used to treat addiction to opioids and narcotics. When used as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, and/or a 12-step program, suboxone can help reduce opioid addiction and dependence.

Dr. Alan Rhoades and the health care providers at New Hope Medical Clinic in Gastonia, North Carolina, can help you stay sober with suboxone. Here’s what you need to know about suboxone and opioid addiction.

The opioid crisis

Opioids are drugs that change the way your brain processes pain. Some opioids are prescribed by doctors or used in hospitals, and others are street drugs with no legal use.

Examples of opioids include morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl, and heroin.

You may have received a prescription for an opioid drug after having dental work, surgery, or an injury. But like many people, you may have continued to use it even after your doctor told you to stop. It’s relatively easy to become dependent on or addicted to opioid drugs.

Unfortunately, opioid misuse is a growing problem in North Carolina and around the United States and can lead to addiction and death. Between 1999 and 2016, more than 12,000 North Carolinians died from opioid-related overdoses, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

And each day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Breaking opioid dependence

Most people find it difficult to break their dependence on opioid drugs. Suboxone can help make that process easier.

Suboxone contains two medications: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication that reduces or eliminates withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid dependence without producing the euphoria or sedation typically caused by opioids. Naloxone is a drug that blocks the feelings of well-being and pain relief that come from opioids.

Although suboxone contains opioid ingredients, it does not cause addiction.

During your appointment

If you think suboxone might help you, you can make an appointment with Dr. Rhoades. During your consultation, he talks with you about your medical history, opioid use, and other health considerations.

He asks you about other drugs you take (prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, and street drugs), how much alcohol you drink, other health conditions you have, and whether you plan to get pregnant in the near future.

If he decides you could benefit from suboxone, he explains how to use it.

Using suboxone

Suboxone is a film you place under your tongue. Typically, patients take suboxone once a day.

Before you start taking it, Dr. Rhoades talks with you about the specific guidelines for using suboxone. For example, you should take it exactly as directed at the same time each day, you should rinse your mouth with water before using it, and you should make sure your fingers are dry before you insert it under your tongue.

When used as prescribed, suboxone is safe and effective. But it may cause side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, headache, stomach pain, constipation, and reduced fertility, among others.

 

Dr. Rhoades makes sure you understand potential side effects before you begin taking suboxone.

To learn more about whether suboxone can help you, call New Hope Medical Clinic today for an appointment or book your visit online through this website.

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