What Is the Role of Buprenorphine in Rehab?

The opioid epidemic in the United States is a problem that continues to get worse for a multitude of reasons. Many people develop an addiction to opioids after an injury or surgery because they receive a prescription from a doctor. There are also many who experiment with prescription opioids as a way to get high. In any case, it doesn’t take long for the progression of addiction to start, and this is one of the reasons people turn to harder drugs like heroin.

The withdrawal symptoms of opioids are extremely uncomfortable and can be painful as well, so some people use heroin to simply avoid withdrawal symptoms. The reality is that addiction medicine has come a long way, so you don’t have to worry about going through opioid withdrawal. Medications like buprenorphine can assist you during the detoxification process to minimize your symptoms. First, it’s important to understand why withdrawal happens so you can understand how this medication can help.

Understanding Buprenorphine and Withdrawal Symptoms

As you continue to abuse opioids you begin to build a tolerance to the substance, so you need more in order to get high. The other issue that you experience is when you start to develop a dependency on the substance as well. When dependence happens, your brain and nervous system are greatly affected and need the substance in order to function properly. When you run out of the drug or start using less of the drug, you can begin to experience symptoms of withdrawal such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Aches and pains
  • Cold sweats
  • Depression
  • Nausea

One of the primary reasons opioid withdrawal happens is because these drugs attach themselves to various receptors in your brain. When using the drug, the receptors become occupied and begin giving you an excess flood of dopamine, which is why you get high. When the drug starts to leave your system, these receptors become vacant and start causing symptoms of withdrawal. As your neurotransmitters begin to misfire, you begin to feel a variety of the withdrawal symptoms, and this is where buprenorphine can help.

Buprenorphine can be taken in a variety of different ways, but one of the most common forms is in a strip. This strip is placed under your tongue for about five to 10 minutes until it dissolves, and it helps by tricking the brain into thinking you’re still using opioids. By the brain believing that you still have opioids in your system, the symptoms of withdrawal are reduced greatly. This medication is given by medical professionals when you enter a detox facility to begin on your path towards recovery.

Buprenorphine and Detox are the First Steps

Buprenorphine is a mix of an opioid agonist and antagonist, so it will also help reduce your cravings for the drug. While you take this medication, you’re protected from relapse because it won’t allow you to get high, which can be a great deterrent. The medication is not meant to be a replacement for opioids, so it will be tapered off over time as you’re under medical supervision. As you begin to feel better physically and mentally, you can slowly come off of the buprenorphine and begin your recovery journey.

It’s important to realize that although buprenorphine is designed to help you to come off of opioids, it’s only the first step in the recovery process. The goal is to not only get off the drugs, but you need to learn how to stay clean after the detox process. The addiction treatment process is where you’ll learn the root causes of your addiction so you understand why you use in the first place. Receiving addiction treatment is the best way to prevent relapse so you don’t have to ever worry about going through withdrawal again.

Addiction Treatment Can Help

In an addiction treatment program, you’ll receive group as well as individual therapy so you can start learning a better way to live. Group therapy is a crucial aspect of the recovery process because it’s important to have peer support and realize that you’re not alone. You’ll receive suggestions, advice, and support from others who are trying to overcome their addictions as well, and you’ll see how you can support them too. In the individual therapy sessions, you’ll have the ability to open up and be honest about your struggles and learn new ways to cope with the stresses of everyday life.

Our addiction treatment program provides both detox and therapeutic services, so call us today at 833-762-3739 to find out how we can help you begin a life of recovery.