Treatment success is linked
to dedication to a full recovery effort, including refraining from
use of drugs of abuse. Use of benzodiazepines such as Xanax,
Klonopin and Valium are very problematic for individuals in Suboxone
Proper utilization of
Suboxone as prescribed by a physician is very effective. Relapse
may result if the medication is not regularly and properly taken.
Follow up with a physician is
Rapid tapering off medication
has been observed to be ineffective.
In our experience, short-term
use of Suboxone has not yielded much success.
Residents have reported
feeling “normal” when they take Suboxone. They are able to function
in society and are not overcome by cravings or depression. Many are
able to go through significant periods of time without preoccupation
with getting high or cravings, perhaps for the first time in years.
Some individuals report a
reduction of cocaine cravings while taking Suboxone.
Many individuals report that
if they continue Suboxone treatment persistently, do not return to
opiate use, even if they relapse on alcohol, marijuana or cocaine.
Such relapses tend to be less severe than without Suboxone
treatment. A return from a relapse to abstinence and recovery is
easier if Suboxone treatment is maintained.
For those who are not able to
consistently take Suboxone as prescribed, Methadone treatment may be
a better option. In addition, if several attempts with Suboxone
treatment have been unsuccessful, Methadone treatment should be
Some individuals have been
able to slowly taper off Suboxone over the course of one to two
years. Some report that they may need to maintain a low dose of
Suboxone indefinitely in order to maintain recovery.
A few Suboxone patients
report developing headaches. Switching to Subutex (Buphrenorphine
without Naloxone) for a short period may relieve headaches.