Medication Supported Recovery

Medications to Treat Opiate Addiction

Suboxone (combination Buphrenorphine/Naloxone)
       
Suboxone is prescribed by a doctor in sublingual tablet or strip form.   Buphrenorphine
helps prevent withdrawal symptoms caused by stopping other opiate-type drugs. It is a long-acting partial mu opiate agonist that acts on the receptor targets of heroin and morphine, but does not produce the same intense "high" or dangerous side effects.  Apparent antidepressant properties of Buphrenorphine are also being studied as an effect of kappa blocking of opiate receptors.  Naloxone is a narcotic antagonist that blocks the effect of narcotics and can cause severe narcotic withdrawal when injected. It has little effect when taken by mouth or dissolved under the tongue.  Newer Suboxone films (or strips) are less prone to abuse and diversion.  A long lasting subcutaneous Suboxone implant is under development and may help those who are not consistent in taking Suboxone. 

        Naltrexone
Blocks opioid receptors so that drug use does not result in euphoria or high. It produces no narcotic effect, but cravings for narcotics may continue during treatment.

        Methadone
A synthetic opiate that stabilizes the level of opiates in the bloodstream, preventing withdrawal and craving without producing a comparable euphoria or high.  Methadone treatment for addiction is available only in licensed Methadone clinics. 

 

**Medication supported treatment utilizing any prescription medication should be done only as prescribed and monitored by a licensed physician.  Nothing contained in this website should be considered medical advice.  Please consult your physician.

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