Suboxone is a brand-name drug that is comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 as a medication specifically designed to treat individuals sixteen years old and older struggling with narcotic (opiate) addiction (opioid use disorder). The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Suboxone as a Schedule III controlled substance, which is defined as “drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” As a partial agonist, buprenorphine only allows this medication to partially bind to one’s opioid receptors. Naloxone works by counteracting the effects of opioids on one’s brain. More specifically, when Suboxone is used, it blocks the full agonist (abused opioid substance) by attaching to the opioid receptor, expelling any existing opioids, and prohibiting any others from attaching. Because Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, it produces minimal opioid effects enabling it to significantly reduce the adverse withdrawal symptoms, but not enough to produce any feelings of euphoria which is why it is often used when treating opioid addiction.
Single-agent buprenorphine was first developed by Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc., in the 1960s as a safer alternative to some other opioid pain medications. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981 as a treatment for moderate to severe pain. Buprenorphine and all products containing buprenorphine are classified by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration as Schedule III controlled substances. It became evident that buprenorphine could also be a safe and potentially more accessible alternative to methadone, which at the time was the primary medication used to treat opioid addiction. The decision to combine naloxone with buprenorphine occurred after pharmaceutical research suggested the combination of these two substances would further minimize the risk of diversion and misuse of buprenorphine.
What Is It Used For?
Suboxone is primarily used, according to American Addiction Centers, is “as an induction agent to stabilize someone in withdrawal during the medical detoxification process as well as for maintenance treatment to promote recovery from opioid use disorder.” Although Suboxone contains buprenorphine, which on its own is a medication used to treat severe pain (e.g., during or after an operation or a serious injury, or pain from cancer, etc.), some believe that Suboxone may help treat pain, however, Suboxone is NOT approved by the FDA for use as a pain relief medication. This medication is exclusively approved for the treatment of opioid addiction.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment-related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-318-3777. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.