Monday September 26th 2016

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Does Suboxone help with cravings?

Yes. Suboxone is a medication approved for the treatment of opiate and opioid dependence: it addresses both cravings and narcotic use. This medicine contains the active ingredient, buprenorphine hydrochloride, which works to reduce the symptoms related to physical dependence on narcotics (both illegal and prescription pain killer drugs).

What are cravings and how can really Suboxone help with them? Find out in the text that follows. Then, we invite your questions in the comments section at the end.

What are cravings?

A craving is a state developed by the mind that is experienced as an overwhelming desire for the use of a drug. Not everyone who uses drugs gets addicted to them. But it is difficult to stop using (even prescription drugs) after you have become addicted, because the cravings are so strong and the fear of withdrawal is so great. But there is hope! Appropriate treatment helps you get through withdrawal and helps you cope with cravings.

How can Suboxone help with cravings?

Suboxone is a medication that contains buprenorphine plus another medication called naloxone. The naloxone is added to prevent abuse — it reverses the effects of other narcotic medicines and can even triggers drug withdrawal in some cases. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist that exerts significant actions at the mu opioid receptor. Partial agonists like buprenorphine bind to receptors and activate them, deterring stronger drugs because you can’t feel their effects. In addition Suboxone works well because buprenorphine reaches a ceiling where higher doses do not result in increasing effect, lowering the risk of abuse.

As a result, the person who takes buprenorphine feels normal, not high. Cravings are lessened, and the medication allows you to focus on other issues related to recovery. At the same time, the brain is tricked into thinking it’s receiving drugs, so withdrawal symptoms do not occur. This treatment gives you the chance to change addictive thinking into non-addictive, healthful patterns. If cravings continue to be a problem, report it immediately; your doctor will adjust your medication or help you find other ways to reduce them.

Suboxone prescription for cravings treatment

Doctors can prescribe Suboxone so that you can take it at home. Also, daily check-in at a treatment center can be helpful to recovery. Therefore, for some people, a treatment center is the best place to receive medication for opioid addiction.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all doctors have approval to prescribe this medication, and not all doctors provide counseling for addiction. In fact, MD’s need special training before prescribing buprenorphine. Check the SAMHSA Buprenorphine Physician Locator.

Who CAN use Suboxone for cravings help?

Before you are given the first dose of Suboxone for opioid addiction, your doctor will ask you questions about your addiction, health, and other problems. Prepare to submit a drug test, usually a check of urine or saliva. You also will be asked to schedule a physical exam and be tested for diseases that are common to people who have been abusing drugs (Ex. your liver will be checked to make sure the medication can be safely taken). If buprenorphine is safe and appropriate for you, your doctor can then recommend and prescribe it.

What you SHOULDN’T do while taking Suboxone?

  1. While taking this medication, you should NOT take other medications without consulting your doctor first.
  2. While taking this medication, you should NOT use illegal drugs, drink alcohol, or take sedatives, tranquilizers, or other drugs that slow breathing. Taking any of these substances in large amounts along with buprenorphine can lead to overdose or death.
  3. Suboxone kept at home must be locked in a safe place to prevent accidental use by others, especially children.
  4. If you are a woman and are pregnant or breast-feeding, doctors may recommend the naloxone-free form of Suboxone instead of methadone. Ask your doctor for more information.
  5. Liver problems are rare but can occur while taking Suboxone. If you have been diagnosed with a  liver condition, your doctor should conduct regular tests on your liver.

Suboxone help with cravings questions

If you or a loved one are facing a problem with opiate cravings, Suboxone may be the medicine that can help you get and stay sober. But you may have other questions about its use and prescriptions

Please contact us through the comments section below if you have any questions about Suboxone help with cravings. We are happy to try to provide a personal and prompt response to all legitimate inquiries.

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: The facts about Buprenorphine
SAMHSA: Clinical guidelines for the use of buprenorphine
SAMHSA: Reports on buprenorphine
FDA: Subutex and Suboxone
SAMHSA: About Buprenorphine therapy

Photo credit: Blue Light

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8 Responses to “Does Suboxone help with cravings?
lostgirl
2:35 am August 6th, 2015

Can you have withdrawals from Suboxone if you only take it for a short period of time? I started out taking 4mg per day for 4 days. I’m now on day 5 and taking 3mg per day. I plan to take 3mg for about 4 days and reduce again and continue reducing until I’m at 0mg. I don’t want to stay on them long term and I’m taking much less than the doctor prescribed. If I take it for about 2mths will I be addicted and have withdrawal after stopping?

3:39 pm August 6th, 2015

Hi lost girl. Have you been taking the Suboxone for 4 days or for 2 months? And, are you on day 4 of tapering? After 2 months you will experience withdrawal symptoms, while after 4 no. Withdrawal symptoms will be greatly milder if you slowly reduce doses – as you are doing.

warren
5:48 am August 11th, 2015

This is incorrect: “The naloxone is added to prevent abuse — it reverses the effects of other narcotic medicines and can even triggers drug withdrawal in some cases.”

First, “it reverses the effects of other narcotic medicines.” What does that even mean? This is essentially nonsense, like saying you can unburn gasoline by driving in reverse. Perhaps the author meant that its higher affinity to the u-receptors will unseat any drug already attached there, which is the mechanism that causes precipitated withdrawal, which is also mentioned. That’s in no way a ‘reversal,’ and in any case the bupe is responsible for that effect, not the naloxone, because bupe has a higher affinity. Naloxone can be considered an inactive ingredient – while not strictly true, it makes no difference to think that way.

So when you say that naloxone is added to deter abuse, you’re 100% correct. It deters abuse in the same way that an imaginary ingredient would, by scaring the ignorant from trying in the first place!

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it’s downright criminal to downplay precipitated withdrawal as this article does. Precipitated withdrawal is a terrifying, absolute hell to go through. Imagine adding up the pain and suffering of two weeks of opiate withdrawal, then condensing it into a single hour. It is a true ineffable experience; no one should even consider taking suboxone without understanding how to avoid it.

Suboxone can be a wonder drug, an opiate addict’s panacea, even. But any potential benefit the drug offers can be wiped away through precipating withdrawal, leaving the addict in worse shape than they were in before.

sowmya
1:26 pm September 18th, 2015

Hi, my husband was an opiate addict but after treating him he is now good and we are giving him naltima for this which has been prescribed by the doctor,he use to take corex. But my question is this medicine can stop craving for lonazepam or for pot? Because he still use this. Lonazepam he takes in 2 to 3 months of gap but pot very frequently. If this doesn’t work then what can I do to stop craving for these things? He don’t want to get into rehab. Plz help

1:17 pm September 23rd, 2015

Hello Sowmya. He doesn’t have to seek help from a clinic, and can join group therapy or support groups to work along with other people who are in the same shoes and going through the same cravings, triggers, experiences. As he heals and gets stronger psychologically, he will also gain the strengths and motivation to give medications and marijuana up.

linda
7:16 pm June 25th, 2016

how long does suboxone 4mn/1mg stay in your body

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:04 pm June 29th, 2016

Hi Linda. Typical drug tests (those detecting heroin, codeine, morphine…) are not used to detect suboxone. However, there is a specific buprenorphine urine drug test which is not usually included on standard drug screen panels. But, if this test is done, the average detection time is about 72 hours. In urine drug tests, the detection window is 2-4 days, but may be 7-10 days for chronic users, even at typical doses.

Jamie
6:30 pm September 2nd, 2016

Id never recommend suboxone more than 3months.was on 10 years…nightmare to get off…worse than pain pill detox….lost my job…laid on couch half dead ..barely moved for 2weeks…was weed down to 4mg,used to 24mg thr years.Plain nightmare and side effects horriiible.

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