Suboxone is the only office-based method of medicated detox for patients attempting to overcome heroin or painkiller addiction. For many, it has been hugely effective, and in the beginning, it was touted as abuse-proof. However, in recent years, it has become apparent that Suboxone is indeed abusable, and many are returning to rehab – or entering it for the first time if their initial attempt at recovery was solely medication-based – after developing a dependence upon the drug.
How can you tell if your loved one’s use of Suboxone is medicinal or abusive? Here are three signs that they have a problem with the medication:
- Getting Suboxone illegally. Pills can be purchased without a prescription on the street, online, or from those who have a prescription. If your loved one has a prescription for Suboxone, he may go to multiple doctors for multiple scripts, an illegal method for getting the pills called “doctor shopping.”
- Abusing Suboxone tablets. Like any prescription pill, people can abuse the drug by crushing the pills first and then attempting to dissolve and inject the crushed substance. With Suboxone, the tabs are designed to be dissolved under the user’s tongue. They are not meant to be ingested any other way.
- Using Subutex instead of Suboxone. Subutex is pure buprenorphine. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, a blocking agent that helps to prevent the abuse of buprenorphine. Subutex is only buprenorphine, so use of it when Suboxone is prescribed can indicate substance abuse or relapse.
Treatment for Treatment?
How can you help someone get treatment for abuse of a medication that’s supposed to provide treatment? Like any drug of abuse, those who struggle with Suboxone abuse and dependence can benefit from treatment that is therapeutic in nature. Often the problem is that the person tried to address an opiate addiction by simply taking Suboxone. This is wholly ineffective as it doesn’t help them learn how to manage cravings or other issues that may make them want to get and stay high. For patients in this situation, inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab that includes therapeutic intervention is often the best possible solution.
Here at Axis, we offer a range of treatment services that are beneficial for patients struggling with prescription drug dependence in any form. Learn more about how we can help your addicted loved one to move closer to long-term sobriety today. Call now for more information.