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What Are the Effects of Long-Term Suboxone Treatment?

June 23, 2021 , Agape Treatment Center

What Are the Effects of Long-Term Suboxone Treatment?

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is an opioid antagonist used to help treat men and women who have been suffering at the hands of a moderate or severe opioid abuse disorder. In most cases, Suboxone is utilized as a part of a comprehensive drug addiction recovery program and is only truly deemed effective when combined with intensive behavioral therapy delivered in a residential inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment center.

Suboxone combines naloxone (an opioid antagonist) and buprenorphine (a semi-synthetic opioid narcotic). When combined, these two medications have been proven effective in helping alleviate symptoms of post-acute opioid withdrawal and helping to eliminate the drug cravings that often lead to relapse.

How Does Suboxone Work?

The majority of medical professionals consider Suboxone a short-term solution and will never prescribe it to be taken for more than several months at a time. Because addiction recovery is a long-term process, and because the main goal of treatment programs is to provide clients with the skills they need to stand on their own two feet, the use of medication is often not necessary outside of inpatient treatment.

Suboxone is a somewhat controversial medication, as many medical professionals continue to prescribe it long after completing inpatient treatment. Some people believe that medical professionals continue prescribing the medication because of the potential for financial gain – not because they have the best interest of their patients at heart. This is partly because many side effects go hand in hand with long-term Suboxone treatment. One of the biggest risks that people who are on Suboxone long-term run is developing a physical and psychological dependence on the drug. Suboxone itself, although it is used to treat opioid addiction, can be habit-forming.

Effects of Long-Term Suboxone Treatment

Long-term Suboxone treatment can lead to a range of serious issues, including:

  • The development of physical and psychological dependence on the medication – it is important to remember that Suboxone can be habit-forming and that men and women who previously struggled with an opioid abuse disorder are more likely to abuse the medication
  • The development of psychiatric disorders, namely anxiety, and depression
  • A range of physical symptoms, including a loss of appetite, which leads to subsequent weight loss, permanent changes to blood pressure, and the development of certain chronic health conditions
  • A psychological reliance on the drug could hinder the remainder of the recovery process
  • Chronic gastrointestinal issues, most commonly chronic constipation
  • Persistent headaches that do not always go away once Suboxone use is stopped
  • Mood swings which are usually marked by increased aggression and irritability

Agape Treatment Center and Suboxone Addiction Treatment

At Agape Treatment Center, we believe that medication-assisted treatment can be beneficial to the most severe cases of opioid abuse disorder. However, we tend to focus more on therapeutic intervention and educating our clients on the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our main priority is instilling every one of our clients with the healthy coping mechanisms and life skills they need to maintain sobriety on their own once treatment comes to a close. Drugs like Suboxone can become a sort of crutch – they might prevent a client from doing the Intensive therapeutic work necessary to heal on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual basis.

To learn more about our stance on Suboxone or learn about the role that medication-assisted treatment plays in our overall treatment program, please feel free to reach out to us at any point in time. If you are ready to overcome an opioid abuse disorder of any severity and reclaim your life, we are ready and available to help. Contact us over the phone or through our website, and we will begin the admissions process. Our addiction specialists are available around the clock and all calls are free and confidential.