Suboxone Treatment for Heroin Addiction and Withdrawal

The redistribution of wealth and class in society and the exposure to several narcotics at a very early age have made individuals of all ages vulnerable to them. The administration of painkillers has caused a widespread heroin addiction problem.

Because of withdrawal symptoms, one cannot suddenly stop this dependence on a narcotic substance. The doctors prefer a different mode of addiction treatment - counseling, medication, or a combination of both (often called medication-assisted treatment). However, many are using Medicaid Suboxone Treatment to counter withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin - a dangerous opioid

Heroin is a drug prepared from the flowers of the opium poppy. It is usually found in Asia, Mexico, etc. It's been illegal in the US since 1924 and is available in black or brown powder form or a sticky black tar. Like other opioids, it binds with the opioid receptor in the brain and produces a chemically-induced euphoric sensation. The addicts of heroin long for this euphoric sensation, or the "high." However, the receptor desensitizes to the initial concentration - increasing dosage or number of use times. This is what contributes to addiction.

Several people smoke or snort heroin. However, most abusers inject it into their veins. It is the riskiest way to take it, as the chances of overdosing increase - and you can catch a disease from a contaminated needle. It is hard to stop craving it again once you have taken a shot or two of this drug.

Why is it so addictive?

Heroin is an opioid, and like all opioids - it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain and releases dopamine. It is called the "happy" or "feel-good" hormone - it produces a feeling of euphoria in its users. Along with this chemically-induced high, the users enter a dream-like state - they walk and think slowly for the next few hours. It blocks your body's pain receptors and lowers the heartbeat and breathing rate - which means that if you overdose, it can be fatal.

Another aspect that had a role in heroin's rise in use was the rising misuse of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone - also made from the poppy plant and chemically linked to heroin. People who become hooked on or abuse these drugs start looking for a more robust and low-cost high. Heroin serves both requirements, but it's also more hazardous. You cannot determine the product or its strength.

Incidentally, opioid overdose death increased by 400% between 2010 and 2017.

Effects of heroin addiction

The effects of heroin addiction or abuse are not exclusive to it - therefore, one cannot readily detect if someone is abusing the drug. The person's behavior will change for the worse with continued use, but one cannot pinpoint it to heroin addiction only. The short-term and prolonged-use effects of heroin abuse are mentioned in the table below:

Substance of interest

Short-term effects

Long-term effects


·         Euphoria

·         Dry mouth

·         Warm, reddened skin

·         Heavy feeling in arms and legs

·         Upset stomach

·         Vomiting

·         Itching

·         Incoherent brain

·         Changing in and out of lethargy

·        Collapsed veins

·        Sleeplessness

·        Infections of heart lining and valves

·        Skin infections like abscesses and cellulitis

·        Greater probability of contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C

·        Liver and kidney disease

·        Psychological disorders

·        Lung diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis

·        Menstrual complications and miscarriage

Heroin withdrawal

The body builds up a tolerance with continued use - however, the cravings don't stop. The abuser must take more amounts of the drug or increase the number of times they use it. The body becomes dependent on the substance. Moreover, it's as hard to stop as it is easy to start. The body begins to show symptoms as the presence of the drug in one's system starts to decrease. This event is known as withdrawal from heroin. Some of its symptoms are listed below:

·      Anxieties

·      Sudden fear

·      Retching and diarrhea

·      Bone and muscle pain

·      Problem in sleeping

·      Cold flashes

·      Uncontrollable movement of the extremities

Suboxone treatment - an essential part of medication-assisted therapies

The therapeutic approach to reducing heroin addiction is specific for individual patients. However, physicians rely more on medication-assisted therapies (MATs) that couples psychological counseling, behavioral therapy, and medications to gradually free a patient from heroin addiction.

One of the most familiar brand names associated with heroin addiction treatment is Suboxone. It is a combination of two drugs - buprenorphine and naloxone - that function chemically to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and lessen a patient's opioid reliance in the long term.

These medicines block the opioid receptors in the brain and lessen the bindings of heroin. Therefore, the patient cannot get the usual high-this helps to reduce the patient's dependence on heroin.

However, you should consult the experts at Cooperative Recovery - because uncontrolled use could generate side effects in the Medicaid Suboxone Treatment.

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