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Buprenorphine Treatment Medications For Opiate Use Disorder (OUD) Treatment

Buprenorphine, also known as “bupe”, is a medication used for treating Opiate Use Disorders in individuals who are opiate dependent. This medication is often used in combination with counseling and therapy in a treatment called Medication-Assisted Treatment, sometimes known as maintenance treatment.

Is Buprenorphine Treatment Replacing One Drug With Another?

Buprenorphine treatment medications and drugs like methadone are prescribed or administered under monitored, controlled conditions. They are effective for treating opioid use disorder and opiate addiction when used as directed. They are administered orally or sublingually (i.e., under the tongue) in specified doses, and their effects differ from those of heroin and other abused opioids.

Heroin, for example, is often injected, snorted, or smoked, causing an almost immediate “rush,” or brief period of intense euphoria, that wears off quickly and ends in a “crash.” The individual then experiences an intense craving to use the drug to stop the crash and reinstate the euphoria.

The cycle of euphoria, crash, and craving—sometimes repeated several times a day—is a hallmark of addiction and results in substance dependence and severe behavioral disruption. These characteristics result from heroin’s rapid onset and short duration of action in the brain.

As used in maintenance treatment, methadone and buprenorphine are not heroin/opioid substitutes.

In contrast, drugs like Suboxone and Subutex have gradual onsets of action and produce stable drug levels in the brain. As a result, patients maintained on these medications do not experience a rush, while their desire to use opioids is markedly reduced.  Furthermore, combining buprenorphine and naltrexone reduces cravings while no reducing risk of abuse and addiction.

If an individual treated with these medications tries to take an opioid such as heroin, the euphoric effects are usually dampened or suppressed. Patients undergoing maintenance treatment do not experience the physiological or behavioral abnormalities from rapid fluctuations in drug levels associated with heroin use.

Maintenance treatments save lives—they help to stabilize individuals, allowing treatment of their medical, psychological, and other problems so they can contribute effectively as members of families and society.

Buprenorphine is no wonder drug that magically treats and cures opioid addictions forever, but it can give you the solid footing you need for a productive treatment of opiate addiction.

Wellness Center New Jersey has a Medication-Assisted Treatment program that limits cravings and reduces withdrawal symptoms. Reach out today via our contact form or 201-945-2905

Sources

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/use-medications-methadone-buprenorphine

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