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Going on Sub Due of Fear of Wit...

Methadone  verses  Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex):

Methadone Advantages:

-Allows addict to avoid withdrawal symptoms (at least temporarily)
-Allows addicts to obtain medication in a safe, clinical environment as opposed to the streets
-Eliminates health risks, such as those associated with IV administration
-Dose can be controlled, and gradually reduced

Methadone is usually relatively cheap

Methadone Disadvantages:

-Methadone is highly addictive
-Some claim this is simply trading one addiction for another
-Often, social and psychological issues are not addressed
-Some people may remain on methadone indefinitely
-Withdrawal from methadone lasts longer than withdrawal from heroin or oxycodone
-Withdrawal from methadone can be just as intense
-Many people have to visit a clinic everyday to get their medicine because of restrictions
-Methadone has a stigma related to it that suboxone, being much a more recent addiction drug added to the market, does not have, yet.

 

 


  
Sub Advantages:

-Allows addict to avoid withdrawal symptoms (at least temporarily)
-Allows addicts to obtain medicine in a safe, clinical environment as opposed to the streets
-Eliminates health risks, such as those associated with IV administration
-Dosage is controlled, and can be reduced if the addict is ready to do the work to remain clean 
-Usually only monthly visits are required
-High binding affinity to opioid receptors causes a blockade rendering other opioids ineffective
Naloxone (only present in Suboxone) is used to deter people from injecting the drug, and is said to precipitate withdrawal if used in this manner.
-Withdrawal is marketed as being less intense..which is debate-able
SUB Disadvantages:

-Buprenorphine is highly addictive
-Some claim this is simply trading addictions
-Often, social and psychological issues are not addressed
-Withdrawal can last two weeks, though it is not as intense as withdrawal from a full opioid agonist
-Buprenorphine therapy can be very, very expensive
-The pharmaceutical company who sells this drug has done a very extensive marketing program, like tramadol, and facts are being disocvered when people try to get off of this drug.
-Addicts can become complacent and under the impression that they are clean when in fact they are on a narcotic more powerful than their original drug of choice or methadone.
-Suboxone does not have the stigma attached as of now that methadoe does so often people think they are "OKAY" 




III. Miracle Cures for Addiction Do Not Exist

The facts listed above are intended to help guide anyone who is seeking some sort of opioid replacement treatment, whether maintenance or detoxification. It's extremely easy to look at all the facts, and scare yourself out of attempting to quit; however, this is exactly what our addicted mind wants us to do. We will convince ourselves somehow, someway, that we need to stay on drugs, that we are "better off" on opioids. Whether taking Suboxone or methadone, the body is still dependent on opioids, but it can make all the difference in the world -- if you really, really want it. Neither drug will work wonders by itself. Recovery is a process that requires constant tuning and retuning, reflection, effort, persistence, and knowledge. Coupled with a good drug counselor, support group meetings (whether Narcotics/Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery), and a positive attitude, methadone or buprenorphine can help pave the road to a drug-free life, but it is only a tool and will not do the work for you.  You have to do the work! 


I have heard horror stories from people coming off both these drugs; however, I have never heard a horror story about Suboxone that compares with coming off of heroin or methadone cold turkey. I will admit that I do possess a bias when it comes to which drug I believe is the better candidate for addiction treatment. I used Suboxone to help break old habits, and it definitely prevented a relapse or two! I won't sit here, and list the advantages and disadvantages because they are already listed above, but I will say one thing: If possible, don't use either drug. Long-acting opioids are very tough to withdrawal from, and if you can stick it out for a week without using any opioids, you will be much better off.

I've heard of a lot of people who start Suboxone, and end up being on it for six months or even two years. That's way too long! An eight week program (or less) should be more than sufficient to reduce withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level. During those eight weeks, the patient should be involved in an intensive outpatient program. An intensive outpatient program usually includes going to support groups three times a week or even better, go daily if time permits, seeing a psychiatrist (as needed), and/or talking with a drug counselor. If the root problems, those which (a) led to drug use, were (b) exacerbated drug use, (c) hidden by drug use, and/or (d) caused by drug use, are not acknowledged, and fixed, the patient will find themselves in a neverending cycle of misery and despair. 



"We all got belly buttons, but yours looks funny!"

Methadone will help some people, and buprenorphine will help others. Every human being has a unique body chemistry, and some may tolerate one drug better than another. Before making any decision, talk to people, and find out what worked for them. I recommend talking to people who are clean, for they obviously did something right. Do research. Read the "Prescribing Information" for each drug. Talk to people in support forums online. Read stories... you get the picture. Before deciding on anything, educate yourself, and remember, without any extra effort/support these drugs will do nothing except cause you a new problem.
Submitted by Worried878


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Start Date
Nov 28, 2008
by worried878
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Dec 06, 2009
by worried878
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