Suboxone is a leading medication alternative in the treatment of opioid addiction. It became FDA-approved and available to the public in 2002 as a result of the Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA 2000). DATA 2000 allowed qualified physicians to prescribe buprenorphine (the active ingredient in Suboxone) to individuals suffering with chronic opioid addiction. This provided a new alternative in medication-assisted treatment. Up until this time, methadone had been the only effective medication used for alleviating opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone is a thin film combination of buprenorphine and naloxone that is placed under the tongue where it is dissolved and absorbed into the bloodstream. Buprenorphine is the opioid agonist which binds to the body’s opioid receptor cells and reduces or eliminates opiate withdrawal sickness like nausea, diarrhea, cramping, runny nose, and headache. Naloxone is the additive that discourages misuse of suboxone by causing withdrawal if the medication is injected. If suboxone is used as intended (dissolved under the tongue), the naloxone has no effect at all and the patient receives only the benefit of the buprenorphine component.

Southern Rockies Addiction Treatment Services

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