Suboxone Use and Abuse in Florida
Suboxone, which is a mixture of Buprenorphine and Naloxone, is one of the key drugs to winning the battle against opioid abuse. Doctors prescribe Suboxone to help patients manage the symptoms of withdrawal and help patients through the early recovery process. Sometimes, Suboxone may be prescribed on a long-term basis. The idea behind these prescriptions is that if patients are taking Suboxone, their risk of relapsing and turning to other opioids is reduced. Suboxone abuse in Florida has become a growing problem over recent years.
However, patients should know that while Suboxone has helped many patients kick their opioid addiction to the curb, the drug is in itself an opioid. Yes, Suboxone is chemically engineered to try to eliminate factors that might lead to its abuse – for example, users won’t receive the same euphoric high associated with other opioids – there are still risks.
For starters, patients who continuously use Suboxone may develop a dependency. In effect, this means that they don’t feel normal unless they’re taking the drug. A larger danger, however, is if someone who has not prescribed Suboxone somehow gains access to the drug. In cases like this, it can act as a gateway to stronger opioids, including lethal ones, such as heroin and fentanyl. You can see this in Florida, where the crackdown on painkillers has led to addicts seeking out heroin, fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids.
How Suboxone Works
Suboxone contains two primary ingredients, each designed to do something different. The first ingredient is buprenorphine, which is classified as a partial opioid agonist. Buprenorphine controls your brain’s opioid receptors. In effect, it reduces the effects of opioid withdrawal, which makes it easier to guide an addict through rehabilitation, as they don’t need to fear the painful withdrawal effects.
The second ingredient of Suboxone is naloxone, which is also commonly given to overdose patients. Naloxone blocks the opioid – in this case, buprenorphine – from reaching the brain’s receptors. This prevents the user from getting high.
By combining these two ingredients in one dose, Suboxone reduces the effects of withdrawal while preventing the user from feeling the euphoric high commonly associated with opioids. Suboxone comes as both a sublingual film that dissolves under the tongue and in pill form.
Suboxone Abuse in Florida
The Governor of Florida has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. That won’t surprise anyone who has taken the time to look at the statistics. In 2015, opioids (mostly heroin and fentanyl) killed an average of 14 people per day in Florida – this accounted for about 12 percent of all opioid-related deaths nation-wide. In 2016, the number of fatal overdoses rose by 36 percent.
Suboxone is a relatively recent addition to the war against opioid overdose. When taken properly, it can be a tremendous ally. Unfortunately, it is a double-edged sword, and when taken improperly, suboxone abuse in Florida, like all opioids, can cause a tremendous amount of damage. Worse, it may lead people to try to increase their high, by trying drugs such as fentanyl.
Side Effects of Suboxone Use
Those who use Suboxone frequently have difficulty focusing, bouts of insomnia, dizziness, sweating, and nausea. If someone has overdosed on Suboxone, they may have slurred speech, drowsiness, slowed breathing, a lack of coordination, and in the worst case scenario, lose consciousness. While Suboxone abuse can cause liver damage when used over a longer period of time, those struggling with addiction will also have their relationships negatively impacted.
Signs of Addiction
Call it the undercover addiction: Suboxone abuse in Florida can be difficult to spot, even by those who know what to look for. Unlike heroin abuse, there aren’t many easy signs, such as track marks in an abuser’s arm. As Suboxone comes prescribed as pills or sublingual strips, you’re likely to find discarded packages hidden around the house. If your loved one has been prescribed Suboxone, consider monitoring the prescription by counting the number of pills being consumed.
It isn’t until the addiction has fully taken hold that you’ll notice the more obvious signs of opioid addiction. Yellowing of the skin and eyes will indicate that the liver is being damaged, but before that, you’re likely to notice changes in the user’s lifestyle. They will refuse to go to work, lose interest in their hobbies, and all of their personal relationships will become strained. In fact, it’s likely you’ll notice the strained personal relationships before you’ll notice other signs of addiction.
There is Help Available
A person under the cloud of opioid addiction is unlikely to seek help – even if they know that they need it. This could be because they fear the effects of withdrawal, or because they fear the harsh societal judgment that comes with admitting an addiction. While friends and family can help, it’s unlikely they have the degree of experience necessary to guide someone through the recovery process. There is help for suboxone abuse in Florida at Lumiere Detox Center. Call us today at 855-535-8501.
The Lumiere Detox Center is designed as a long-term solution to rehabilitation. Rather than just holding a patient through their withdrawal, we also provide counselors who can give patients lifestyle guidance and decrease their chances of relapsing. The battle against opioids is on-going, which is why the Lumiere Detox Center is focused on positive lifestyle changes, rather than quick and easy solutions.