fbpx Skip to main content

Buprenorphine Treatment

La Jolla Recovery believes immensely in the power of medication-assisted treatment such as buprenorphine for drug addiction and abuse.

Buprenorphine was approved to treat opioid use disorder at the beginning of the century and has shown positive outcomes and reduced overdoses. It is often used on its own to relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal but is more commonly combined with Naloxone in a product most widely known as Suboxone.

Buprenorphine: The Opioid Agonist

Buprenorphine and Naloxone

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means that it does not cause any opioid effects, and if taken improperly, causes immediate withdrawal symptoms, such as diarrhea, muscle cramps, nausea, and vomiting. To be considered improper use, Naloxone must be injected into the bloodstream. The combination of Naloxone and Buprenorphine is intended as a deterrent to abuse.

Buprenorphine/Naloxone typically comes in tablets that the patient places in the cheek or under the tongue to dissolve.

Detoxing with Buprenorphine

Stepping Away from Stopping "Cold Turkey"

Precipitated withdrawal is a condition where the patient may experience severe withdrawal symptoms when taking their first dose of Buprenorphine/Naloxone if they have other opioids still in their system. There are two reasons why this might happen.

  1. Buprenorphine/Naloxone has “low intrinsic activity” because it is a partial opioid agonist. This means when the molecule attaches to a receptor site in the brain, it does not activate or light up that receptor to the same extent most other opioids do, including methadone. It is like a light switch. Naloxone/buprenorphine acts like a dimmer switch when other opioids and methadone “turn the light on.”
  2. Buprenorphine/Naloxone is a sticky molecule (high affinity). Once attached to the receptor, it is not likely to come off. That’s why it is so long-acting.

So, what does this have to do with stopping cold turkey? If someone who takes Buprenorphine/Naloxone for the first time also has other opioids in their system, the Buprenorphine/Naloxone will compete with that other opioid for the receptor. It will win the battle due to its high affinity, throwing the other opioid off the receptor site and replacing it.

Once Buprenorphine/Naloxone is in the receptor, its lower intrinsic activity does not activate the receptor to the same extent as the opioid just kicked out. This is what causes the withdrawal. It comes on suddenly, and the acute symptoms are challenging to overcome for hours.

Treatment with Buprenorphine

The Positive Impact of Buprenorphine as MAT

The patient should show up for the first dose of Buprenorphine/Naloxone in a state of mild to moderate withdrawal to eliminate the possibility of unnecessary pain.

Patients must be in inactive withdrawal to start suboxone treatment. Initial withdrawal symptoms generally include sweating, nausea, muscle cramps, sneezing, and yawning. 

La Jolla Recovery center staff can help you determine whether you are in withdrawal. Generally, most short-acting opioids (like oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, and heroin) result in withdrawal symptoms starting about 5 or 7 hours after consumption, but this may vary in each person. If you have used methadone or another long-acting opioid, you will need to wait much longer to enter the withdrawal phase.

La Jolla Recovery has a culturally rich atmosphere and wants to make you feel at home, including LGBT identifying staff and diverse backgrounds.

Buprenorphine and HIV prevention among injecting drug addicts

Change in the role of buprenorphine (and other medicines used in agonist pharmacotherapy of opioid dependence, like methadone) is generally recognized now as an effective treatment for opioid addiction. 

Buprenorphine medication assisted treatment programs to give opportunities for expanded HIV prevention among injecting drug users and a platform for implementing directly observed antiretroviral therapy for people with opioid dependence who also have HIV/AIDS. It works well as a therapy for opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis in such individuals.

heroin depression medicine addiction woman drugs sad pills prescription drug use buprenorphine rehab

Sublingual tablets of buprenorphine

Given the great importance for public health of buprenorphine, sublingual tablets are of lesser interest for abuse and recreation, as they lack the physiological effect as immediate as injections have. 

There are large-scale psychosocially assisted pharmacological treatment programs for people dependent on opioids with buprenorphine. To explore this approach of exempting sublingual tablets from specific control measures to increase the ease of access for medicinal purposes. 

International health organizations recommend that countries consider exempting combination sublingual tablets with buprenorphine and naloxone from specific control measures since buprenorphine is also difficult to extract from these pills. 

Though it is still considerable and even increasing abuse of buprenorphine by injection. However, as buprenorphine was included in the list of essential drugs, and its usefulness in inpatient treatment was thus confirmed, it meets the criteria for Schedule III of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971) and should therefore remain, as it already is, under this Schedule. The risk of abuse of sublingual tablets is relatively low.

At La Jolla Recovery, we want to provide optional medication-assisted treatment services, including buprenorphine and suboxone, to more readily attend the detox and withdrawal process of opiates such as heroin, fentanyl, and other abused prescriptions. If concomitant opiates were done with alcohol or stimulants like cocaine, we would provide a program specific to its detoxification with clinical supervision. If mental health disorders also need attention, we provide dual-diagnosis therapy. We believe by attending the mind with evidence-based research; we can prolong sobriety and provide support in transitioning. At La Jolla Recovery buprenorphine rehab, we believe a family system approach is more effective than treating the individual. Learn more about our family program to support medication-assisted management. Other optional medication-assisted treatments include Vivitrol and different, more modern approaches instead of detoxing from methadone.

Please let us know if you are coming from out of state and require attention on intake and coordination. Whether from New York, Texas, Arizona, or Florida, we want to make San Diego your new home. Not into twelve steps or AA? No worries, we meet you where you are and are here to provide a tailored program for your medication-assisted treatment.

buprenorphine treating 20s 30s 40s active addiction adult affection affectionate age american amorousness anniversary

Learn More About Buprenorphine Detox at La Jolla Recovery

Reach Out Today
Close Menu
Skip to content