Suboxone – Two Treatments in One
Did you know?
- Suboxone, like methadone and fentanyl is an alternative medication in the treatment of opioid addiction. Its advantages include milder withdrawal symptoms and a lower risk of death due to respiratory suppression, as well as more convenient access and use.
- Suboxone is actually comprised of two drugs: buprenorphine is its primary active ingredient; naloxone is the counterpart that blocks and minimizes the pain-killing and euphoric effects.
- Suboxone shows promise of greater safety for mothers and their newborns going through opioid withdrawal, causing fewer side effects and requiring shorter hospital stays.
Suboxone is made up of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a synthetic opiate. It has mild analgesic qualities, but is most commonly used in treating opioid addiction. It attaches to and activates opiate receptors enough to satisfy withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings but doesn’t create euphoria. Naloxone by itself is used to reverse drug overdose in emergency situations. It literally kicks opioids off receptors and therefore stops their effect.
The purpose of this combination drug is to help addicts of opioids such as heroin, prescription pain-killers and many others, to quit using the drugs. In this combination, the drug contains an opioid producing a far less “high” than its more potent family members and eases the transition away from addiction. The detox period for Suboxone ranges from one day up to seven weeks.
An added benefit of Suboxone is easier access; unlike methadone, which can only be obtained at a methadone clinic, However, Suboxone can be obtained by prescription in a regular clinic setting and used much more conveniently.
Screening for Suboxone
Like Methadone, Suboxone is not detectable with a basic 5-panel drug screen. That is because, although it is a synthetic opiate, it produces different chemical markers when it is metabolized. Therefore, a 10-panel or higher drug screen is required to detect it.
The Suboxone screen detects and measures the concentration of Buprenorphine in human urine. This Suboxone test detects Buprenorphine and metabolites, norbuprenorphine, and Buprenorphine-3- ß. -D–Glucuronide.
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