Buprenorphine maintenance is a common practice today. This is because the drug is quite effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders, or opioid addiction. As such, it is effective at helping people overcome their abuse of heroin and other opioid drugs.
This is because they will provide effects that are similar to opioids. However, they do this without leading to the euphoric and pleasurable effects that your brain has come to associate with opioids.
Today, this medication represents the latest developments in the field of medication assisted treatment, or MAT. It was first approved by the FDA - the Food and Drug Administration - in 2002 and has since been used to help those struggling with opioid use disorders.
However, it is often applied alongside behavioral therapy and counseling sessions to ensure that patients have a wholesome approach to their opioid addiction treatment and recovery. If you take buprenorphine exactly as your doctors and addiction treatment professionals prescribed, it can be effective and safe.
Benefits of Buprenorphine Maintenance
There are many reasons why buprenorphine maintenance is so popular. These reasons all relate to the fact that buprenorphine is the main substance that is used in these therapies. They include but are not limited to:
- Buprenorphine comes with a low potential for abuse and addiction
- It is effective at dealing with opioid withdrawal syndromes - especially those involving heroin
- This form of medication management is more cost effective in comparison to other treatment options
- When patients take it, they experience less suffering and pain particularly during the early stages of their recovery
How It Works
When you are on buprenorphine maintenance, you will go through the following phases in your treatment:
a) Induction Phase
This phase lasts for about 7 weeks. It allows doctors to determine the dosage that is best for your particular situation. They will often prescribe the drug during the first few stages of your opioid withdrawal. It is recommended that you follow their directions exactly to ensure that the treatment is successful.
b) Stabilization Phase
The stabilization phase will last for about a month or thereabouts. The goal would be to ensure that you do not suffer any adverse opioid withdrawal symptoms or experience cravings for the drugs that you used to take. The buprenorphine doses will also act to increase your energy as well as motivate you to do other things without relying on opioids.
c) Maintenance Phase
At this phase, the dose would already have been stabilized because the physician would have found the amount that is right for your body. Based on your progress in recovery, however, they would typically lower your dosage to start tapering you off the drug.
Tapering off and lowering of the dose will largely depend on your progress in recovery, your goals, and any other medical concerns that you might have. It is essential that you make this decision with your doctor to reduce your risk of suffering an overdose or relapsing back to opioid abuse.
Overall, buprenorphine maintenance therapy is a form of medication assisted treatment that will help you overcome your dependence on and abuse of opioid drugs like heroin and prescription pain relief medications. The buprenorphine drug can alleviate your opioid withdrawal symptoms, decrease your risk of overdose, and suppress the effects of and cravings for opioids.
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