The Science of Suboxone
How can taking a drug treat addiction to a different drug?
Taking a daily medication to treat opiate dependency runs counter to logic. But it actually makes perfect sense once you understand Suboxone's, unique pharmacology. Drugs such a Fentanyl, Oxycontin, Heroin, etc, fully stimulate opioid receptors in your brain, creating a sense of intoxication. Suboxone (and medications like it) only partially stimulates these receptors and therefore don't provide euphoria, but merely mimics the natural endorphins in your own body.
These medications contain two ingredients. Buprenorphone is the active component. Because Buprenorphone tightly binds to the opioid receptor but only partially stimulates it, Suboxone-like products not only prevents cravings and withdrawals, but also blocks narcotics from providing their reinforcing "high." These medications also contains Naloxone, which is a powerful opioid antagonist. When the medication is taken as directed, Naloxone is inactive; however, if the medication is abused (if someone attempts to use intravenously) the Naloxone will activate and send the individual into severe opioid withdrawal.
How do I take Suboxone?
Suboxone (and medications like it) are manufactured as tablets, as well as a thin films. Both versions are placed under the tongue, where they slowly dissolve and are absorbed directly into the tissue (mucosal membances) within your mouth. Suboxone is NOT to be swallowed, as it will become ineffective. You should not swallow or speak the entire time Suboxone is dissolving under your tongue (usually 10-15 minutes).
Surveys indicate that the film form is preferred by patients over tablets because:
The film dissolves faster
The film is more convenient and portable
The film tastes better
The film is easier to taper as it can be cut into smaller pieces
Change is beautiful