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Subutex vs Suboxone – What’s the Difference?

Opioid addiction is one of the most difficult substance use disorders to overcome, which makes the need to use the right medications during rehab important. Modern approaches to treating opioid use disorder often include using prescription medications to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. As a result, people have an easier time avoiding relapse. What medication is right for each person must be considered, including the advantages of Subutex vs. Suboxone. Buckhead Behavioral Health explores how each type of medication helps people struggling to overcome opioid addiction. We offer detox and outpatient programs that make living without opioids a reality for everyone.

What is Subutex?

The first step in understanding the difference between Subutex vs Suboxone is learning the specifics of each drug. Subutex is the brand name for the prescription drug buprenorphine, which is an FDA-approved medication used in the treatment of opioid use disorder. Once a person enters treatment for their addiction, taking Suboxone affects the opioid receptors in their brain, which helps minimize the difficult withdrawal symptoms they experience. The drug is an opioid partial agonist that produces low levels of euphoria without causing a person to feel high. This helps the person feel less likely to want to use opioids because their brain is tricked into feeling it already has. 

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone was approved by the FDA in 2002 for usage in treating opioid use disorder. It is a prescription medication classified as an opioid antagonist that includes the ingredients naloxone and buprenorphine. Someone in recovery from opioid addiction can take Suboxone under medical supervision to help reduce their cravings to use opioid drugs. In addition, if someone taking Suboxone uses opioid drugs, they will not feel the usual effects they crave, such as feeling high. This takes away their incentive to relapse back into abusing opioids.

What is the Difference Between Subutex vs Suboxone?

One of the main differences between Subutex vs Suboxone is that Suboxone has naloxone as an ingredient, while Subutex does not. Subutex is commonly used as part of treatment during the initial detox program a person attends and requires administering and monitoring by a medical professional. It is considered a short-term approach to be used during the first days of going off opioid drugs. Conversely, Suboxone can be used long-term during the next steps of treatment, including both residential rehab and outpatient rehab programs. The individual can take the drug at home but should continue to be monitored for its effects as a regular part of their follow-up care. As well, Subutex can be taken immediately upon entering treatment, whereas Suboxone can only be taken after the initial opioid residuals have left a person’s system. 

Are There Dangers to Using Subutex vs Suboxone?

Just about any medication can be harmful if not taken as prescribed or used without medical supervision. When taken as directed, both Subutex and Suboxone have a low risk of causing dangerous outcomes. Because they are partial opioids, they are in a different category than regular opioid drugs that can cause addiction. This means Subutex and Suboxone will not cause a person to get high and there is a low risk of overdose if they are used as directed. 

Does Insurance Cover Subutex and Suboxone?

Insurance companies recognize the fact that medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for addiction, which includes the use of Subutex and Suboxone, helps people get well. For this reason, many insurance companies include coverage for using these life-changing medications as part of an overall addiction treatment plan. Anyone interested in using their insurance to pay for MAT should talk to a company representative to find out the details of their policy.

How is Opioid Addiction Treated?

Opioid addiction presents a host of challenges that make getting professional treatment a necessity. Treatment begins with going to a detox program that usually lasts about a week. This first step provides medical and psychological support to help people get through the first few days of living without using opioids. From there, some people move onto a residential program. 

Alternatively, many find going to an outpatient program works best for them. This means they can travel to a facility to receive treatment during the day or evening and still live in their homes. Outpatient programs allow the individual to strike a balance between taking care of their personal responsibilities while still receiving the life-saving treatment they need. Multiple types of evidence-based therapies that help people learn to live a drug-free life are available at all levels of treatment for opioid addiction.

Begin Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Atlanta Today

Are you ready to put opioid abuse in your past and get healthy again? If so, Buckhead Behavioral Health knows how to help you take the reins again. We offer access to detox centers and outpatient programs tailored to meet your specific needs. Our skilled therapists use their experience and compassionate approach to help you embrace your ability to get off opioids for good. We include prescription medications that help ease withdrawal symptoms and set you up for success.

For more information about our opioid addiction treatment program, contact us today. Our friendly staff can answer your questions and help you get started on the path to healing.

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