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Subutex vs Suboxone: What’s the Difference?

For those undergoing opioid recovery, it is common for them to encounter medications like Subutex and Suboxone. With their similar names, it is easy to get these two medications confused. When it comes to Subutex vs Suboxone, many wonder what the difference is and how each one can help.

If you are struggling with an opioid addiction and looking for treatment, you may be wondering what to expect during this time. Understanding the difference between Subutex and Suboxone can help you be better prepared to successfully navigate the treatment process.

What Is an Opioid Use Disorder?

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a complex medical condition featuring the compulsive use of opioid drugs despite negative consequences, including the causing of harm to the person’s physical and mental health, relationships, and daily life.

Diagnosis happens via specific criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5, including factors like tolerance (needing more opioids to achieve the same effect), withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and inability to control use.

There are several risk factors that come with the development of an OUD, including exposure to both illicit and prescription opioids. In many cases, those taking these medications end up developing a tolerance and addiction to them.

Genetic and biological factors can also play a role in the development of an OUD. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition to addiction, making them more susceptible to developing substance use disorders.

Having an underlying mental health condition such as depression or anxiety can increase the risk of OUD, as some people may seek out and use these substances as a means of relieving their emotional symptoms.

Social and environmental factors, such as trauma, stress, and lack of social support can also contribute to the development of OUD, especially if the individual is easily able to access the substances.

How Is Opioid Addiction Treated?

Although OUD is a serious disease, it is a treatable condition. Because of how serious the opioid withdrawal period can be, it is best to seek help from a professional treatment provider. Some of the most effective treatment options for opioid addiction include:

  • Medical detox: This involves constant medical supervision, medications, and therapies to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings during the early stages of recovery.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): This combines medications like methadone, suboxone, subutex, or buprenorphine with therapy to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  • Behavioral therapy: This helps individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms, address underlying mental health issues, and prevent relapse.
  • Support groups: Participating in support groups and connecting with others who understand what you’re going through can be invaluable during the recovery journey.

These are just a few of the most effective treatment options to help those struggling with OUD overcome their addiction and build healthier life habits. What will be most effective for you will vary.

Reach Out For Help With Addiction

Are you or a loved one struggling with opioid abuse?
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MAT Opioid Recovery: Subutex vs Suboxone

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a form of treatment that uses medications, along with counseling and behavioral therapies, to treat substance use disorders (SUDs). While it is most commonly used for treating opioid addiction, it can be used for other forms of addiction, as well.

Both Subutex and Suboxone are medications commonly used to treat opioid use disorders. However, there are several key differences between these two medications, including their ingredients.

Whereas Subutex contains only buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist that helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, Suboxone has both buprenorphine and naloxone, an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids, including overdoses.

There is also the fact that Subutex is no longer available as a brand name in the US – although generic buprenorphine tablets are still available – while  Suboxone is widely available in both brand name and generic formulations, including sublingual tablets and films.

This is partially due to the fact that Subutex has a higher risk of misuse than Suboxone due to the absence of naloxone, whereas Suboxone’s ingredients discourage misuse by blocking the euphoric effects of opioids if injected or taken in higher doses.

Ultimately, the choice between Subutex and Suboxone should be made in consultation with a doctor or addiction specialist who can consider factors such as your individual circumstances, risk of misuse, and other treatment needs.

How to Help Someone Going Through an Opioid Addiction Problem

Helping someone with an opioid addiction can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can make a significant difference in their journey toward recovery. If your loved one is struggling with an OUD, there are several things you can do to help them.

Make sure to approach them with compassion and understanding, taking care to avoid judging or blaming them for their addiction. It is important to remember that an opioid addiction is not a moral failing, but a disease that requires compassion and support.

Once they know you are there for them, it is important to help them seek professional treatment, as this will be their best option for achieving long-term recovery. You can help them research their treatment options and find an opioid rehab center that fits their needs, as well as provide emotional support during this challenging time.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Options at Royal Life Centers

At Royal Life Centers, we provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction in addition to various other evidence-based and holistic therapies. Our comprehensive and compassionate approach to treatment combines medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to make sure each of our clients’ needs are being met.

Some of the treatment options you or your loved one will have access to when recovering at one of our treatment facilities include medical detox, residential and outpatient treatment, medication management, evidence-based and holistic therapies, aftercare support, and more.

We can help you or your loved one start the recovery journey today. We will work with you to determine an affordable price for treatment and figure out what levels of care are best for your recovery needs. Give us a call now to learn more!

Lisa Tomsak
Medically Reviewed by Lisa Tomsak, DO

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