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Suboxone has been hailed as a lifesaver for opiate addicts. There are those who believe that suboxone is a valid tool for maintaining long-term sobriety. But is it really a means to recovery?

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is an opiate that is utilized in detox from opiates such as heroin or painkillers. This drug helps with opiate withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, cramps, insomnia, nausea, and nightmares. Suboxone is a combination of two separate drugs, buprenorphine (for pain symptoms), and naloxone to prevent potential abuse. Suboxone differs from previous opiate addiction medication, such as methadone, in that it is one of the first drugs approved by the FDA for home use. It is not seen as having abuse potential due to the fact that it lacks the euphoria-inducing properties of other opiates.

Proponents of Long-Term Suboxone Use Say…

…that suboxone is a “miracle drug” for opiate addicts everywhere. It is touted as a safe, non-addictive treatment for opiate addiction, and certainly, is better than heroin or painkillers given that it does not produce the euphoria or “high” in already opiate-addicted populations. Its proponents believe (not incorrectly) that suboxone is one of the best tools we have right now in the fight against the opiate epidemic.

Those Who Oppose It Say….

…that suboxone is just another chemical crutch. You are still dependent on a drug or medication, and will experience withdrawals if you stop taking it. This is an increased financial burden and some say is no better than being physically dependent on anything else. Further, suboxone maintenance programs are just that. There is no actual recovery involved. If you are a true addict or alcoholic, then unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. If you want to be truly happy, joyous, and free from chemical dependence, then you must work a program and work the steps to address the underlying causes of your addiction. Even though the suboxone may address the physical addiction, it does nothing for the spiritual malady that is characteristic of all addicts or alcoholics- the restlessness, irritability, discontent, and self-centered fear that makes it impossible for us to live sober without a spiritual solution.

So which side is right?

Depends on your perspective. But from a recovery standpoint, suboxone (while certainly better than methadone or illegal opiate use) presents a too-tempting alternative to true recovery. There are numerous benefits to working the steps and maintaining a program of recovery, but the best of these is certainly the ability to be at total peace and ease, without any cravings or temptation to use, without having to maintain your system with chemicals. This is not to say that suboxone shouldn’t be used or taken- it is enormously beneficial in detoxing and tapering off from, opiate use, and makes that process much more comfortable. However, when its use becomes a substitute for seeking a spiritual solution and working on yourself, it sells addicts short.

Just one author’s opinion.

If you or someone you know is suffering from opiate addiction or suboxone dependence, don’t wait- call 1-800-203-2024 for a free, confidential assessment.