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Buprenorphine Treatment: How’d I Get Here?

I know a lot of people, good people, who found themselves addicted to opioid medications like, Vicodin, Oxycontin or other pain relievers. These people either had a surgery; tonsillectomy, appendectomy, knee replacement, or they’ve been suffering from chronic pain due to an accident that occurred many years ago. Either way though, before they knew it they felt they couldn’t live without ‘their’ drug. The fear, pain, and ability to cope with the day to day pressures of life just seemed to be too much. Some would even turn to a life of stealing from relatives, lying to doctors, and in some other extreme cases a more intense life of crime.

The important thing to remember here is that it doesn’t matter what they did in the past it is more about getting the help they need and then down the road facing the dark path of destruction they’ve left in their wake. That ‘cleaning up the wreckage of your past’ comes later.

Seeking drug treatment and asking for help is all part of the recovery process, and that’s what I run into daily. Some come to me so incredibly frightened because they don’t know what to expect in a Buprenorphine treatment, and they can barely remember their lives without the opioid.

So, what can one expect on day one of a Buprenorphine treatment detox? First and foremost, the person will have to begin experiencing a mild to moderate withdrawal; fever, chills, sweats, nasal stuffiness, irritability, diarrhea, just to name a few. Secondly, once the person has reached that stage, the medication will be taken sublingually, which simply means squirted as a fluid under the tongue to be dissolved and not swallowed. Swallowing results in a 20% success rate of working. The taste is bitter so having juice or a piece of candy helps with that. Thirdly, the relief from withdrawal is achieved quickly. And finally, the Buprenorphine treatment needs be taken at the same time each day until the physician declares otherwise.

Buprenorphine treatment can be taken on an inpatient or outpatient basis. As an outpatient the person will be given a prescription and should be able to return to work the next day, but I strongly advise them to stay away from familiar territory where they used to drink or drug. Getting help is only a phone call away.