Signs Of Buprenorphine Abuse For Those Overcoming Opioid Addiction
Buprenorphine is a drug that can be used to treat opioid addiction. It comes in two formulations called Subutex and Suboxone. Although these medications are designed and prescribed to help people overcome addiction, some people abuse them to get high. If you love someone battling opioid addiction, pay close attention and make sure he is not abusing the medication that is supposed to be helping him heal.
What Is Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is a synthetic opioid drug that blocks withdrawal symptoms. When the addict takes it, he can stop using heroin or painkillers without experiencing the withdrawal that leads many addicts back to substance abuse. Subutex contains buprenorphine alone and is supposed to be used first and for a short period of time. Suboxone includes a second drug, naloxone, which is intended to prevent abuse. It blocks the high that buprenorphine can impart to the user and is designed to be used after Subutex.
Can Someone Abuse Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine was the first medication that the Food and Drug Administration allowed to be dispensed from doctors’ offices thanks to its successes in treating opioid addicts. Not all stories of buprenorphine use have been good, though. Some people have abused the medications, and although it is supposed to be impossible to overdose on, there have been deaths associated with Suboxone and Subutex abuse.
It is more difficult to get a high from buprenorphine, and also more difficult to overdose, than other opioids. It is possible, though, and some abusers are desperate enough to use this medication like an illegal drug. Dealers are making a killing selling black market buprenorphine, both to people wanting to abuse it and those wanting to use it as a treatment.
How Can I Tell Someone Is Abusing Buprenorphine?
It is important that you are vigilant with your loved one who has been prescribed buprenorphine. Not everyone realizes that there are risks associated with abusing it. Many are told that you can’t overdose on it, but this isn’t true. Make sure your loved one understands this risk and watch out for signs that he has started abusing his medication.
If you have lived with a drug addict you already know what many of the signs of abuse are. Maybe he has started:
- sleeping more
- missing days of work
- borrowing or stealing money
- having mood swings that seem inexplicable
Watch out for all the usual signs of drug abuse that you have seen before. If he starts acting like he used to when he was using, you should be concerned.
There are also specific symptoms associated with abusing buprenorphine medications. Side effects of the drugs that are possible include:
- flu-like symptoms
- mood swings
- difficulty sleeping
Watch for indications that any of these are getting worse. If he is using more of the medication than directed, the side effects could be intensified. Other signs may include:
- hair loss
- emotional instability
- a loss of interest in sex
- watery eyes
- muscle pains and cramping
- impaired memory
- depression or anxiety
Buprenorphine can be a powerful aid in helping opioid addicts get clean and stay clean, but there are risks that are often overlooked. As someone who loves an opioid addict, you should encourage him to use all the tools at hand to beat his addiction, including buprenorphine. But you should also be careful and look for signs that he has turned to his prescription medication for a high. If he has, confront him with love, understanding and patience, and help him to get back on the road to recovery.
If You Or Someone You Love Is Struggling With Addiction – Call Us Now – We Are Here For You 24/7