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Managing Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms With Suboxone™ - South Florida Detox Treatment Program


Brief History of Opiate Detox

For almost a century, doctors have been limited in their ability to help opiate (heroin, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Percocet, morphine, Codeine, Demerol, Fentanyl, etc.) addicts. The "Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914" was designed as a tax act, but it was interpreted by the Supreme Court to prohibit the prescription of opiates to opiate addicts, even if it was for treatment. Therefore, the prescription and subsequent tapering of opiates to ease the pain of withdrawal was deemed illegal and this left opiate addicts with few medical options. Most addicts had no option other than to go “cold turkey” by simply abruptly abstaining from their use of opiates. If you have ever experienced abrupt abstinence, you realize how physically demanding this approach can be. It is certainly not impossible, as many people are able to do so, but it involves a lot of physical discomfort and may last many weeks or months. There has almost always been a stigma attached to opiate addiction and detoxification. Society's general consensus was once a heroin addict, always a heroin addict.  Opiate addicts may feel that it is useless to attempt to detox because addicts just can’t get clean. At South Florida Detox Centers, we have created a program that will help you realize that there is a successful system that can work for you. We do need to emphasize that if you do not combine our program with regular visits to an addiction specialist or NA/AA meetings then your ability to remain sober for the rest of your life is not very promising. For more information on our treatment program, please click here to contact us.


Methadone Misunderstood

The one exception to the "Harrison Act" was Methadone. When used properly, Methadone can be an effective replacement drug for heroin. However, the idea of maintaining addicts on a substitute drug led the Federal Government to restrict methadone so tightly that the drug can only be prescribed by special Methadone clinics. These clinics vary widely in the quality of care they provide. In addition, Methadone causes euphoria (a high), which many heroin addicts believe are as pleasurable as heroin or maybe even more so. Because it is legal and easily accessible at these clinics, many people decide to simply remain on Methadone. This then becomes a maintenance program where people decide to remain on Methadone indefinitely. Methadone maintenance clients eventually reach a daily dose and/or a length of time addicted to this powerful, long acting and very addictive, synthetic drug. It is very difficult to ever successfully detox from Methadone because its withdrawal symptoms have been reported to be 10 times more severe than heroin withdrawal symptoms. Some of the later, less severe symptoms may last sometimes as long as 3 to 4 months in duration. The combination of these factors has limited the effectiveness of Methadone not only for maintenance but has also rendered methadone almost useless for detoxification purposes. We are here to help you detox. We want to help free you from your addiction to opiates and we are not interested in permanently transferring you to another medication. Suboxone is an addictive medication and can be abused. We will help stabilize you on Suboxone and then responsibly wean you down and completely off of the medication. If used appropriately, addiction should not be a worry.
For more information on our opiate treatment program, please click here to contact us.


Suboxone™ - A Pain Free Opiate Detox

The "Drug Abuse Treatment Act of 2000" reversed the "Harrison Act's" restrictions and allows DEA approved physicians to prescribe Suboxone™ to opiate addicts to ease the severe withdrawal symptoms opiate detox can produce. Suboxone™ is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine eases these severe withdrawal symptoms to the extent that it provides a nearly pain-free opiate detox from all opiate substances. Whereas opiates like heroin, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Codeine and even Methadone are opioid receptor agonists - meaning they fully bind to the opioid receptors - buprenorphine is a partial opioid receptor agonist. Naloxone was added to buprenorphine to prevent the misuse of the medication. We do not prescribe Subutex, which is simply buprenorphine without the naloxone. Naloxone prevents people from abusing Suboxone and this is why we do not feel comfortable prescribing Subutex. If used appropriately for detox purposes, there is no difference between Suboxone and Subutex and thus no medical reason to prefer to use Subutex. With the properly prescribed dosage, Suboxone™ has the ability to relieve the symptoms of opiate withdrawal without producing the euphoria (high) of full agonist drugs like Methadone. We will determine the proper initial dose of Suboxone. The patient is normally stabilized within the first 24-48 hours after induction and experiences very little if any discomfort during stabilization. Then, he or she is titrated (weaned down) from Suboxone within a few weeks or months. We use Suboxone™ to provide a safe and comfortable detox for opiate addicted patients and make going "cold-turkey" from heroin, Vicodin, Oxycontin and methadone detox a thing of the past. For more information on our treatment program, please click here to contact us.

 

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