Buprenorphine is used in treating opiate dependence and withdrawal. It is often used in detox where a person who has been addicted to or has become dependent on opiates comes to get the drug out of his or her system.
Buprenorphine detox is a well-documented and careful process that is regulated by specific guidelines.
Buprenorphine Addiction Detox
According to a study from the NCBI, "with the introduction of buprenorphine, office-based physicians now... have the ability to treat both the complications of opioid addiction and opioid addiction itself." However, there is still a formal detox where buprenorphine is used for patients who wish to come to a clinic. These clinics are usually either residential, where the patient stays for a length of time in a controlled environment, or nonresidential, where the patient leaves the clinic after receiving treatment. Depending on each patient and his or her needs, one type of clinic may be more beneficial.
As stated by SAMHSA, "the goal of using buprenorphine for medically supervised withdrawal from opioids is to provide a transition from the state of physical dependence on opioids to an opioid-free state." Additionally, the buprenorphine is used to minimize withdrawal symptoms so that the patient's withdrawal is much easier than it would be without the medication.
The Buprenorphine Detox Process
Buprenorphine detox occurs in two steps: induction and dose-reduction. It can also be called stabilization and tapering. The stabilization phase, according to the NJ Division of Addiction Services, is the "amelioration of signs and symptoms of withdrawal." After that, the person's intake of the medication is slowly tapered off and, ideally, reduced to zero. During this time, the withdrawal symptoms will still be felt but to a much lower degree than they would be if the patient attempted to go through it alone and without medical assistance.
Burprenorphine detox is a process that takes as long as the patient needs. SAMHSA states that "during the stabilization phase, patients receiving maintenance treatment should be seen on at least a weekly basis." Then "once a stable buprenorphine dose is reached" and the individual is free of the opioids he or she was addicted to, "the physician may determine that less frequent visits... are acceptable." This second phase can usually last for "up to 30 days."
Beuprenorphine detox is usually for those who are fighting addiction to opioids. Therefore, a person who is dealing opioid with addiction will also need additional treatments as medically-assisted detox does not cure a person of addiction. The person may also receive some kind of cognitive-behavioral therapy treatment which is the most used treatment for substance addiction. People who are treated with CBT learn to look at their addictions in a new way as well as learning strategies to help them fight cravings and get themselves out of bad situations.
Some detox centers will also provide or encourage: group therapy, mutual-help groups, and other possible treatment types. When you choose buprenorphine detox to help you fight your dependence on opioids, you are getting your recovery off to a good start.