Suboxone Use and Alternative Options

Suboxone Use and Alternative Options

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Addiction treatment comes with many options. Depending on your substance of choice and the severity of your usage, there are different avenues for detox treatment and recovery. One medication that is often used for detox from opioid addiction is suboxone. This medication can soothe the mind and body to calm withdrawal symptoms to facilitate the detox process. You may wonder, though: Could there be potential risks of suboxone use? Do other useful alternatives exist?

What Is Suboxone?

The drug suboxone is a controlled substance used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) plans. This substance is a derivative of a medication called buprenorphine. As the first opioid treatment available for regular physicians to prescribe, buprenorphine has made opioid addiction treatment more accessible.

Buprenorphine in all of its forms mimics the effects of other opiates that cause addiction, which decreases the chances of overdose while encouraging decreased usage. This medication helps clients manage withdrawal symptoms, as it is often taken at least 12-24 hours after drug intake.

Can Suboxone Use Be Helpful?

Suboxone can be helpful if prescribed and taken accurately. When administered properly, suboxone has proven to help some people successfully overcome their addictions. However, as a delicate medication, there is potential for suboxone to cause side effects ranging in severity from nausea to overdose.

When Is Suboxone Use Harmful?

Like any drug or medication, suboxone is harmful when not taken as prescribed. If your provider prescribes suboxone, this will be based on your physical and mental health. Your treatment is designed for you, so failing to follow specific dosage guidelines can increase your risk for overdose and other negative side effects.

Are There Alternatives to Suboxone Use?

Choosing to overcome substance abuse takes great strength. Whether you feel strong or not, it is not always easy to choose to heal over suffering. Even though no one wants to struggle or suffer, it can seem daunting to come out of the throes of your troubles.

Other Medically Assisted Treatments

Fortunately, suboxone isn’t the only treatment available for detox. Depending on your unique situation, other medications can support your detox processes such as methadone and other forms of buprenorphine.

If you have a co-occurring mental health issue like anxiety and depression, it is possible to require medication for that as well. Depending on your experience, additional medication may be necessary to help stabilize your health in other ways like sleep and mood disorders. When these disorders become more manageable, it is a much smoother road to recovery.

Regardless of your treatment plan, completing detox with a trusted healthcare professional ensures a lasting and successful recovery. Our team at First Steps Recovery believes in client-centered treatment in which we collaborate with each client to create the best treatment plan for them.


Psychological counseling can also be a helpful addition to a treatment program as well. As a holistic option, counseling is generally available for addiction recovery with or without a detox program.

Individual and group therapies offer a safe space to process and overcome unique emotional and personal challenges. Group therapy is a great way to connect with others who have similar experiences and share genuine guidance and support. Therapy is a great place to unpack personal struggles that may be making it hard to move forward toward healing.

Seeking counseling is an intentional way to address and heal some of the underlying thoughts and feelings that contribute to your mental health challenges. By processing your emotions and learning how to manage stress more effectively, you can decrease your dependency on substances.

Lifestyle Changes

Whether you receive MAT or more holistic care, lifestyle changes are often an important part of addiction recovery. Making adjustments to your daily routine that support your well-being and growth can improve how you feel and function each day.

You can add any combination of healing practices to enhance your recovery journey, including:

  • Prioritizing your basic needs like sleep and getting a balanced diet
  • Maintaining healthy and supportive social connections
  • Exercising in ways that feel good to you whether you’re walking, swimming, or playing tennis
  • Making time for fun and relaxation
  • Creating a schedule that keeps you on track each day
  • Improving your communication skills so that you can set boundaries and navigate close relationships with compassion and understanding
  • Spending more time in nature, which has been shown to heal and balance the mind and body for improved physical and mental health

Although it may take some patience and consistency, you can adopt transformative habits that support your well-being. Prioritizing your wellness through deliberate and mindful practices will keep you motivated as you progress toward recovery and sobriety. Adopting supportive lifestyle changes will naturally align you on the pathway to wellness, and First Steps Recovery is here to guide you along the way.

Various substances are used to support drug detox and rehabilitation. It can be helpful to consider the pros and cons of the treatment methods available to you. Suboxone is one of many drugs used in medically assisted treatments (MAT), but it may pose some risks, depending on your health. First Steps Recovery is here to offer resources and guidance to help you make informed and well-rounded decisions about your health. Our team members are available to walk you through the process of finding the best healthcare for your recovery journey. Each step of the way, First Steps Recovery will be there to guide and empower you as you commit to healing. Call us at (844) 489-0836 today.

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