Medicines and a syringe

Suboxone VS Methadone Treatment: What You Need to Know

Opiate dependency can be managed with medicine, such as methadone or suboxone. Pain relievers, heroin, and fentanyl all fall under the category of opioids. Injuries and surgical procedures benefit greatly from these painkillers, but they may also produce a state of euphoria, leading to addiction.

Opiate addiction can be treated in a rehabilitation facility or with the assistance of a trained medical expert. Substances like methadone and suboxone are commonly used in rehabilitation. These medications can alleviate withdrawal symptoms and inhibit euphoria.

People should be aware that both drugs are opioids carry the potential for abuse. However, unlike other opioids, these drugs are typically used for medicinal purposes rather than to achieve a high. The risk of addiction is negligible when these drugs are taken as recommended.

What is the difference between suboxone and methadone? Read on to learn about suboxone vs. methadone treatment.

Suboxone Treatment

The combination of buprenorphine and naloxone is referred to as suboxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist, which means it stimulates opioid receptors in the brain, but unlike other opioid drugs, its effect is limited.

It can help lessen symptoms of opioid withdrawal and cravings. Buprenorphine also reduces the risk of experiencing the effects of other opioids, reducing the chance of overdose.

At the same time, naloxone inhibits the effects of the opioid on the opioid receptors in the brain. Naloxone is inactive when administered adequately. 

Methadone Treatment

Methadone works by activating opioid receptors in the brain. This can alleviate withdrawal symptoms, which is essential because withdrawal symptoms are often cited as the reason for relapse.  

Methadone also binds opioid receptors very firmly, making it difficult for other opioids to connect to these receptors. This minimizes the likelihood of experiencing the effects of additional opioids and overdosing.

Certain chronic pain resistant to other opioids may also be treated with methadone. Additionally, methadone can be used to treat neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in newborns. NAS is a disorder that happens when a fetus is exposed to opioids during pregnancy. The rapid cessation of opioid exposure can induce withdrawal symptoms in infants.

Suboxone vs. Methadone Treatment: What’s the Difference?

Although both treatments assist individuals with opioid use disorder, they are distinct drugs. Methadone is an opioid full-agonist medicine that binds to the same opioid receptors as heroin and oxycodone.

When methadone interacts with these receptors in the brain, it reduces drug cravings in the same manner as a single dose. However, because methadone is administered orally, it does not generate the same euphoria.

On the other hand, suboxone is a partial agonist opioid, meaning it binds to the same opioid receptors less strongly. It suppresses cravings as effectively as methadone but with even less potent opioid effects.

Suboxone is generally the first choice for treating opioid dependency because its users are less prone to abuse it. Most medical professionals can prescribe it, whether or not the patient is enrolled in a treatment program for substance abuse. However, it requires a greater dose than methadone.

Methadone is the next step if suboxone treatment does not work or requires more daily monitoring. Methadone has been used effectively to treat opioid addiction for years and may be a smart choice if you’ve tried and found it helpful in the past.

Methadone vs. Suboxone Treatment Risks

Suboxone is less addicting than methadone. Methadone withdrawal symptoms might build dependence on the drug. On the contrary, the chemistry of suboxone makes it less addictive. It also produces a less powerful high than methadone.

Suboxone overdoses are also uncommon compared to methadone overdoses. In contrast to methadone, its effects diminish after a specific dose, called the ceiling effect. The ceiling effect prevents individuals from taking excessive amounts of suboxone. However, dependence on suboxone and overdose is still possible.

Is It Possible to Combine Methadone and Suboxone?

No, suboxone and methadone should never be combined. Both drugs are opioids, and taking them together poses a significant risk of overdose.

However, switching from methadone to suboxone is possible in case of repeated relapses. Since patients taking suboxone won’t experience the “high” they did when using opioids, so they may be less likely to relapse.  

Generally, the methadone dose is reduced before starting suboxone. In most cases, people already taking modest doses of methadone will be able to make the switch without experiencing worsening withdrawal symptoms or cravings.  

However, because withdrawal symptoms might trigger a return to drug use, it’s important to have a medical professional oversee the transition at an addiction and rehabilitation center.

Start Your Journey towards Addiction-Free Life at MAT Texas

Understanding suboxone vs. methadone treatment options is the first step toward starting your journey to recovery.

Our physicians will talk to you about both of these possibilities and provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan that includes both individualized medication management to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and a strategy to rebalance your brain chemistry and gradually wean you off all medication.

We use methadone and suboxone, which the Food and Drug Administration has approved to provide a “whole-patient” treatment. We work closely with all our clients to choose the right treatment plan.

Our professionals administer these treatments in conjunction with counseling and behavioral therapy. If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug addiction, our qualified and skilled counselors can help you create a plan to recover from your condition.

We have a sincere interest in our patients’ well-being and aim to facilitate their methadone or suboxone therapy in any way we can. Our compassionate team has the means to assist with things like finding a place to live, traveling to and from appointments, and even receiving medical treatment.

In order to help you overcome one of the most challenging aspects of the road to recovery — the decision to seek treatment — we will do all in our power to ensure you feel safe, welcome, and equipped for success. Contact us today to learn more about our services and make an appointment.