Heroin Treatment Michigan
How Does Heroin Affect the Brain?
Heroin enters the brain, where it is converted to morphine and binds to receptors known as opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain (and in the body), especially those involved in the perception of pain and in reward. Opioid receptors are also located in the brain stem for automatic processes critical for life, such as breathing (respiration), blood pressure, and arousal. Heroin overdoses frequently involve a suppression of respiration (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2011).
How Is Heroin Abused?
Heroin can be injected, snorted, sniffed, or smoked. Injecting is using a needle to apply the drug directly into the bloodstream. Snorting is inhaling heroin powder through the nose, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. Smoking involves inhaling heroin smoke directly into the lungs. All three methods of using heroin is very dangerous and can lead to addiction and many other severe health problems.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms usually take effect within 12 hours of a last dose. The intensity increases after 2 or 3 days and can last for a week or longer. Although heroin withdrawal symptoms are very rarely dangerous, the detox period is very tough. Medically supervised opiate detox programs use medications to minimize the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
What Are the Treatments for Heroin Addiction?
Suboxone, also known as Buprenorphine is a more recently approved treatment for heroin addiction (and other opiates). Compared with methadone, buprenorphine produces less risk for overdose and withdrawal effects and produces a lower level of physical dependence, so patients who discontinue the medication generally have fewer withdrawal symptoms than those who stop taking methadone. The development of buprenorphine and its authorized use in physicians’ offices give opiate-addicted patients more medical options and extend the reach of addiction medication. Its accessibility may even prompt attempts to obtain treatment earlier. However, not all patients respond to buprenorphine and some continue to require treatment with methadone.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is used to treat opiate addiction. Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication. Buprenorphine is similar to other opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin however, it produces less euphoric ("high") effects and therefore may be easier to stop taking. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids such as morphine, codeine, and heroin. If Suboxone is injected, naloxone will block the effects of buprenorphine and lead to withdrawal symptoms in a person with an opioid addiction. When administered under the tongue as directed, naloxone will not affect the actions of buprenorphine.
How Suboxone Works
Suboxone is dispensed in 2 mg and 8 mg tabs. It is taken orally allowing the tablet to dissolve in your mouth. It is comprised of two separate medications: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning its opioid effects are significantly reduced compared to that of full opioid agonists, such as vicodin or heroin. The naloxone in suboxone is not appreciably absorbed from the digestive track when suboxone is taken orally and is in place to prevent the misuse of suboxone by injection drug users. The combination of these two medications leads to suboxone's effectiveness in treating opioid dependency.
Suboxone treatment starts when the opiate patient is in mild withdrawal. The initial doses of suboxone are given in the physician’s office as part of an induction period designed to find a comfortable daily dose for the patient. The daily dose is defined by a lack of withdrawal symptoms and the ability of the patient to function comfortably. Typical maintenance level range from 12mg-16 mg. Once the maintenance level is reached, suboxone is administered once daily. The full maintenance dose is taken at one time, normally in the morning. Once the maintenance dose has been reached, the patient may decide to taper off suboxone at any point thereafter. The tapering period typically lasts 2-4 weeks but may be substantially longer depending on the amount of the maintenance dose. During this tapering period, the daily suboxone dose is typically decreased every 2-5 days until the patient is free of suboxone and opiates entirely.
Please also remember, if you are in need of treatment for Heroin Michigan, Heroin Treatment Michigan or Heroin Treatment Washtenaw County, Heroin Treatment Wayne County, Heroin Treatment Downriver, or anywhere else regardless of where you live, please call 734-729-3133 or visit our locations page. We have multiple locations.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2011). NIDA InfoFacts: Heroin. Retrieved from http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofacts/heroin.html