Buprenorphine is a partial agonist of the brain’s opioid system. It binds the opioid receptors similarly to addictive opioid substances but doesn’t have the same addictiveness. It is often combined with Naloxone to treat opioid use disorder. This article explains how opioid dependency comes about and how Buprenorphine can relieve the symptoms.
How Opioids Cause Dependence
Our bodies like to stay in a state of balance. Whenever there’s some imbalance in our chemistry, our bodies react by trying to adapt and bring the body back to stability. This process is known as homeostasis. Your opioid receptors normally get activated by pleasurable activities like exercise and eating. Drugs such as heroin and Vicodin artificially activate the opioid receptors and make you feel euphoric and relaxed. However, since there’s nothing in the body causing the opioid receptor activation, your body sees this as an imbalance. It reacts by increasing the number of opioid receptors, making it harder to feel euphoria. As a result, normal activities are no longer enough to reach a sufficient level of happiness and relaxation. You’re now dependent on the opioid to feel normal, and when you don’t take the drug, you get withdrawal.
How Buprenorphine Helps Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms are caused by an abundance of opioid receptors in the brain due to opioid abuse. It’s a way your body tries to counter the effects of opioids, and if you don’t take the opioid, you get symptoms that are quite the opposite of the original effects of the drug. Buprenorphine works by blocking the opioid receptors but activating them only partially. When Buprenorphine molecules sit on the receptors, they stop sending pain signals to the body, just like any other opioid. However, Buprenorphine doesn’t cause euphoria like other opioids, and your brain doesn’t have to respond by increasing the number of receptors.
Benefits and Side Effects of Buprenorphine
Buprenorphine is an excellent drug for opioid withdrawal, but it’s an opioid at the end of the day. Here are the benefits and risks of Buprenorphine.
Benefits of Buprenorphine include:
- Proven effective treatment for heroin withdrawal
- Low risk of abuse
- Low risk of overdose
- Can be taken long term
Side effects of Buprenorphine include:
- Difficulty Concentrating
Buprenorphine is usually given in combination with Naloxone as a medication called Suboxone. MD MATT is a suboxone clinic in Baltimore that treats people suffering from opioid abuse disorder. We also offer alcohol addiction treatment in Baltimore. Want to treat addiction as soon as possible with Buprenorphine? Visit our website and book an appointment today!