What is Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is a drug originally designed to alleviate pain. It was then approved to treat addiction to narcotic pain relievers. It is used to help ease withdrawal symptoms for those detoxing from heroin or opiate painkiller addiction. However, it also has the potential to be addictive
Buprenorphine was the first medication to treat opioid addiction that was approved to be prescribed by doctors. It works by imitating the effects of heroin or painkillers without putting the patient at risk for the dangerous side effects.
The most common buprenorphine brand names are: Subutex, Buprenex, Butrans. Subutex was the first version of buprenorphine to be prescribed for opioid dependence and it must be taken under medical supervision only. Another popular form is Suboxone, which is the commercial name for buprenorphine combined with naloxone.
Buprenorphine is the active ingredient in Suboxone and Subutex, which are the most common medication used to detox off methadone without causing a replacement addiction.
What is Buprenorphine prescribed for?
Buprenorphine works by binding with opioid receptors in the brain to reduce pain and produce the same feelings of well-being as when using opioid drugs like heroin or methadone. However, these effects are much weaker and much more manageable.
Buprenorphine is prescribed during detoxification from heroin, hydrocodone, fentanyl, oxycodone and other opioids. It can help lower the potential for opioid drug misuse and diminish cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting heroin and other opiates, but it can be addictive. Buprenorphine has the ability to transfer the addiction to the substance itself.
Buprenorphine Detox Process
At Castle Craig, buprenorphine addiction treatment begins with a personalised buprenorphine detox programme. Each patient is seen by our Consultant Psychiatrist, who carries out a pre-assessment to determine the patient’s individual buprenorphine detox needs. We make sure we gather all information about the patient’s medical condition and drug use history upon starting detox so that we can properly manage potential interactions between medications.
Each patient’s physical comfort and safety during buprenorphine detox is our utmost priority. We adopt the detox method of weaning or tapering off the drug by slowly decreasing the buprenorphine dose until complete abstinence is achieved. Depending on individual patient needs, other medication may be used to help ease the buprenorphine withdrawal process.
During the whole buprenorphine detox process, each patient is medically monitored round-the-clock and buprenorphine withdrawal symptoms are regularly checked by our nursing staff so that the medication dose can be adjusted accordingly.
Rehab Treatment for Buprenorphine (Subutex, Buprenex) Addiction
The buprenorphine detox phase is followed by psychotherapy and behavioural treatment within our residential rehab programme. The aim is to create the proper environment to facilitate the patient’s personal growth. This involves addressing the underlying psychological aspects that led to someone’s buprenorphine addiction, teaching patients how to identify triggers and improve coping skills such as assertiveness, self-confidence, inner strength.
At Castle Craig Rehab we offer an integrated program for buprenorphine detox and addiction. Each patient has their own individual treatment plan. This is structured into daily individual counselling and group therapy sessions and supported by a combination of complementary therapies, educational lectures and relapse prevention seminars, alongside healthy, regular meals and exercise.
Get Help for Subutex, Buprenex Addiction
If you or someone you know is abusing buprenorphine or any of its forms: Subutex, Buprenex, Butrans, contact us to get treatment.
A comprehensive inpatient drugs treatment program is considered to provide the best environment for the patient to achieve sustained recovery from buprenorphine abuse.
Castle Craig Rehab has been treating opioid addiction for over 30 years and has extensive medical and therapeutic experience in buprenorphine detox and addiction treatment. Our team of addiction experts treat the person as a whole and provide specialised support before, during and after treatment at Castle Craig.
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | July 14, 2021