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Buprenorphine is derived from the opium poppy plant and is much like morphine except it has a much higher potency level. Buprenorphine (Suboxone) is used as the medical treatment during detoxification in drug rehab and is becoming a drug that many Americans use in everyday life because they became addicted after just one hit. Buprenorphine addiction is one of the most painful addictions to overcome because your addiction treatment will be done in complete sobriety.

Buprenorphine is a serious drug that when abused can result in a loss of sex drive, flattening of emotional affect, dizziness and fainting, reduced heart rate, insomnia, loss of enjoyment of activities and friends, abdominal and back pain, shallow breathing, confusion, and liver damage.

What Is Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid that is used both as a pain reliever and as an alternative to heroine or other opioids for people being treated for addiction. It is a partial opioid agonist, which means it bonds with opioid receptors but has less drug effect than full opioid agonists, such as morphine or Oxycontin. While abuse may have less severe side effects than that of heroine or morphine, the effects are still very serious.

What Are The Medical and Street Names?

There are a number of different chemical formulas of Buprenorphine in medicine, all of which have different names. Subutex or Suboxone is Buprenorphine combined with Naloxone to lessen the high and discourage abuse, typically used to treat opioid addictions. Temgesic is a tablet that’s taken under the tongue for pain management. Buprenex is an injectable solution for severe acute pain. Norspan and Butrans, by contrast, are used to treat chronic, or long term pain.

Street names for this drug include Sobos, Bupe, Stops, Stop Signs, Boxes, Oranges, or Subs.

What Is Its Federal Classification?

Buprenorphine is currently classified as a Schedule V drug, although there is some discussion of moving it to Schedule III.

What Does It Look Like?

Buprenorphine pills come in a number of different forms. Subutex comes oblong white or off-white pills. Buprenorphine pills are small, round, white pills with an arrow on the back. You can also find pills in a hexagonal shape with N8 on one side and a cross or lower case t on the other. These hexagonal pills are red-orange in color, leading to the street name Stop Signs or Oranges.

How Is It Used?
Buprenorphine is taken sublingually, which means it is placed under the tongue until it dissolves. There is also a buprenorphine solution that can be taken intravenously.

The Risks and Side Effects
Some of the more serious possible side effects of this drug include shallow breathing, fainting or feelings of lightheadedness, confusion or unusual thoughts, nausea, stomach pain, dark urine, and jaundice. These are signs of very serious side effects, and anyone experiencing them should see their doctor immediately.

Some of the less severe side effects include chills, weakness, back pain, headache, anxiety or depression, runny nose, and sleep problems. Many people also experience an emotional numbness which can lead to problems in long term users.

How Does Buprenorphine Affect The Mind?
The brain produces natural opioid neurotransmitters as a way of helping the body cope with pain. Buprenorphine, and other opioid drugs, mimic this neurotransmitter and bond at the same reception site. Since it is not the natural chemical, it can lead to abnormal signals that cause problems in the body.

Once bound, the Buprenorphine causes the brain to flood with dopamine, the reward or pleasure chemical that tells the body it has done something that should be repeated. This leads to a sense of euphoria and can lead to chemical and behavioral addiction. The influx of dopamine can also cause the brain to reduce its production of natural neurotransmiters, resulting in a flattening of emotional affect in long term Buprenorphine abusers.

How Does Buprenorphine Affect The Body?
Buprenorphine is a depressant, which means it slows the bodies processes. The gastrointestinal track slows, leading to problems like nausea, vomiting, acid reflux, and constipation, since food is moving too slowly through the digestive track to process properly.

It also depresses respiration and heart rate, making breathing slower, shallower, and more labored and heart beats slower and farther apart. It reduces or eliminates the sensation of pain by overriding it with an influx of dopamine. It can also lead to lethargy and muscle weakness.

What Are The Overdose Effects?
An overdose of Buprenorphine will lead to a severe depression of the respiratory system. If breaths become too shallow or slow, the user may experience unconsciousness or death. Other common symptoms of overdose include extreme weakness or fainting, slow or weak pulse, cold clammy skin, extremely contracted pupils, and extreme drowsiness.

What Are Its Short-Term Effects?
Short term users may experience nausea, heartburn, and constipation due to gastric depression. Buprenorphine may also cause drowsiness or dizziness due to slowed breaths and heart rate. Users typically experience pain relief. Itching is relatively common as well, and may be treated with an antihistimine. Operating a motor vehicle may become dangerous due to drowsiness, weakness, and difficulty focusing.

Buprenorphine combined with Naloxone will produce fewer symptoms, including pain relief and euphoria as well as the negative effects. However, Naloxone is used up in the body faster than Buprenorphine, leading to some effects as the Naloxone wears off.

What Are Its Long-Term Effects?
Long term effects of this drug are much more serious. The short term effects are amplified to more dangerous levels.

The mild emotional flattening typically becomes more severe, resulting in loss of connection to loved ones, difficulty experiencing or expressing emotion, loss of interest in sex, abnormal thoughts and behaviors, abnormal responses to stress, and depression. Some extreme cases may experience psychosis or auditory and visual hallucinations.

Long-term use will also lead to tolerance, making it more and more difficult to achieve the same euphoria or pain management effects. This can lead to a return of pain for patients who began taking it for pain management issues and frequently results in an increased dependence on the drug.

Long-term use can also lead to liver damage or failure and a continuation of the short term side effects.

Using Buprenorphine over the long term will also result in withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped. These can include agitation, anxiety, cramping, dilated pupils, and gastric distress.

Do You Have an Addiction to Buprenorphine?

Those who abuse buprenorphine usually crush the tablet and snort it to obtain euphoria. Due to the potency of this drug, only small amounts are needed to produce the desired effects.

BuprenorphineSome of the side-effects from buprenorphine are similar to those of opioid. These can include: dry mouth, drowsiness, sweating, itching, memory loss, headache and many others. The most serious of these is respiratory depression, especially if the drug is used in combination with alcohol.

This is a highly addictive drug that should only be used under strict medical supervision. Once addiction has developed, professional treatment will be necessary. The withdrawal symptoms experienced by buprenorphine users include but are not limited to: diarrhea, vomiting, fever, cold sweats, insomnia, muscle cramps, runny nose and post nasal drip, restless legs, and nightmares.

Speak With a Counselor About Buprenorphine Addiction

We have a buprenorphine addiction treatment program designed for people struggling with an addiction to buprenorphine. This addiction can take over your life in a few short days and it can ultimately ruin any chances that you have for a successful and happy future. If you are ready to make the change towards sobriety, contact so that they can help you start a buprenorphine addiction treatment program now.

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