Not the solution, but maybe a good step forward Suboxone is not the solution, but in many cases it’s better than nothing, and a good response for chronic relapsers who are risking death from overdose. At least the addict is getting some exposure to treatment which is more likely to lead to recovery in the long run. Suboxone buys people time and keeps them alive. There are quite a few people who’s funerals I’ve attended that I wish had gotten on Suboxone. You can’t treat the dead.
The Subs knock down the monster cravings almost completely, and people don’t go through the nasty withdrawal that’s so painful. Once dysfunctional people who couldn’t hold a job, or were constantly on the obsessive hunt for the next fix suddenly become much more functional, and the addiction looks like it’s in remission. They can work consistently, they stop chasing the drugs, they have more money and can care for themselves and their families, and their addiction doesn’t seem to be ruling their lives. It seems like magic! Very few people actually wean off Suboxone successfully Suboxone users often wrongly think they’re cured because they look and feel more functional. Then they think all they have to do now is wean down, or taper off the medication, which is what the clinic doctors help them manage over a number of months to years. The problem is they’ve done nothing about the underlying addiction and all the addictive thinking and coping that go along with it that drive the addiction from within. They haven’t developed any social support, or learned anything about themselves and their disease. We like to say that using, or putting some chemical into the body, is only a symptom of the underlying disease. Abusing substances is not the actual disease—just a symptom. As soon as they stop using the Subs the addiction is still there and ready to start expressing itself all over again through the many painful ways it does. Chemically addicted people cope with life stressors with chemicals—that is, unless they make some fairly significant changes. Suboxone changes nothing in the end. Suboxone changes nothing A combination of Suboxone treatment coupled with AA/NA (with Sponsor and Step work) is a great thing. At Crossroads Counseling we require anyone with a substance abuse issue
to attend AA/NA, obtain a Sponsor, and work the 12-steps. If they don’t we won’t sign-off on their program. Most Suboxone clinics require their participants to attend at least one counseling meeting a month. Unfortunately, this is almost completely useless unless the individual engages in a personal program of recovery that addresses not only the biological issues, but the social, psychological, and spiritual issues related to the disease, as well.
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