About 50,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2019 — that’s about 137 deaths every day. Opioids are highly addictive, and once you’re “hooked,” breaking that endless cycle of addiction is incredibly hard — unless you have a skilled opioid addiction recovery specialist by your side.
At Vulcan Pain Management in Birmingham, Alabama, Victor Mendoza, MD, and his team offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using Suboxone® to help patients break the potentially deadly cycle of addiction. Safe and very effective, Suboxone is FDA approved for the treatment of opioid addiction — yet despite its effectiveness, there are many misunderstandings surrounding its use.
In this post, Dr. Mendoza and his team dispel some of the most common myths about MAT so you can get a better understanding of its true benefits.
Myth #1: MAT substitutes one addiction for another
Fact: Opioid addiction happens when opioids interact with special receptors on nerve cells. Suboxone contains two components: buprenorphine and naloxone. Both components bind strongly to those same receptors, preventing opioids from binding. Over time, suboxone therapy reduces cravings for opioids without resulting in an additional addiction.
Suboxone binds longer than methadone, and there are fewer side effects when tapering off, too. During suboxone therapy, the dosing is controlled, and because the drug is available as a special sublingual (under the tongue) film, there’s far less risk of abuse.
Myth #2: If you’re strong enough, you can kick your habit without medication
Fact: Drug addiction is not a weakness, and it’s certainly not a weakness to seek medical treatment to help you quit. Addiction changes the way your brain works, and once your body and brain develop cravings for a drug, going “cold turkey” can be extremely dangerous (not to mention far less successful). MAT is a safe, responsible treatment option for addiction problems.
Myth #3: There’s no need for long-term MAT
Fact: When it comes to treating drug addiction, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There’s also no rush to finish treatment. Stopping treatment too soon increases the risk of relapse. At Vulcan Pain Management, each person’s therapy is based on their needs, with the ultimate goal of a successful recovery.
Myth #4: MAT cures drug addiction
Fact: MAT treats drug addiction. Addiction is like a chronic disease — it can’t be “cured” overnight. In fact, for many people, staying free of addiction is a lifelong process that requires ongoing therapy and support. Suboxone treatment plays a pivotal role in that therapy.
Myth #5: MAT increases the risk of relapse
Fact: Actually, the opposite is true. Suboxone’s unique mechanism of action helps your body and brain adjust over time, reducing cravings and tolerance slowly but very effectively. By “stepping down” the effects of addiction, your body has time to adjust and feel normal without opioids, so patients enjoy greater long-term success in managing their health.
Don’t let addiction ruin your life. Call Vulcan Pain Management or book an appointment online, and learn how Dr. Mendoza and his team can help you break the addiction cycle once and for all.