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Can You Take Suboxone? You Must Be Opiate Dependent to Use Buprenorphine – Take This Opiate Addiction Self Test
Suboxone (buprenorphine) is a relatively new drug used in the treatment of opiate addiction. It is used as a substitute for a drug of abuse (much like methadone is) and allows an addicted person to withdraw gradually off of opiates without feeling any (or much less) detox pains.
Suboxone is not for everyone, and there are certain groups of people, such as alcoholics, benzodiazepine users, pregnant women etc. that may not be viable candidates for the medication. Most fundamentally though, to be a suitable candidate for Suboxone you must be opiate dependent – that is, you must be "addicted" to opiates (drugs like heroin, morphine, oxycodone, oxycontin etc.).
Suboxone is given to non opiate dependent patients in some more rare instances, such as when previously addicted persons are released from prison, and are at risk for overdose.
Are You Addicted?
Before giving you Suboxone, your doctor will want to confirm that you are in fact dependent on opiates, and to assess this, she may use the assessment checklist of the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV.
The DSM-IV Checklist is simply a series of questions that clinicians can use as a diagnostic tool, and in this case, a score of three positive criteria or greater indicates opiate dependence, and makes a patient a possibly appropriate candidate for buprenorphine treatment (Suboxone or Subutex).
Take this modified version of the DSM-IV for yourself, and see if you meet the criteria for opiate dependence.
Opiate Dependence Self Test
- Does the user show a tolerance, either by needing ever greater amounts to get high, or by experiencing ever diminishing effects from a same dosage?
- Does the user experience withdrawal symptoms when she stops taking opiates, or does she take an opiate or similar type of drug to avoid feeling the pains of withdrawal?
- Does the user use the drug for longer, or in greater amounts than she had intended on using?
- Does the user want persistently to cut down, or has he tried, and been unable to do so?
- Does the user devote a lot of time and energy to getting the drug, or to recovering from its use?
- Has the user stopped or lessened participation in previously important social, recreational or occupational activities because of their drug usage?
- Does the user continue to use even though she knows the harm that her use is causing to her?
Three or more yes answers indicate opiate dependence, and makes the person a potentially suitable candidate for opiate replacement therapy with Suboxone.
Some people will not find acceptable symptoms relief from buprenorphine. People who have been using opiates very heavily may need to use the much stronger medication called methadone, at least to start off with. Your doctor will be able to advise you on which medication is best for you and be able to answer any questions that you may have about opiate replacement therapy.