SUBOXONE is manufactured by Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. According to the manufacturer, "SUBOXONE is a narcotic medication indicated for the treatment of opioid dependence, available only by prescription, and must be taken under a doctor's care as prescribed. It is illegal to sell or give away your SUBOXONE."
Suboxone is used in drug replacement therapy to help ameliorate the symptoms of withdrawal from opiate medications. Many drug rehabs will use Suboxone as a form of detox and then wean the patient from the Suboxone so they are completely drug-free. However, there are rehabs and individual practitioners who believe in maintenance use of Suboxone over the longer term. There is some controversy surround the latter practice, as some treatment providers and addiction specialists believe this is simply switching one addiction for another. This is similar to controversy surround the long-term use of methadone among heroin addicts.
The primary active ingredient in SUBOXONE is buprenorphine.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. This means that its opioid effects are limited compared with those produced by full opioid agonists such as Vicodin, OxyContin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. SUBOXONE also contains naloxone, an opioid antagonist, which was added to discourage users from dissolving the pill and injecting it.
Suboxone can be useful in a residential setting to help opiate addicts stay in treatment rather than leave when withdrawal becomes too unpleasant. It is also often prescribed in an office setting by doctors treating patients with opiate addiction.
Research suggests that Suboxone alone is not sufficient to recover from opiate addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy and other therapeutic modalities must be used in conjunction with Suboxone, especially if the goal is to stop using the drug eventually.