Medicines for Opioid Addiction

Disclaimer: this is very basic information, please see your doctor before starting any of these medicines and see the links below for further information.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex, Bunavail, Zubsolv)

  • Stimulates the Mu-opioid receptor partially. This helps to prevent cravings and/or withdrawals.
  • Partially antagonize the Kappa-opioid receptor. This causes a mild euphoria.
  • Stays bound to the opioid receptors about 5-7 days with peak effect at 3 days.
  • Strongly attracted to the opioid receptor therefore will knock any other opioid out of the receptor leading to precipitated withdrawal symptoms.
  • Start buprenorphine 12 to 24 hours after last opioid taken (except for Methadone)
  • Wait about 5 days after last methadone dose of 20-25 mg before starting buprenorphine.

Naloxone (Vivitrol, Naltrexone)

  • Blocks the opioid receptors. (Enough opioids can theoretically override it).
  • Give a small test dose before starting.
  • Start after negative urine drug screen for opioids, suboxone or methadone.
  • Naltrexone starting dose is 50 mg per day orally.
    • Most common adverse effect is a headache or stomach ache, may decrease the dose to 25 mg if these persist after 1 week.
  • Vivitrol starting dose is 380 mg dissolved in a 4 cc vial and injected once a month in the gluteal region.

Meds are about 10% of recovery, they help the Physiological addiction, the rest of recovery is helping the Psychological addiction.

  • The psychological addiction takes daily work.
  • We recommend going to NA meetings for a start.
  • If you have PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder you should see Psychiatry.
  • If you have a history of trauma you should see a trauma informed counselor.
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)  is a type of therapy that has been shown to help single episode trauma.
  • Long term exposure trauma can be helped with ongoing counseling.



Only the addict can truly help themselves but here are a few things you can do:

Keep in mind;

  • Their addiction is NOT your fault
  • It is their choice to keep using or to stop
  • Do not enable their addiction
  • Only enable their recovery
  • Do not force them, it will backfire

Continue reading “Help your Child Stop using Drugs”

If addiction is a disease and addicts caught with possession go to jail, does that mean we imprison them because of their disease? Can we do better? Most argue for decriminalization but some even argue for legalization. Let’s look more closely.

Continue reading “Should drugs be legal?”

It almost ruined my life.

Wait, before you think, oh it’s just Cannabis, it’s not that harmful, it’s not that addictive, read this.

I treat addiction for a living and what I have learned is that addiction is universal, no matter the substance.

Cannabis almost ruined my life, derailed my dreams and destroyed my family. Under the influence I risked immense physical harm.

Today I’m sober, it’s a daily struggle, but life has gotten exponentially better since I quit, here is why…

Continue reading “Why I quit Cannabis?”

Most people who recognize they have an addiction and fail over and over to overcome it have come to the realization that their addiction is a power greater than themselves. Wouldn’t it make sense to recognize that their healing would also have to be a power greater than themselves. The question is what is this power?

Continue reading “A Power Greater than Oneself, books that helped me”

Do You Have an Addiction?

Are you concerned about your drug or alcohol use? Do you wonder whether or not you have a problem? Maybe your spouse, child or a relative is a concern. How much is too much?

This is how doctors define addiction:

In Medicine we differentiate between healthy substance use, substance abuse and a substance use disorder. Let’s discuss Alcohol for example.

One standard drink is the following:What_Is_a_Standard_Drink_grayscale_508_Release_WebMen should drink no more than 4 standard drinks in a day and less than 14 in a week.

Women should drink no more than 3 standard drinks per day and less than 7 in a week.

This is per the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse recommendation.

Continue reading “Do You Have an Addiction?”

5 Steps to Beat Your Addiction

Addiction is a diseases in which the afflicted organ may choose to heal itself.

This guide is for the mind which recognize that continued use is self destructive.

Step 1. Free your mind.

Toss your stash. As soon as you take that sip, drag or snort and guilt sets in for going down that path again, throw the rest of your stash away. As soon as the first negative event occurs, sacrifice your supply. Don’t worry, you’ll be under the influence and won’t feel a thing.

Step 2. Heal your mind.

Step 3. Guard your mind.

Step 4. Use your mind.

Step 5. Lend your mind.

Continue reading “5 Steps to Beat Your Addiction”

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