Is Suboxone More Effective Than Methadone?

Methadone and Suboxone have a lot in common. They are both prescription drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, used in the treatment of drug addiction – mainly addiction to opioid narcotics. Both drugs were first prescribed to treat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal sometime in the 60s, and both have been very popular in medical detox settings ever since.

Nowadays, these two medications are very often used to treat the physical and psychological symptoms of opioid withdrawal. When it comes to effectiveness, there is truly no clear-cut answer, seeing as the individual medications are used to treat opioid addictions of different severities. Suboxone is often used to treat mild or moderate symptoms of withdrawal, while methadone is significantly more effective in treating severe symptoms of withdrawal.

Is Suboxone More Effective Than Methadone?

Differences Between Suboxone and Methadone

There are several differences between Suboxone and Methadone. Suboxone is a partial agonist opioid, meaning that it is can be a little less effective in immediately treating the symptoms of opioid withdrawal when compared to methadone, but is often safer and more effective in the long-run. Suboxone binds to receptors within the brain, blocking signals the central nervous system sends out that would otherwise lead to withdrawal symptoms and intense psychological cravings. Methadone, on the other hand, completely changes the way that the brain responds to signals of pain.

Not only does it alleviate symptoms of withdrawal, but it works to block the feelings of euphoria that those taking opioid narcotics are liable to experience. Suboxone is typically used in a medical detox or inpatient treatment setting as a short-term solution. Methadone is generally used when inpatient treatment is not accessible and an individual is grappling with life-threatening addiction. Both drugs are effective, but these drugs can serve slightly different purposes. That’s because while methadone is used to treat chronic pain and opioid addiction, Suboxone is only approved to treat opioid dependence.

When to Use Suboxone

When should a person use Suboxone? Suboxone is an effective part of many comprehensive opioid addiction treatment programs. Just as an individual with diabetes may be prescribed insulin, and an individual who is suffering from the disease of addiction might be prescribed Suboxone. You must never decide to take this medication without professional guidance – it must always be administered by a prescribing physician/addiction specialist. Suboxone is a great option for those who have just entered medically monitored detox or inpatient rehab.

This specific medication will make absorbing recovery-related knowledge easier because it will significantly reduce cravings and therefore reduce potential distractions. Once an individual completes sober living – the final phase of recovery – the Suboxone prescription will generally come to an end. The client will have learned how to employ life skills, coping mechanisms, and relapse prevention skills without the use of medication, and will be able to successfully combat cravings (which will have lessened) on his or her own.

When to Use Methadone

When should a person use methadone? Methadone is more potent than Suboxone, thus it can be more habit-forming. For this reason, methadone should only be used by men and women who are struggling with life-threatening opioid addictions – for example, if an individual has overdosed several times, he or she might consider methadone. Again, this medication must be never self-prescribed or self-administered. It can be prescribed and taken in inpatient rehab or at a place that is called a “methadone clinic” – a facility specifically designed to ensure those in early recovery are consistently taking the proper dose.

Garden State Treatment Center and Medication-Assisted Treatment 

At Garden State Treatment Center, we only use medication-assisted treatment (MAT) when we deem doing so completely necessary. If one of our clients is suffering from severe post-acute withdrawal symptoms or psychological cravings, we will generally administer Suboxone, seeing as it is often very effective and it can be a lot safer. To learn more about our specific recovery program or MAT please feel free to give us a call at any point in time.