How to Find Butrans Addiction Treatment

By The Fix staff 05/02/19

Trying to find a Butrans rehab? Look no further than our guide on finding the best options to recover in luxury.

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Table of Contents

1. What is Butrans and How is it Used?
2. How Buprenorphine Dependence Occurs
3. How Buprenorphine Addiction Occurs
4. Potential Abuse and Addiction Symptoms in Users of Butrans/Buprenorphine
5. Detox and the Road to Recovery
6. From Detox to Buprenorphine Rehab
7. Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment
8. Evidence-Based Treatment and Recovery Options
9. Choosing the Best Rehab for You

What is Butrans and How is it Used?

Butrans is the brand name of an extended-release, transdermal medication made from the opioid prescription drug buprenorphine. Transdermal treatments deliver medication to your bloodstream through a patch applied to your skin. Once the patch is placed, you gradually receive your prescribed treatment over an extended period of time.

Buprenorphine is not a full opioid like medications such as morphine, oxycodone or fentanyl. Instead, it belongs to a group of substances called partial opioids. Substances in this category are strong enough to produce a drug effect, but that effect is weaker than the one produced by a full opioid.

When it enters your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), buprenorphine does several things. First, it alters your nerve perceptions in a way that reduces pain. The medication also produces notable sensations of pleasure. In addition, like all other opioids, buprenorphine decreases the speed of cell-to-cell communication within your central nervous system. In turn, this drop in activity triggers a significant slowdown in your breathing rate and certain other involuntary nerve functions.

Butrans is designed to treat pain in specific circumstances. First, to qualify for legitimate use of the medication, you must have long-lasting pain so severe that it can only be controlled with ongoing, 24/7 treatment. You must also be unsuited for the use of non-opioid medication or other, less risky treatment options. (Reasons you may not benefit from these safer alternatives include a lack of adequate pain relief and an inability to tolerate their side effects.) In addition, you cannot receive Butrans only on an occasional, as-needed basis.

Butrans comes in several strengths. A low-dose version of this prescription drug is available for people who have never taken opioids before. There are also four higher dosages available for people with previous opioid exposure. Once applied, a patch of the medication stays in place for one week. Potential side effects of Butrans use include sleepiness, lightheadedness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth and constipation. They also include itching, skin redness or rash at the site of the patch.

When sold or used illicitly, buprenorphine-based medications are sometimes known by certain street names. These names include:

  • Stops
  • Strips
  • Buse
  • Sobos
  • Subs

How Buprenorphine Dependence Occurs

Butrans can form an important part of a plan to control serious, long-term pain. However, since it contains an opioid as its active ingredient, its use can trigger a state of substance dependence. In the case of Butrans, this state is defined by a reliance on the drug effects of buprenorphine. Since a transdermal patch delivers the medication to your system around the clock, dependence risks are relatively high.

The most common sign of dependence is the appearance of opioid withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking Butrans or switch to a much weaker medication strength.When withdrawal first begins, you may experience symptoms such as a runny nose, increased sweating and mucus production, frequent yawning and disruption of your normal sleep patterns. If withdrawal progresses, you may also experience symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, loose bowels, cramps in your abdomen and abnormally widened pupils.

Opioid dependence and opioid addiction do not have the same effects on your health and well-being. Dependence is a manageable reliance on opioids commonly found in long-term patients with legitimate prescriptions. You can work with your doctor to keep this condition in check while you lead a normal life. Crucially, the parts of the brain affected by opioid dependence differ from those affected by opioid addiction.

How Buprenorphine Addiction Occurs

Buprenorphine addiction marks a transition from a controlled, relatively safe pattern of medication use to an uncontrolled, dangerous pattern. Unlike dependence, it cannot be managed as a stable condition. Instead, it produces a serious, damaging impact on one or more areas of your daily life.

You can get addicted to Butrans even if you take the medication according to your doctor’s instructions. However, your addiction risks escalate when you take actions that qualify as prescription drug abuse. If you have a legitimate prescription, these actions include applying patches to your skin more often than directed. They also include using multiple patches at once or using a single patch with a higher dosage than prescribed. If you don’t have a Butrans prescription, drug abuse occurs when you use even a single patch of the medication.

Buprenorphine/Butrans addiction is one specific example of a diagnosable illness called OUD or opioid use disorder. You can also receive a diagnosis for this condition if you’re not addicted, but still suffer significant harms as a result of your medication abuse.

Potential Abuse and Addiction Symptoms in Users of Butrans/Buprenorphine

  • Inability to control how often you apply the medication to your skin
  • Inability to control how much of the medication you apply to your skin
  • Using Butrans abuse as a substitute for recreational or leisure-time activities
  • Establishment of a daily routine than centers on your medication abuse
  • Rising tolerance to the effects of accustomed buprenorphine intake
  • Continuation of a mentally or physically damaging pattern of patch use after you become aware of its impact
  • Continuation of a pattern of use that you know disrupts your ability to sustain personal, intimate or social connections
  • Strong desires for buprenorphine use while doing other things
  • A pattern of medication intake in situations that carry a risk for physical harm
  • Withdrawal symptoms that arise if your brain doesn’t get its expected medication intake

All cases of OUD are graded as mild, moderate or severe. Milder cases are limited to just two or three symptoms that appear over the course of a single year. If you have four or five of the possible symptoms during that same timeframe, you fall into the category of moderate OUD. If you have at least six symptoms, you will qualify for a diagnosis of severe OUD.

The most severely affected people have all 11 of the potential symptoms. The intensity of individual symptoms can vary between people, and may have a meaningful impact on your ultimate diagnosis.

Detox and the Road to Recovery

To begin your road to addiction recovery, you must break the cycle of uncontrolled substance use. This process begins during an initial step called detoxification or detox. The goal of detox is to halt (or, in some cases, significantly reduce) your medication intake while avoiding or limiting the worst effects of withdrawal. No one can tell in advance how long you will take to detox from Butrans addiction. While the average timeframe is a week to 10 days, factors specific to your situation may alter this estimate.

The symptoms of opioid withdrawal can leave you feeling awful. However, on their own, they can usually be managed without endangering your life. This does not mean that detox is free from the potential for life-threatening complications. For instance, untreated diarrhea and vomiting during withdrawal can trigger medically serious dehydration. If you inhale particles of your vomit during detox, you can develop a serious lung infection.

Despite the reality of these risks, the main dangers to your health during opioid detoxification are undoubtedly relapse and overdose. This is true because the process of detoxing lowers your tolerance to the drug effects of buprenorphine. As a result of this change, a dose of Butrans that was once safe for you to use may now stop your central nervous system from functioning normally. And without prompt medical attention, you may die as a result. Every day of the year, fatal opioid overdoses in the U.S. claim an average of more than 100 victims. The mixing of opioids with alcohol or benzodiazepines can significantly increase your overdose risks.

As a rule, detox and addiction treatment are more difficult for people who have substance problems combined with mental illness. That’s true whether you abuse opioids, alcohol or any other addictive drug/medication. It’s also true whether you suffer from anxiety disorders, depression, a personality disorder (PD) or any other serious mental health condition. To provide adequate care, doctors must address both abuse/addiction and mental illness. Without treatment for both issues, your chances for a sustainable recovery will diminish.

From Detox to Buprenorphine Rehab

When your time in buprenorphine detox comes to end, addiction experts strongly recommend that you move on to a Butrans rehab program. This recommendation is based on a couple of critical points. First, after detoxing from the medication, you will have a much smaller tolerance to its effects. If you relapse back into a pattern of abuse for any reason, this susceptibility to the impact of buprenorphine can put your life in danger. Participation in a rehabilitation program is the best possible way to avoid a quick relapse and its unwanted consequences.

But Butrans rehabilitation does more than help you decrease your short-term relapse risks. It’s also designed to give you the tools to learn how to stay sober long-term. Rehab programs achieve this goal in three ways. First, they help you clearly understand what addiction is and how it works. Rehabilitation also helps you recognize the behaviors, thought patterns and life attitudes that contribute to substance abuse. In addition, it helps you make new choices that keep your future abuse risks in check.

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

The vast majority of people with opioid use disorder receive addiction treatment in either an inpatient or outpatient facility. Inpatient rehab is a residential approach that requires you to live in a facility while you receive treatment. During your stay, you receive the benefit of constant support and staff availability. You also have the opportunity to put aside everyday responsibilities and focus on your efforts at recovery. And if any complications arise, immediate medical care will help keep you safe.

Inpatient Butrans rehab is typically recommended for anyone with moderate or severe varieties of opioid use disorder. (In some situations, treatment for severe symptoms may begin in a hospital, instead.) Outpatient rehabilitation is the destination for many people with mild symptoms. This non-residential approach requires you to make periodic visits to a substance treatment facility while you continue to live at home. During your visits, you will do such things as participate in counseling sessions, undergo health assessments and receive any needed medication adjustments.

Outpatient addiction treatment is an excellent way to make effective rehab part of your ordinary, daily routine. However, even people with mild symptoms of buprenorphine addiction sometimes seek inpatient care. The presence of serious mental illness is just one of the reasons for addressing mild addiction in a residential setting.

Evidence-Based Treatment and Recovery Options

The twin pillars of modern opioid addiction treatment are medications and behavioral therapies with demonstrated usefulness for your recovery. If you have Butrans-related problems, you may be surprised to learn that buprenorphine is also a frontline treatment option. It helps to understand that Butrans itself is not used for addiction rehabilitation. Instead, doctors use other medications that contain smaller amounts of buprenorphine. When given to you in the proper dosages, these medications help stabilize your condition, but they don’t get you “high.” Another opioid-based option, methadone, can also be used to achieve the same goals.

When all opioids have left your system, your doctor may help you avoid a relapse by prescribing the anti-opioid medication naltrexone. When present in your bloodstream, this medication creates a chemical barrier that opioid substances can’t cross. By doing so, it prevents the reactions in your brain that make use of these substances feel pleasurable.

Behavioral therapy for Butrans addiction can take several different forms. If you’re unsure of your reasons for seeking help, a technique called motivational interviewing can help you gain needed clarity. Two evidence-based therapies (contingency management and CRA, or community reinforcement approach, plus vouchers) produce results by offering rewards or incentives when you make progress in your program.

A fourth well-known approach, cognitive behavioral therapy, helps you gain insight into how your habitual actions and attitudes support substance abuse. It also helps you establish alternative thoughts and behaviors that don’t provide such support.

Choosing the Best Rehab for You

When making your choices for Butrans rehab, your search should begin with reputable programs that meet modern standards for evidence-based therapy and medication. Your list of options should also be limited to programs that rely on expert caregivers with plenty of addiction-related experience. To make the most of your recovery efforts, look for programs that pair this level of expertise with secure and well-maintained treatment facilities.

Today, most addiction centers have a hotline that you can call for advice and information. When you call a hotline, you should have access to someone who can answer all your questions and help you sort out your possible options. The person you speak to should be ready to address any of your concerns.

At all professional, well-run programs, a doctor or addiction specialist will conduct an interview and assessment as the first steps in the intake process. One of the main purposes in these procedures is to determine the extent of your addiction and identify your specific symptoms. Your doctor or specialist will also take the opportunity to identify PD, anxiety disorders or other mental health conditions that must be addressed during treatment.

Once you know that the facilities on your short list follow these accepted practices, you can look for the extra benefits provided by truly exceptional buprenorphine rehab programs. The best programs view their participants as individuals, not faceless victims of addiction. This holistic approach can be an essential factor in making you feel comfortable and welcome. It often includes personalized supporting treatments that focus on mind and body wellness. Top programs may also offer cutting-edge, supportive options not found in most facilities.

Once you complete primary treatment, aftercare can also play an important role in your long-term recovery. Look for rehabilitation programs that allow you to check in periodically for follow-up assessment and assistance.

No matter which program you choose, only you can take the gradual steps that lead to sobriety. However, by choosing your buprenorphine rehab options wisely, you increase your chances of making that journey a reality.

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