At MARC, we specialize in treating addiction as a biochemical brain disease. There are two FDA approved medicines we use specifically in treating addiction as well well as other medicines that may help. Buprenorphine (Suboxone and Zubsolv) is a partial opioid agonist can be used to eliminate cravings and reduce relapse, allowing people to live happy, productive lives. Naloxone (Naltrexone and Vivitrol) is an opioid blocker that can help prevent relapse and overdose.
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Buprenorphine is one of the few FDA approved medications for the treatment of addiction. Suboxone® and Zubsolv® are both brand-name medications composed of buprenorphine (a partial-agonist with limited opioid effect) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist that reverses the effect of opioids). Suboxone® and Zubsolv® are both administered sublingually (under the tongue) and help eliminate cravings and withdrawal symptoms so that you can think and function normally.
Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which blocks the opiate receptor, creating a protective measure to guard against relapse and overdose. Naloxone can be taken orally (Naltrexone) or through a monthly injection (Vivatrol). If someone taking Naloxone ingests an opioid, the opioid has no effect and the brain begins to “unlearn” the connection between opioids and pleasure. The medicine also protects against overdose during a relapse by blocking the opioid’s effects.
Naloxone is also used in the treatment of alcoholism. By blocking the opioid receptors, alcohol does not have as pleasurable an effect as normal, and the brain begins to “unlearn” the association between alcohol and feeling good. This treatment is especially effective with moderate drinkers who find they drink more than planned after a few drinks.