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How Probuphine® Implants Can Help Prevent Relapse

As the opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc and claim lives, there’s hope in medications that help people get into Recovery and stay in Recovery, and we’re proud to offer them as part of our recovery programs.

At Northshore Family Practice, our team specializes in addiction medicine. We understand the incredible hurdles that come with trying to break free from a substance use disorder like opioid addiction. All too often, addiction and dependence conspire against you.  They cause you to relapse, despite your best efforts. To help keep you on the road to recovery, we’re pleased to offer Probuphine, an implant that was approved by the FDA in 2016.

Here’s a look at how the Probuphine implant can help you finally gain the upper hand on your opioid use disorder.

Fighting the problem on all fronts

The reason why we label an opioid problem as a “substance use disorder” is that there are two components: addiction and dependence. Addiction encompasses the effects that opioids have on your brain.  Addiction rewires your brain to receive more of the drug. This leads to uncontrollable cravings and the inability to quit. Dependence, on the other hand, describes the physical dependence your body has on the drug. Dependence causes the withdrawal symptoms.

If you’ve tried quitting opioids, you understand how Addiction and Dependence make the road to Recovery incredibly difficult. Not only is your body responding to the absence of the drugs with extremely unpleasant side effects like body aches, nausea, and excessive sweating, your brain is shouting at you to pick up again.

So, when it comes to taking charge of your life, we want to approach the problem from every angle. First, we offer a detox program, which helps you weather the withdrawal symptoms more easily by using medically assisted therapies like buprenorphine and “comfort medications.” Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist.  It targets the same opioid receptors in your brain as opioids like heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone, but doesn’t lead to the same effects (high). The end result is that we can manage your withdrawal symptoms far better.

Once your body is clear of the dependence, our next job is to tackle your addiction, which can be a much harder target. To help in this effort, we often recommend the continued use of buprenorphine to control your cravings.

The role that Probuphine plays

While treating opioid use disorders with buprenorphine isn’t new, historically we could only deliver this medication in a daily sublingual or pill form. Recognizing the margin of error when it comes to a daily regimen such as this, the FDA approved the Probuphine implant, which we place under your skin.

Once in place, the Probuphine implant slowly releases the buprenorphine over six months, allowing you to focus on your other recovery efforts without having to deal with cravings that can lead to relapse.

The Probuphine implant is designed for those who have been taking buprenorphine for three months and who are ready to take the next step in their recovery.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Probuphine implant can help you finally break the chains of your opioid use disorder, please contact our office in Bothell, Washington, for a confidential consultation.

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