Buprenorphine – A Unique Life-Saving Medication
The partial agonist effect of buprenorphine is unique to buprenorphine, and means that at a dose that effectively relieves craving, a ceiling effect prevents the euphoria associated with drug abuse and protects against overdose deaths. Buprenorphine can allow one to regain a normal state of mind – free of withdrawal, cravings and the drug-induced highs and lows of addiction and enable patients to get back to school, work, and family.
As a medication-assisted treatment, it suppresses withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids, does not cause euphoria in the opioid-dependent patient, and it blocks the effects of the other (problem) opioids for at least 24 hours. If a full opioid is taken within 24 hours of Buprenorphine, then the patient will quickly discover that the full opioid is not working – they will not get high. This 24-hour reprieve gives the patient time to reconsider the wisdom of relapsing with a problem opioid while undergoing medication-assisted treatment.