Buprenorphine Addiction Treatment

The buprenorphine molecule was first introduced by a British company called Reckitt Benckiser (known as Reckitt & Colman at the time), in 1978. It was available as an injection used to treat severe pain and released as a sublingual formulation in 1982.

Buprenorphine is a narcotic analgesic which acts as a partial agonist/antagonist at opiate receptors. This receptor blockade is present even at low doses (2mg). In addition to buprenorphine’s receptor blocking — which in and of itself will precipitate withdrawal symptoms when administered to an individual who is physically dependent upon other opioid drugs which act as full agonists (heroin) — when naloxone is mixed into the drug (Suboxone), it contains an additional μ-opioid receptor blocker.

During October of 2002 the US FDA approved buprenorphine (using the brand names Subutex and Suboxone) for use in opioid maintenance.  The significant advantage that Buprenex has over methadone maintenance, is the fact the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 made it possible for physicians who receive special training in their use, to prescribe Schedule III, IV and V narcotic analgesics for the purpose of treating addiction with substitution therapy.

In other words: within the United States a clinician can prescribe Subutex or Suboxone to a patient, and you can simply go to a pharmacy and refill your prescriptions like every other individual who has a medical condition (opiate/opioid dependence). You are no longer subjected to the extremely degrading and dehumanizing experience that methadone maintenance treatment programs provide.

Buprenorphine is an absolute miracle and a tremendous breakthrough, from a legal perspective.  From a medical perspective, utilizing buprenorphine in substitution-therapy for opioid maintenance, presents significant problems when a patient attempts to detox, due to its’ mode of action and extremely long half-life.  Ibogaine addiction interruption therapy and treatment for opioid dependence is effective for Subutex and Suboxone, but the procedure is more complicated than any other addiction we treat.

In an ideal situation it can take 4-6 weeks of time (or more) of gradually tapering your use of buprenorphine, and switching over to short-acting opioids (SAO’s), prior to receiving ibogaine treatment for opiate dependence, to successfully treat an addiction to Subutex or Suboxone.

Subutex is essentially just a brand name for buprenorphine, however, Suboxone presents its’ own unique complications when undergoing ibogaine treatment for detox from opiates and opioids, due to the inclusion of the opioid antagonist naloxone. Naloxone occupies opiate receptors within the body, and displaces other molecules. It is extremely important not to have any naloxone present in the body prior to receiving ibogaine therapy.

In a less-than-ideal situation — in other words: the real world — when a patient is unable to make the switch to short-acting opioids prior to arriving at Clear Sky Recovery’s ibogaine treatment clinic in Cancún, successfully detoxing from buprenorphine can take between 10 days to over 2 weeks of time. Prior to receiving ibogaine detox therapy, we need to switch you to short-acting opiates, stabilize on SAO’s, and then administer multiple doses of ibogaine as required, with several days downtime between booster doses.

Please note: we will not treat patients who are on more than 8mg. of buprenorphine at  time of arrival. Unless you plan to stay in Cancun for 2-3 months, it’s not going to work. Period. There are many ibogaine treatment clinics who will make assurances and promises and are happy to take your money for an ibogaine detox which cannot possibly work when applied to a heavy buprenorphine addiction, with the expectation being that you’re going to be reset in a week.

Ibogaine cannot detox you from high doses of buprenorphine in short periods of time. Anybody who claims this is possible, is at best ignorant, at worst, significantly misrepresenting how ibogaine interacts with buprenorphine, and knowingly selling you a treatment that will not have a positive outcome.

Suboxone and Subutex addiction is not an easy condition to treat, and it’s extremely important that you, your clinician, and our M.D.’s, remain in contact during the period of time leading up to your ibogaine treatment.

We have had tremendous success utilizing ibogaine addiction interruption therapy to mitigate upwards of 95% of withdrawal symptoms related to detoxing off of buprenorphine. But this is the most complicated protocol we have developed, that takes the greatest amount of time to successfully complete.

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