Is Suboxone an opiate blocker?

Some people have the misconceived notion that Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) is an “opiate blocker”. Well…. yes and no. Here’s what you need to know…

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid receptor agonist which means that it partially activates opioid receptors in your brain. But because buprenorphine binds to the receptor site with such great affinity (strength), it helps prevent other opiates from fully latching on to the receptor site, hence indirectly blocking the effects of other drugs.

The use of buprenorphine for opioid dependency can be helpful but may not be right for everyone. The other non-opioid medication treatment option offered at Newtown Behavioral is Vivitrol.


What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol (extended-release naltrexone injection) is a true opiate receptor antagonist and is used to:

  • Treat alcohol dependence
  • Prevent relapse to opiates after detox

It is a once monthly injection of naltrexone suspension that fully blocks opioid receptors in your central nervous system preventing the euphoric effects from occurring.  This treatment is a way of ‘protecting clients from themselves’ especially after the initial phases of completing detoxification (opiates and alcohol).  The potential for dependency to a substance is enhanced when there are positive effects from using the substance.  Once Vivitrol is injected, the medication is active for a month and blocks the euphoric effects of both alcohol and opiates.  When there are no positive reinforcements to using a substance, the dependency diminishes.

Please call for a free consultation on our Vivitrol Program.