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THE ROAD TO SUD/OUD ADDICTION AND RECOVERY: Healing Body, Mind, and Soul - Part 4

Updated: Oct 22, 2022

If you or a loved one is pinned to the wall of addiction, let's go, the train ride starts here. The three-part process of recovery is one that all the parts can embrace as if on a journey toward freedom and healing of the body, mind, and soul embraced by family, friends, and faith. We are all addicted when one is! No one is an island, we are a forest, rivers into oceans, a drop of water is never alone. A grain of sand is not seen but a million are.

When you become aware of the situation, really aware:

  • Reach out for help immediately but don't panic. Breathe. Just stop and notice your breath.

  • Research and learn the causes and treatment options, take notes. sleep on it.

  • Connect and talk. Find the right course.

This blog is meant to help those on the journey to recovery see through the fog of ignorance and despair to a clear view and a course of action.

The 12-Step program's first few decisions require that we must surrender, admit, and be honest with ourselves and others, as we develop the faith to put trust in our ability to reach the kingdom of heaven on earth with the help of science and love from our brothers and sisters with whom we can walk the mile as we journey to freedom on our raft across the other side.

a multi step process of mindfulness
stairway to healing

12 steps of addiction recovery - a secular guide
Secular 12 steps addiction recovery guide

After the patient has taken the first steps: surrendered accepted Suboxone Outpatient Treatments for Opioid Recovery are the most popular but there are risks involved.

Suboxone is used during detox and treatment to help individuals overcome opioid addiction. It is the standard approach to opioid treatment in Florida. The medication can be used in both short and long-term basis as needed.

Suboxone is an effective tool in the treatment of addiction. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs use Suboxone to both alleviate withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings at the same time with an agonist and an antagonist working on the brain's opiate receptors at the same time and to discourage drug misuse. Doctors must meet certain qualifications before they are able to prescribe Suboxone. Refer to Part 2 of the Series Addiction Recovery: Reality or Myth

Nearly 70% of deaths by drug overdose in 2018 involved an opioid. Since then, this already staggering statistic was fueled further by the introduction of synthetic opioids like fentanyl which is 100 times more potent than heroin. Regardless of the type of opioid a person is addicted to, opioids are powerful, dangerous, and highly addictive.

Only a small percentage of people with addiction get the help they need, sadly,opioid addiction is extremely challenging to overcome without treatment. Even with help from a drug and alcohol treatment program, opioid addiction is associated with high rates of relapse.

Due to the epic proportions of the opioids crisis, addiction treatment centers across America have begun ramping up the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), an approach that combines traditional treatment methods with FDA-approved medications. One of the most frequently used MAT medications in Florida is Suboxone which is made up of two drugs, an agonist and an antagonist.

Naloxone-an ingredient in the drug Suboxone

Naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist that binds with the highest affinity to the mu-opioid receptor subtype in the central nervous system (CNS).

  • blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness.

  • is used in an emergency situation to treat a possible opioid overdose in an adult or child. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.

  • should not be used in place of emergency medical care for an overdose.

  • is also used to help diagnose whether a person has used an overdose of an opioid.

  • administration may cause sudden withdrawal symptoms

Buprenorphine-a second ingredient of Suboxone

Buprenorphine is an opioid medication. Buprenorphine sublingual tablets (given under the tongue) are a prescription medicine used to treat opioid addiction (either prescription or illegal drugs), as part of a complete treatment program that also includes counseling and behavioral therapy.

Buprenorphine sublingual tablets are most often used for the first 1 or 2 days to help you start with treatment. Other forms of buprenorphine are used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use buprenorphine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Generic name: buprenorphine and naloxone (oral/sublingual) [ BUE-pre-NOR-feen-and-nal-OX-one ] Dosage form: buccal film, sublingual film, sublingual tablet. Drug class: Narcotic analgesic combinations.

Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication, sometimes called a narcotic. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse.


There are alternative drugs in different forms available to treat opioid use disorder.

Talk with your healthcare provider which option would be best suited to you.


  • Subcutaneous injection (Sublocade), Implant (Probuphine), Sublingual (Subutex)

Buprenorphine and naloxone

  • Sublingual (Bunavail, Zubsolv) Lofexidine

  • Tablets (Lucemyra) Methadone

  • Tablets (Dolophine)

Common side effects of Suboxone include headache, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. In addition, some people become attached to the relaxation Suboxone can cause, and that can lead to addiction and/or drug relapse.

  • Insomnia and restlessness.

  • Decreased ability to concentrate.

  • Damage to the heart and circulatory system.

  • Damage to the respiratory system.

Suboxone can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH.

The potential for paranoia and hallucinations - Increased aggression and restlessness - Increased heart rate and blood pressure - Increased potential for heart attack or stroke - The potential for seizures.

SUBOXONE is a Schedule III prescription drug accepted for medical use which may cause dependence when abused. While it is effective at treating opioid addiction, it may cause physical dependence and should never be stopped without medical guidance.

Suboxone comes in the form of an oral film that dissolves when placed under the tongue (sublingual) or between the gums and cheek (buccal). The medication is available in four different strengths:

  • 2 mg buprenorphine / 0.5 mg naloxone

  • 4 mg buprenorphine / 1 mg naloxone

  • 8 mg buprenorphine / 2 mg naloxone

  • 12 mg buprenorphine / 3 mg naloxone


Opioid medicine can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should give naloxone and/or seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Call your doctor at once if you have:
  • opioid withdrawal symptoms - shivering, goose bumps, increased sweating, feeling hot or cold, runny nose, watery eyes, diarrhea, muscle pain;

  • noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing, breathing that stops during sleep;

  • slow heartbeat or weak pulse;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • chest pain, trouble breathing;

  • low cortisol levels - nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness; orOpioid withdrawal symptoms - shivering, goose bumps, increased sweating, feeling hot or cold, runny nose, watery eyes, diarrhea, muscle pain;

  • noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing, breathing that stops during sleep;

  • slow heartbeat or weak pulse;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • chest pain, trouble breathing;

  • low cortisol levels - nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness; or

  • liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice(yellowing of the skin or eyes).

  • constipation, nausea, vomiting;

  • headache;

  • increased sweating;

  • sleep problems (insomnia); or

  • pain anywhere in your body.

Steps 1 - 3 To Recovery For the Treatment of Opiate Addiction

Recovery is a multistep process of mindful development and equanimity in which we live our lives, a feeling or peace and harmony that can be attained.
  1. Surrender - Admit -Become Aware - Recognize, once you get to the point that you know you need help and you can't do it by yourself. Look for God within, in your life there aer people who love you and want to help you if you are honest and willing to put your best effort.

  2. Ask for help. Open up to your friends and family. Visit a doctor. Get help. Believe and hope for the best. Have faith.

  3. Choose a method of control, detox, and recovery that meets your lifestyle as much as possible. But in the end your life is at stake and you must be willing to accept some discomfort or 'lose some to gain some' and get your life back and moving forward, not stuck in addictive habits of self destruction that you have acquired as a mask for happiness.

It's as simple as calling a hotline or the closest rehab near you. It's at your fingertips. Do it! Google and research. Call two or three places before you decide where to put your trust but. Use your intuition. For the love of God is in you. The Florida Department of Health oversees substance abuse treatment programs. There are free addiction recover clinics that prescribe medications assisted treatment options but the patient must pay for the drug.

And with God nothing is impossible. But you don't need to be Christian or Catholic, Muslim or Buddhist to have and feel and be the love of God that is in you and everybody. You just need to tap into its rich full embrace. Then you will live by faith doing what you need to do to heal your triad, body, mind and soul.

If you have chosen to start on Suboxone to 'wean off' of opiates, you will eventually have to wean off of suboxone too. Suboxone can even be prescribed online. It is affordable with or without insurance. Stats show it is safer than other medications for the treatment of opioid addiction. It comes in film strips and tables. Not every doctor can prescribe opiate addiction treatment drugs, though. Doctors need to pass a special certification requirements.

Less is better, of course, to avoid side effects. The amount of time you spend on Suboxone depends on each person's But how long should a person remain on Suboxone before they become addicted to that? And what is the next step.

There will be testing times over and over again. Reading makes you open your heart and mind to new possibilities.


What are the steps in the journey of a thousand miles?


Detox With Suboxone

Within the first 8-12 hours after the last dose of opioids, patients may begin taking Suboxone. It’s important that the medication isn’t administered too soon after one’s last dose because taking Suboxone too early can cause precipitated withdrawal symptoms. However, once opioids have left a person’s system, Suboxone is great for relieving withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. It can prevent severe withdrawal symptoms and relapse during the detox period.

you are not broken
what is empathy but not a profound sense of understanding

Inpatient Rehab With Suboxone

After detox, many patients will continue taking Suboxone until all of their acute and post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) subside. PAWS can last for several months or years in some people, so the duration of Suboxone treatment can vary.

Suboxone is most effective when combined with a treatment program that utilizes behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support.

  • More users have had success using Suboxone to overcome their opioid addiction than with Methadone or placebo pills.

  • Taking Suboxone to overcome addiction has been found to be more effective than quitting without anything at all.

  • Some studies have found that long-term use may be related to everything from low testosterone to tooth decay.

  • Quitting opiates is possible when using Suboxone as long as it is prescribed by a Suboxone doctor.

Medical withdrawal dosages will vary based on each individual and what their past addiction was. Each person needs to be under medical supervision at this time to avoid feeling severe withdrawal symptoms or craving opiates, or worse.

Generally this medication is going to be used for a year or longer in order to gradually get a patient off of opioids altogether. Quitting cold turkey can be extremely difficult and often results in the user abusing the drugs more than they were in the past. This can easily lead to overdose, which may be fatal with some individuals.

Suboxone helps individuals, sons, brothers, sisters, and daughters to overcome opiate addiction by attaching to receptors inside the brain that were once overcome by opiates. After the Suboxone takes these over, the body will start to register that the drugs are in the system and it won't feel the symptoms it would when going cold turkey.

This allows the user to stop taking opiates all together without having to feel severely ill all the time. Going to a rehab center is generally recommended because addiction alone can bee xtremely difficult. Doctors know how much and when to administer Suboxone to each individual patient in order to ensure it's working how it should be.

However, Suboxone is not intended for long-term, or indefinite use. As this Psychology Today article attests, Suboxone not only possesses addictive qualities itself, but it also does not fully address why people get addicted to opioids.

What is IOP?

In an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for the treatment of Substance Use Disorder (SUD), A Patient can live at home and come into the rehabilitation center each day for therapies. This may even be accomplished combining tele health and in-person appointments. For a few hours a day, the patient engages in intensive forms of therapy that target the behaviors and thinking patterns driving their drug abuse such as CBT, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and other types f co-occurring diagnosis.

Is IOP Treatment Effective?

The exact duration and types of therapy can vary, but usually, it comprises 10 to 12 hours of individual and group therapy sessions per week. Clients are usually required to visit the rehab center 3 or 4 times a week.

Clinical research and statistics indicate that intensive outpatient treatment is an effective and viable way for individuals with a range of substance use disorders to begin their recovery. In fact, a broad study performed in 2014 found that intensive outpatient treatment is as effective as inpatient treatment for most individuals.

According to the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) advisory, clients are required to attend their IOP therapies for a minimum of 9 hours per week with a maximum of 20 hours per week.

In some cases, intensive outpatient programs for substance abuse are part of a step-down program that begins with inpatient rehab. In this case, the user starts in a residential rehab facility, and/or a partial hospitalization program, then transitions to IOP services.

Some IOP programs are entirely online and virtual, like Lionrock, . There is no excuse for individuals living anywhere in the contiguous US to sign up and follow the program from beginning to end once the patient has completed the first three steps in the 12 Step program: 1. Surrender- 2. Look for Help 3. Choose a Pathway to Recovery.

What is the difference between IOP and OP

An Outpatient Program for the treatment of SUDs are not meant to be the starting point of drug recovery but the after care of an Inpatient Program.

According to New Hope Corps, Outpatient Programs (OP) are for those seeking mental rehab or drug rehab, but who also stay at home every night. The main difference between Outpatient Program (OP) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is in the amount of hours the patient spends at the facility. Most of the time an outpatient program is designed for someone who has completed an inpatient stay and is looking to continue their growth in recovery. Outpatient is not meant to be the starting point, it is commonly referred to as aftercare.

Joining the community of SUD families, medical providers, and science through PODCASTS, for example, is reassuring for families and patients to know that they are not alone in their pursuit of liberation.

Inpatient Program

Patients that enter IP are in residential facilities that offer housing and meals in addition to substance abuse treatment. Residential treatment allows patients to stay focused on recovery and immerse themselves in an environment totally separate from their lives.

While some rehab centers offer short-term Inpatient Program treatment from a few days to a week or two, others only provide treatment on a long-term basis for several weeks to months. Some tailor treatment to the patient's individual requirements.

To choose the best IP you must match cultural background, location, and affordability. Insurance may not cover 100% of the treatment and you and your family will need to cover the remainder cost. While luxury drug rehabs may be exploitative, other alternatives are available from moderate to sliding scale payment options.

What Is PHP?

Another SUD Program is the Day Treatment or Partial Hospitalization Program

A day treatment or partial hospitalization program (PHP) is the most intensive form of outpatient care. Although you can live at home in this program you must regularly attend sessions at the rehab center or a hospital for a period of 20 hours a week for 2 to 4 weeks.

A traditional Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) on the other hand, requires under nine hours of weekly treatment. PHP treatments are also less expensive than IP treatment.

When you first enter any of the programs mentioned above, a behavioral health specialist should help you create a personalized treatment plan. Depending on your needs, this plan may include:

  • medicine assisted treatment

  • psychiatric evaluation

  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to learn how you can change unhealthy behaviors and develop important coping skills

  • motivational interviewing (MI), to improve your motivation to stay sober and help you plan your life

  • family therapy, for you and your loved ones to learn how to support recovery

  • group therapy and/or support groups, help you connect with other people recovering from substance abuse and addiction

  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT), where doctors can use medications to reduce cravings for opioids, alcohol, or tobacco

  • wellness activities like meditation, yoga, exercise, and journaling

  • education on addiction and other mental health concerns

  • medication management

life-long program that includes ongoing checkups and communication. Talk therapy should not be abandoned as new healthy habits are built.


With this multipart Blog Series, The Blog of Angela Terga: "Memoirs of a Mad Teacher intends to bring awareness to topics of Drug Rehabilitation to provide informative up-to-date information for friends and family members of those afflicted with addiction behavior disorder. As a former teacher, parent, and aunt, I feel compelled to dispel the myths and find out the facts and options available to many young and older former students, family members, and friends, to benefit the village of helpers that I believe we should be as an interdependent global and local community.

Offering ghostwriting services, adaptations, content creation, book publishing , and film production to the broad community of artists and small business owners in America confronts me with marketing strategies for success, but far from providing commercial content that has no depth, I have chosen to write about topics that matter and offer where to look for more in-depth knowledge.

The world is both my classroom and my teacher. I hope to create content that makes a difference and is non commercialized each time I write, whether it is a novel or a blog. The novels I write are very childish (innocent) - I know - it is so that we should enjoy ourselves as children in dreaming. and each of my stories is a dream for humanity.

Teresita A. Terga


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