Suboxone is a medication with the ability to reduce symptoms of opioid addiction. However, suboxone does contain an opioid, which leads to suboxone addiction. Many people begin taking suboxone as a means of not using other opioids, only to find they have replaced their drug of choice with suboxone.
Suboxone has been praised for its effectiveness in helping heroin addicts maintain a less harmful lifestyle, and the drug even touted more sales than Viagra and Adderall in the United States. The sheer scale at which the drug has spread across the nation is drastic. While many people see a freedom from their heroin and opioid addictions, they are eventually met with an addiction to suboxone that while less harmful, is painful to overcome and often leads to relapse.
Suboxone is a medication that consists of two different drugs. It includes buprenorphine and naloxone, which both work together. The buprenorphine functions to provide a more mild dose of opioids, while the naloxone works as an opioid agonist to block opioid receptors in the brain. While this can be effective in treating withdrawal symptoms, it can cause precipitated withdrawal symptoms for people who are currently on opioids.
Since naloxone alone just blocks opioid receptors, it is more effective in treating addiction when paired with buprenorphine. Unfortunately, those who take suboxone long term will still experience chemical dependency to opioids. Due to the opioid presence in suboxone, there are still people who abuse it.
Suboxone is a long acting drug. While it is quite effective in reducing cravings and harm reduction, it still poses a high risk for addiction and abuse.
While many people use suboxone at a detox program or rehabilitation program, there is still a propensity for abuse and addiction. This is due to the strength of the drug itself.
For example, some people who did not have an opioid addiction might use suboxone recreationally and experience high, euphoric effects similar to those from heroin. Others may be prescribed suboxone and take more than their intended dose.
Finally, there are those who take suboxone long term as a harm reduction or maintenance program. These people will experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop taking suboxone. If you are concerned that you or a loved one is addicted to, or abusing suboxone, we are here to help.
Common signs of suboxone abuse include:
- Excessive sweating
- Dilated pupils
- Watery eyes
- Memory issues or confusion
- Decreased sex drive
Risks of Suboxone Abuse
Suboxone, due to its chemical makeup, has effects that last much longer than most other opiates. Effects can be felt for up to 72 hours after a dose. This is a major risk, especially for suboxone abusers unaware of this fact. Overdose becomes common when people take multiple doses and the body cannot handle it. Another major risk of suboxone comes when someone takes it with traces of other opiates in his or her body. This is because suboxone can precipitate the withdrawal symptoms of opiates.
Common risks of suboxone abuse include:
- Blurry vision
- Blurred vision
- Respiratory depression
- Precipitated withdrawal
Signs of a suboxone overdose include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme lack of coordination
If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of an overdose please call 911 immediately.
As previously stated, many people begin taking suboxone to wean themselves off of other opioids like heroin or painkillers. Others begin taking suboxone as a maintenance drug and take it for years. Finally, there are people who use suboxone recreationally to get high.
Regardless of how people start taking suboxone, it is easy to become addicted. As people take suboxone, their body forms a tolerance to the drug. This means that they must take more of the drug to achieve the same effect.
Over time, their body becomes dependent on the opioid in suboxone, buprephenone. This results in opioid dependency and creates a need for addiction treatment. Most people end up needing to enter a treatment program due to the severe side effects of suboxone and its withdrawal symptoms.
Because suboxone remains in the system for longer than other opioids, withdrawals can last for multiple weeks. However, the most severe symptoms only last a few days. For most people, a safe medical detox is the only viable option to overcome suboxone addiction.
Since people end up building a tolerance and strong dependence to suboxone very quickly, it can be difficult to stop. People who are addicted to suboxone will be met with cravings for opioids accompanied by withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit. This increases the likelihood of relapse on other opioids.
Common suboxone withdrawal symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Body aches
- Sweats or chills
- Headache or migraines
- Anxiety and depression
- Compulsive cravings for opioids
Withdrawal symptoms are usually more severe, as well as more dangerous when someone tries to stop without professional help. The Haven Detox is fully equipped to handle suboxone withdrawal and treatment. We use medication assisted detox, as well as other therapies to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms.
We utilize evidence based therapies and treatments to help people overcome addiction.
The Detox Process
Suboxone is a drug with opiate-like qualities that is often used to relieve the withdrawal symptoms of people coming off of heroin or methadone addictions. Unfortunately, suboxone is also highly addictive. Many patients are unable to stop using suboxone after they begin taking it. Many patients stay on suboxone for a long time as a maintenance drug only to find they have replaced one addiction for another. We have treated countless suboxone addictions and have effective treatment plans in place for every scenario.
While some people are able to stop on their own at home, they are met with underlying issues and compulsive cravings. This inevitably results in relapse on suboxone or worse, other opioids like heroin. Those that are able to stop on their own are also faced with post-acute withdrawal syndrome, with mild symptoms cropping up regularly for up to 6 months.
At the Haven Detox, we fully detox patients off of suboxone over a 5 to 7 day period. We then treat the underlying causes of addiction, as well as focus on relapse prevention and other therapies to build the groundwork for successful recovery.
While suboxone has made a difference in peoples’ lives, and even allowed them to stop taking heroin, it is still a problem for countless people. We treat hundreds of cases of suboxone addiction each year. If you or a loved one is struggling to stop taking suboxone, you are not alone and we are here to help.
Our program begins with an over the phone assessment. This allows our admissions counselors to work with our medical staff and create an individualized treatment plan based on individual needs. We then work with you or your loved one to schedule an admission to our program.
It is our goal to safely and effectively free people from addiction while preparing them for success in their lives of recovery. For more information on our programs, call us today at (561) 328-8627