Suboxone is a depressant, consisting of two different medicines, buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is used to reduce the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms in addicts after they stop using heroin or similar opioid drugs, and naloxone is used to reverse the effects of heroin or similar drugs. Suboxone is a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction, and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for medical use. Buprenorphine is a class of drugs titled opioid partial agonists, relieving symptoms of opiate withdrawal, while Naloxone is a class of drugs named opioid antagonists, used to reverse the effects of opioids. Although many drug rehab facilities use Suboxone as a treatment medication, the drug does have addictive potential. In some instances, a person with enter treatment for heroin abuse, but will leave with a Suboxone dependency due to improper treatment medication practices. The individual will then need to seek out Suboxone addiction treatment in order to get clean.

Suboxone Addiction Treatment



Suboxone falls in the Schedule III-V controlled substances, meaning that it can lead to moderate physical dependence, but high psychological dependence, measured by the length of use. Since it is used to treat one addiction, the body may build tolerance, quickly leaving the patients with Suboxone addiction.
Some of the common street names for this drug are: Bupe, Oranges, Saboxin, Box/ Boxes, Sub, Sobos or Stops.

Suboxone was marketed in the 80’s by Reckitt Benckiser, a British health products company. The first use of Suboxone was as a painkiller, proving itself effective as morphine in small doses, without the sense of euphoria compared to other opioids. With the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000, Suboxone became legal in the USA and was used as a treatment for opioid addiction instead of methadone. In 2003 the first addiction treatment with Suboxone was done at Columbia University, with a success rate of 88%.

Despite the huge push for Suboxone use, there’s a dark side to it too. A study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported a ten-fold increase in Emergency Room visits involving buprenorphine, with more than half of the 30,000 hospitalized patients in 2010 used buprenorphine for non-medical reasons.

Suboxone is taken orally, as a tablet or film, by placing it under the tongue (sublingual) or inside the cheek (buccal), and allowing it to dissolve. It’s important not to chew it, and not to swallow it, so it can pass on the first metabolism where the drug is going through the liver.

Suboxone Abuse and Addiction

Suboxone is a prescription medication created to help people fighting opioid addiction. Basically, it reduces the cravings for opioids and facilitates both physical and psychological symptoms during withdrawal. Suboxone binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, facilitating in the process of dopamine releasing and feeling “normal.”

This is why some individuals continue to take Suboxone, after their treatment is done. As a highly addictive substance, especially used to treat addicts, Suboxone can create a whole new level of addiction.
According to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) an estimated 21,483 people visited ERs in 2011 for non-medical buprenorphine uses. This is five times more than in 2006. Additionally, 3,625 individuals with toxic buprenorphine level were reported by poison centers in 2011, being five times more than in 2010. From 2003 to 2013, nearly 420 deaths are suspected as related to Suboxone abuse.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Suboxone Abuse?

Suboxone is a powerful and highly addictive substance when used in excess or any manner other than prescribed. When taken in controlled doses, the buprenorphine component will not cause euphoria or sedation. Accurate prescribing practices can provide feelings of calmness and relaxing, allowing patients to continue going to work, have social lives and attend therapy. However, any form of Suboxone abuse, such as taking larger doses than prescribed, can create euphoric sensations. Naloxone is the drug’s second ingredient, as it can help prevent these effects. Unfortunately, this is not enough to rid the potential for abuse, and the risk for developing a Suboxone dependency is still very high. A person with a Suboxone use disorder can manifest physical and psychological signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of short-term use:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cramps and muscle pain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Watery eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of interest
  • Insomnia
  • Small pupils
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Problems with memory recall

Signs and symptoms after long-term use:

  • Inability to grasp own emotions
  • Abnormal responses to stress
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of interest in sex

Suboxone contains an opioid, and therefore, taking it in combination with another opioid-based drug can be life-threatening. It is essential for patients taking Suboxone in a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program to avoid mixing the medication with certain substances due to dangerous interactions.

Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium and Klonopin, are prescribed by doctors to relieve anxiety and insomnia. These are central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs that work to slow down heart rate and lower blood pressure, while also slowing down one’s breathing. The buprenorphine in Suboxone is also a depressant drug, and mixing it with benzodiazepines only intensifies the depressant effects. This combination of drugs can lead to a severe lack of coordination, unconsciousness, respiratory failure, overdose, coma, and death.

If Suboxone is mixed with cocaine, two dangerous effects for the user come to light. Cocaine is a stimulant (an upper) and reduces the level of buprenorphine within the Suboxone user, quickly leading to emergence of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Such combination increases the risk of a cocaine overdose. Suboxone is a depressant and it reduces the felt effects of cocaine, signaling to the users that they can handle even larger amount of cocaine, and most commonly they can’t.

Alcohol is classified as a depressant, affecting the central nervous system. Being a legal substance that can be easily reached, it may be the biggest danger for an ignorant Suboxone user. Combining alcohol with Suboxone can have the same dangerous (often fatal) effects as taking benzodiazepines with Suboxone, manifesting risks such as unconsciousness and respiratory failure.

What To Expect From Suboxone Addiction Treatment

Suboxone is often named a “blockbuster” drug reducing signs and symptoms of opiate addiction and withdrawal. But Suboxone abuse, opens up a dark side, making Suboxone addiction a serious problem. In terms of Suboxone treatment and rehab, detox is usually the first stage in any Suboxone addiction treatment program. Such Suboxone addiction treatment needs to be combined with appropriate therapy, and a specific aftercare support should follow.

Suboxone detox will be the first phase of treatment and should be done under the supervision of medical professionals and a drug rehab facility. When compared to the majority of other opioids, Suboxone usually takes longer to produce effects within the body, but remains active for much longer. Having this in mind, the time needed for Suboxone addiction treatment is slightly longer in some cases. Because it is a long-acting drug, the withdrawal symptoms often don’t set in as quickly when compared to other opioids. In addition to this, the withdrawal symptoms can stick around for longer, making Suboxone withdrawal more difficult.

The process of Suboxone withdrawal is rather complex. Below is a timeline showing when specific symptoms will show up in the detox process. It is important to remember that this timeline varies on a case-by-case basis, as no two individuals or addictions are the same.

  • Days 1 – 3: The physical symptoms will emerge within 6-12 hours after the last Suboxone abuse. Unpleasant symptoms may include muscle pain, nausea and diarrhea, but the professionals at the Suboxone drug treatment center will administer medications to facilitate such symptoms.
  • Days 4 – 7: At this time, insomnia should be expected, since the body will start eliminating the Suboxone, and the psychological effects of Suboxone withdrawal need to be anticipated, very often including anxiety and irritability.
  • Weeks 2 – 4: When the first week passes by, many patients become vulnerable to depression and low mood. The staff at the Restore Treatment LA Suboxone rehab center will give support through this co-occurring disorder with methods like talk therapy and maybe a medicinal intervention.
  • Second month and above: At this stage, relapse prevention is most vital. Even though the presence of Suboxone is nowhere to be found in the system, the brain remains wired and is craving the drug.

At Restore Drug Treatment Center, we support you through this trying time and help to make the process of withdrawal as comfortable as possible for you. Attempting to detox at home is dangerous and often results in relapse. Our clinical staff supervised you 24/7, monitor your progress, and address withdrawal symptoms as soon as any arise. We use therapeutic remedies to help relieve unpleasant symptoms of suboxone withdrawal, and may also use medications if needed. Once your body have completely detoxed from Suboxone, the rehabilitation phase can begin.

Non-addictive medication that can help the patient cope with Suboxone withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Anti-nausea medications, including Pepto-Bismol
  • Non-prescription painkillers, such as Ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen
  • Stomach pain remedies and antacids
  • Anti-diarrhea medicines, such as loperamide

In terms of Suboxone rehabilitation, there are various types of programs used, including inpatient treatment, residential rehab, and outpatient programs. Residential rehab requires that the client is physically present and living in the Suboxone drug treatment center. Outpatient treatment programs don’t offer constant supervision and in-depth recovery programs for patients. People who are in need of treatment for any form of opioid drug should consider inpatient or residential rehab rather than an outpatient program. Those who take part in Suboxone addiction treatment at a residential rehab will have a significantly greater chance at long-term recovery.

Regardless of which level of care you believe is the best fit for you, it is important to choose a Suboxone addiction treatment program that includes individual therapy and other forms of counseling, such as group or family therapy. Relapse prevention programs and strong aftercare support are also important aspects to look for when seeking the most suitable program. For your convenience, Restore Drug Treatment LA offers several variations of these recovery programs.

It is very important for each patient to be properly evaluated at the submission stage, since often the use of Suboxone is due to some other underlying mental cause. Hence, dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders should be part of the treatment for Suboxone addiction too. A lot of individuals who were part of a drug rehab program, ones with co-occurring disorders, nearly never got proper care for their mental health concerns, which were the addiction cause most of the times. Restore Treatment LA provides top of the notch evaluation, care and support in the overall rehab process.

Many of the top Suboxone drug treatment centers provide behavioral therapy for their patients, aimed to identify and treat the self-destructive behaviors. The point here is that all habits are learned and thus can be changed or eliminated, making behavioral therapy a key segment in preventing relapse and recognizing triggers.

Why should you seek Suboxone addiction treatment?

Suboxone is a highly addictive substance and same as with any other drug, it can affect the individual’s physical and mental health and leave long-term and destructive consequences over his daily functioning, relationships and happiness.

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