Opioid addiction is a major problem throughout the world. Suboxone is a medication that blocks the opioid effects, making it easier to overcome dependence issues. However, the medication itself can become addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms. 1
This article will provide information on suboxone and what you can expect during treatment and the Suboxone withdrawal phase.
Suboxone treats opioid addiction by blocking the opioid effect in the body.
When opioids enter the brain, they activate a pain-blocking receptor and release endorphins that create pleasurable experiences in the body. Suboxone eliminates the effect and prevents the release of endorphins, making opioids less enjoyable and therefore less addictive.
Suboxone also reduces symptoms of withdrawal making patients less likely to relapse.
Suboxone is addictive. When people cannot get suboxone, their opioid dependency becomes more acute, making them want more suboxone. If they can’t find suboxone, they may use opioids again.
What’s more, when clients stop using the drug, they experience suboxone withdrawal that makes them want to go back to using. Withdrawal symptoms occur as the body tries to get used to sobriety. They are not pleasant, and people know that the only way to stop them is to start taking drugs again. That is why relapse is common during withdrawal.
When considering MAT treatments suboxone vs. methadone, suboxone is not as addictive as its MAT predecessor, methadone. The fact that it was designed specifically to treat opioid addiction means it has a lower risk of dependency. It also has less severe side effects.
Once suboxone enters the body, it breaks down into buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is metabolized by the liver and leaves the body during urination. Buprenorphine is metabolized throughout the body and excreted through the urine and feces.
Half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for the body to metabolize a medication, so it is down to a half dosage of the total amount taken. Suboxone’s half-life depends on how long it takes both components of the drug to be metabolized.
The half-life of buprenorphine is 37 hours. The half-life of naloxone is 60 minutes. It typically takes a total of 8 days for Suboxone to no longer be detectable in the body.
While suboxone typically stays in the body for 8 days, it may be metabolized at a faster or slower rate which will affect detection time. Here are some factors that may increase or decrease detection time.
Suboxone withdrawal causes symptoms like those that are present during withdrawal from any other drug. These include the following: 4
When patients stop taking opioids, they begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms. While these symptoms are not pleasant, they must deal with them before they can start taking Suboxone. Suboxone should only be introduced after a specific withdrawal phase is achieved.
If clients do not wait and start taking Suboxone immediately after going off opioids, they will begin experiencing precipitated withdrawal. This withdrawal is an extreme form caused by taking buprenorphine before opioids have had an adequate amount of time to retreat from opioid receptors.
Precipitated withdrawal symptoms include:
Precipitated withdrawal can be life-threatening, but research has shown that administering micro doses of suboxone can be helpful. Other medications, like anti-anxiety and anti-nausea medications, can also reduce symptoms.
Suboxone withdrawal can last for days or weeks depending on the person and how long the drug has been taken. Precipitated withdrawal speeds up the process to a dangerous rate.
Suboxone is an MAT that blocks the opioid effect so that the drugs do not stimulate pleasure centers in the brain. It also makes withdrawal symptoms less intense.
Suboxone is often used in MAT because it is known to be effective. It is also preferable to methadone. When considering methadone vs. Suboxone, Suboxone is the preferred choice. It was designed specifically to fight opioid addiction. Therefore, it is less addictive than methadone.
Another reason it is preferred is that it induces fewer side effects. Suboxone side effects that do occur are less severe and tend to be physical rather than mental.
When you start taking Suboxone, there are some suboxone side effects you may experience. You will start to feel common withdrawal symptoms as your body adjusts to the new drug. These will be moderate to mild, and they are a sign that your body is healing.
Symptoms tend to get better in 30 to 45 minutes. If they do not, your doctor may increase your dosage. Over the next few days, you will continue to see your doctor ensure the medication is working for you. When you are at the proper dosage, you should start feeling healthier and less dependent on opioids.
Suboxone taper can have one of two meanings. On one hand, Suboxone taper can refer to using the drug to taper off other drugs. On the other hand, it can refer to tapering off the Suboxone itself.
Suboxone may turn up in drug detection tests including the following:
Various treatments can be used for suboxone addiction. Generally, these are broken down as follows.
The detox process is the first stage of rehab. It involves letting your body ‘dry out’ from any illegal substances. During this period, you may experience suboxone withdrawal symptoms that make relapse more likely. Many rehab facilities offer assisted detox providing medications that reduce symptoms and supervising patients to make sure they are comfortable and that they don’t go back to using.
After detox is complete, clients will usually continue treatment with various therapies. Different therapies can be used in different ways and some patients may require more than one type of therapy. In general, therapy works to identify the underlying cause of addiction. Then the therapist introduces healthy coping mechanisms that will replace the urge to use.
Therapy occurs in an inpatient setting and may also continue after the client checks out. This aspect will help them adjust and maintain sobriety.
While many rehab facilities help patients overcome addiction, The PAC Program offers an approach that sets us apart.
Patients that come through our doors go through a three-phase system. After assisted detox, they are provided with a customized therapy plan that helps them overcome the issues that led to addictive behavior.
After the inpatient phase is complete, patients move on to the transitional phase. This phase is the time when they gradually adjust to the ‘real world.’ They participate in thirty hours of therapy a week to ensure the transition goes smoothly.
Don’t let addiction rob you of your ability to enjoy life. Help is just around the corner. Call The PAC Program today and to find out what to expect. Then look forward to better relationships and a higher quality of living.
If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
623-523-4748 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.