Saturday March 28th 2015

Can you get high on Suboxone?

Can you get high on Suboxone?

Suboxone is actually designed to be used in the maintenance stage of opiate treatment. In other words, Suboxone is a drug used to treat drug addiction. So how and why are people getting high on Suboxone?

What is Suboxone used for?

Doctors prescribe Suboxone to treat opiate addiction. Suboxone contains both buprenorphine (an opioid) and naloxone (blocks the effects of opiates). When taken as prescribed, buprenorphine can help people addicted to opiates by eliminating the feeling of being high.


Buprenorphine blocks the euphoric effects of drugs like heroin by binding to the same opiate receptors in the brain used by heroin. Thus, people who use buprenorphine are not able to get a high from their original drug of choice (heroin, morphine, OxyContin, etc.). Furthermore, although buprenorphine and depression are not clinically related, brain chemicals affect mood.  So buprenorphine can make you feel better as you detox from opiate addiction.

Suboxone = low abuse potential when taken as prescribed

The idea behind adding naloxone to Suboxone is to create a drug that is less likely to be abused. In fact, the 4:1 ratio of buprenorphine to naloxone in Suboxone helps create a “ceiling effect” without producing significant signs of withdrawal after long periods of taking the drug. To explain this another way, at moderate doses, the euphoric effects of buprenorphine reach a plateau and no longer continue to increase with higher doses, known as the “ceiling effect.” Plus, high doses of Suboxone can cause withdrawal symptoms. Thus, buprenorphine carries a lower risk of abuse, addiction, and side effects compared to full opioid agonists. Therefore, the DEA currently rates Suboxone as a Schedule III drug, having relatively low abuse and addiction potential.

How do people get high on Suboxone?

Because one of the main ingredients in Suboxone (buprenorphine) is an opioid, it can produce side effects such as euphoria. Even though the maximum effects of buprenorphine are less than those of full agonists like heroin and methadone, drug abusers have learned to get high on Suboxone. How? By crushing the sublingual tablets and either snorting or injecting the extract, which gives an effect similar to equivalent doses of morphine or heroin. And if buprenorphine and methadone are abused together, the effects of both drugs are enhanced. This is another reason the buprenorphine contained in Suboxone may be attractive to people currently using methadone, inhibiting methadone maintenance effectiveness.

Is Suboxone addictive?

When taken other than prescribed (crushed, snorted or injected), you may become addicted to Suboxone. However, the naloxone contained in Suboxone guards against abuse. But be warned, if you crush and inject or snort a Suboxone tablet, the naloxone in it will trigger withdrawal symptoms and reverse the effects of the high, requiring medical help.

Am I addicted to Suboxone?

If you are crushing, snorting or injecting Suboxone and want to stop, talk with your prescribing doctor. Drug addiction is no longer a moral issue, but can be treated medically. In fact, Suboxone is the most commonly abused version of buprenorphine. So there is nothing to be ashamed of if you are ready for help. Please leave your questions and comments about Suboxone here. We are happy to help refer you to treatment services or answer your questions personally.

Reference sources: CSAT buprenorphine information center
Diversion and Abuse of Buprenorphine: A Brief Assessment of Emerging Indicators

Daily Med drug information on Suboxone
Misuse of Buprenorphine-Related Products from
Intelligence Bulletin: Buprenorphine: Potential for Abuse

Photo credit: Sarah and Mike ... probably

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26 Responses to “Can you get high on Suboxone?
2:41 pm August 27th, 2011

referred to by Reckett Benckiser Here to Help rep…I feel my problem is more complicated than just addiction…I have been in chronic pain since i was 21yrs(now 42yrs) so after Detox from 3 years Methadone and unable to maintain adequate work I have filed for SSDI, but until then I am not able to cover my med cost…so I then go to places in my head I am not always sure I will come back from… This not only effects me, but my son has been suffering because of my lack of employment and his mothers understanding of my condition and unwillingness to meet me have way on his behalf… I need as much as info, suggestions and directions that I can get… Thanks, and God Bless


5:39 pm August 28th, 2011

I take the sub film 2mg I’ve been on it for a year and a half. I think I am addicted to it. If I quit now how long will the withdrawals last? I have tapered down from 24mg a day. I would be grateful for any advise. Thanks Joe.

5:30 am August 30th, 2011

Joe and Todd…

Even though I have been struggling with opiate addiction for 10 years, sadly this is my first post on the topic. I would spend hours on the computer looking for support and I was amazed over how selfless the “recovering addict community” was with regards to the time they would devote to helping others. That said, I hope that I can provide you with some useful counsel.

Todd: Your situation sounds exactly like the one in which my friends mom found herself… A wonderful woman who was spending (literally) 5 thousand a week on Norcos. Some 20 years ago she was in a bad car wreck and had been taking opiates ever since. By the time her problems were brought to my attention, I was some 6 months into my recovery (I am on 2 years now) and it was the first time that I was able to see how horrible an impact her use was having on everyone around her. Fortunately she has been clean for a year or so and is doing much better.

I suppose that what I am trying to get at is the reality that opiates are straight evil. They can take even the most righteous of people and destroy them; of course we have to take responsibility for our actions but I also think it is important to understand that your problem, and even the specifics of your situation, are by no means unusual. That said, based on my friend’s mother and her situation, if the pain is chronic and only manageable by meds, you have to choose between the pain or the pills. I know it sounds horrible but as I see it, your options are a.) continue to take opiates b.) find pain relief that isnt opiate based. There are not very many effective alternatives but they should provide you with some level of relief.

I was surpised at how well my buddy’s mom did with her recovery because the fact is that nearly 90% of opiate addicts will eventually relapse (I must have relapsed 8 or 9 times), which always left me feeling incredibly guilty. However, as soon as I began to understand the problems and issues that encouraged me to use, I began to see my addiction in a more pragmatic light than did my peers, friends, family, etc. People who have not been through addiction do not realize how quickly and easily ANYONE can fall victim to its sway.

—-Entering Joes response

I personally did not have any willpower and was only able to combat my addict propensities and habits with Suboxone with the ultimate goal of weening off and substituting in a straight opiate blocker for the Suboxone.

My advice for you Joe is to write out a schedule detailing your Suboxone regiment. For example, if you are taking 2mg right now, in your chart you would mark wednesday or Thursday as the day on which you begin to incrementally reduce your dosage to 1.75. My doctor provided me with an identical “agenda” and I went from 2mgs to nothing in just a couple weeks. I felt a little different but I wouldnt label it a a withdrawl (at least compared to opiates). Moreover, if you decide that you need more you can take another half.

If you guys are anything like me, you have to put in work in order to quit these drugs. However, ever since I have, my quality of life has been at an unprecedented personal best. It was the greatest decision I ever made and if I can do it, I guarantee that you guys can as well.

If you guys have any questions feel free to contact me here.

Good luck guys! be strong!

9:16 pm August 20th, 2012

My mom is addicted to pain pills, sh recently heard about suboxone and now only takes it when she has no pills. She said she’s trying to quit and is now on suboxone only, but she’s taking to much she takes two pills and her eyes get low and she gets really emotional and irritable. I wanted to know if this is from the suboxone and if it is in fact getting her high? Please help

11:42 am August 23rd, 2012

Hi Kayla. Do you know what dosage of Suboxone your mother is on? Also, have you called her prescribing doctor to talk about your concerns. Maybe it would help you to take action and speak with her doctor and ask these questions directly.

11:29 pm November 15th, 2012

i take 8mg bupes (no naloxone) it does nothing for me. I have tried to IV with very little rush. I have even IVed cocktails mixed with my bupe to potentiate.
But since I realised its hope less. I just takin it as perscribed.
So i can tell u right now its for addiction in the aspect of semi tamper proof.
My next attept to abuse it is to take 3-4 days off in between each dose (IV) and see if I can catch a knod.
i was in a car crash like 5 years ago and still have back pain. Which bupe (or subs) dont help at all with.. I just take asprin.. when i was perscribed 80mg of ER Opana 2x a day… so 160mg a day.
I just cant have opana or ill snort it all in 2 days… (litterly i gone threw 120 40mg Opanas in 2 days)
So from a dope hungery feind that only is taking Bupe is good cause it very hard to get any type of “high” out of.. trust me i have tied everyyyyy thing.

-h4ck3r s5um

11:21 pm November 26th, 2012

Suboxone is only good if used for a short time period 3 months tops. It is very addictive and the withdrawls can be worst than most opiates. I have been on Suboxone for 5 years and have been trying to get off for the past year, will no sucess.
I’m now seeing a Doctor and trying to work through some of my deeper issues. Speaking with a professional helps a lot, and I’m now planning to stop taking it right after new years. My main point is please understand how powerful suboxone is and if you must use it please do your best to keep it short (less then 3 months). I wish you all luck.

9:47 pm December 21st, 2012

Of course Suboxone is ADDICTIVE!!! Even JUST taking it under the tongue, Ur body Goes Into Complete withdrawl If U take it everyday than dont have it…So ALL of the above is Ridiculous saying its only addictive through Sniffing,injecting ect…

9:09 pm February 27th, 2013

I have been on suboxone for 5 yrs now after a 7yr vicodin addiction. What they are saying in the posts about suboxone not being addictive unless snorted or injected are totaly false. Also the withdrawl is worse than any opiate I have ever had withdrawl from. I have tryed to cut down to 1/2 of a 2 mg tab and it is impossible. The withdrawl is over the top. If you need this drug to help you get off opiates by all means use it , but only for a very short time or you will become hopelessly addicted. Life is horrible trying to get off this drug.

stuart from england
11:26 am April 23rd, 2013

i take 21 mg suboxone per day,i was a heroin addict since a young age,im 36 now ive got a 8 nearly 9 year old daughter ive been clean for 6 years,i was on methadone for 5/6 years i did my own detox from methadone an started with suboxone,i knew it was a good choice as i had previously been on a subitex script an was clean for a year with that,i allso take vallium on perscription only 18mg a day an mertrazapine 30mg,im left with chronic depression i am allways in a low mood noone seems to understand how low suicidal thoughts ect,id never harm myself coz im a dad now,its hard to become clean as theres suddenly a great big gap in ya life,only 2% of addicts get clean an remain clean shocking stats,im lucky i know im done wid heroin it doesnt appeal anymore i live alone i got a nice flat nice clothes ect i am addicted to the suboxone its a very strong drug its makin my depression worse but im clean from heroin so its like a catch 22 situation, if anyone needs a chat about addiction id b happy to chat,everybodys story is different im tryin to become a drug support worker give somthing back to my community,i wish you all good luck on your journys just remember you cant blame anyone for your situation,theres never a valid excuse the only person who can help you is you,lifes going by pritty quick we dont get long on this planet i want to leave earth wid respect for myself,godbless all

7:11 am May 4th, 2013

I and many friends have injected suboxone and subutex and if they are not in your system you get high on either. we’ve done heroin 2 hours before doing suboxone or subutex, the naloxone does nothing.

7:16 am May 4th, 2013

suboxone taken exactly as prescribed by doctor still will give you the worst withdraw in my opinion out of any opiate. It might not be as strong as heroin or oxycodone but it lasts fucking forever! no sleep for more than 2 hours a night for like at least 2 months. Just feeling like you want to die when your on it eventually and then you come off of it and if your a dude you have premature ejaculation for like ever it seems so far. Suboxone should be illegal to be on for more than 5 days.

8:18 am September 14th, 2013

Naloxone in Suboxone DOES NOT block other opiates, it’s actually the Bupe that’s blocking all other opiates. Bupe has a much higher affinity to your opiate receptors then most other full agonist opiates as well as the Naloxone also contained in the pill so it will “beat” any other opiates entering your body or any already in your body. The idea people have that the Naloxone in the pill renders them “abusive proof” is just false. Sublingual, insufflated, injected, whatever.. The Naloxone has no effect, whatsoever. Suboxone can cause precipitated withdrawal, sure, but it has nothing to do with the Naloxone and everything to do with the Bupe. Also, you need to have opiates already on hanging on your receptors for PW to occur. The Naloxone is put in simply as a scare tactic to deter people from abusing them.

9:27 pm October 30th, 2013

Hi… I have been taking Suboxone for a year now. Some days are great and some days are pure misery. I have endured multiple abdominal surgeries since 2005 resulting in chronic pain. As a result, I became addicted to opiates.

1:47 pm October 31st, 2013

Hello Pam. If you ever need help or want to stop taking opiates, you can call 1-800-662-HELP to be connected with the national drug abuse hotline, a federal service that tries to help callers get connected with addiction treatment clinics near you.

8:19 pm May 24th, 2014

this is so wrong. suboxone can and will get you high regardless of ROA – IF you dont take it regularly Like if you take it once a week or month. If you are prescribed it or take it every day or even every other day, regardless of which way you do it , you will no longer get high from it. And i dont think the naloxone has anything to do with it that is the way it would work with regular buprenorphine only tablets as well

12:20 am July 12th, 2014

I took suboxone for 2 days in in a row, cut it in half for those two days and now it has been 2 or 3 days later and I can’t cum. It hasn’t not been subscribe to me, I bought it off the street unopened, but took one half one day and the other the next day. When I am I going to be able to cum again?

1:16 am October 12th, 2014

Are there any contraindications between tramadol and Suboxone?

2:21 pm October 13th, 2014

Hi Col. I found the following info, and I’d say it’s not smart to take both at the same time. Here’s what I found:
GENERALLY AVOID: Concomitant use of tramadol increases the seizure risk in patients taking other opioids. These agents are often individually epileptogenic and may have additive effects on seizure threshold during coadministration. CNS- and respiratory-depressant effects may also be additive. In patients who have been previously dependent on or chronically using opioids, tramadol can also reinitiate physical dependence or precipitate withdrawal symptoms.

GENERALLY AVOID: Mixed opioid agonist-antagonist analgesics such as buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, and pentazocine may theoretically decrease the analgesic effects of tramadol or cause withdrawal symptoms in patients who have been taking tramadol.

6:55 pm October 21st, 2014

I have been taking 8 mg tabs for 3 years and no problems at all. I take it has prescribed to me. It doesn’t get me high and I have noticed that it does help relax me but I do not abuse the drug.

7:18 am November 21st, 2014

Five thousand a week…for mellow yellows..norcos…?what a fine drug…but how much acetminophin could she take ?at ten bucks per pill 5000.00$ would be…fivehundred pills per week…seventy pills per day…yes ok guess its possable…but her stomach upset would ruin good highs

3:00 am December 31st, 2014

If i could afford more id be able to stay on ive been fighting rhis for many years i think im gonna give up dont know what else to do weve already lost everything!!

2:14 pm December 31st, 2014

Hello Jesse. Don’t give up! Look into your state’s programs through the Department of Health and Social Services for buprenorphine or alternatives, like naltrexone. There are other options out there, at lower cost!

Chris damas
1:23 am January 21st, 2015

I’ve been on subs for 2 months now 8mg a day some days I feel like I’m still going thru withdrawals cold sweats and stuff especially say after drinking and yes the first two weeks of being on it orgasam was almost impossible but eventually got more normal. I take the films now, cheaper with coupon. What is better films or pills?

7:17 pm January 21st, 2015

I have been on subutex for over two years now (12mg from 24mg) and I have been out for three days due toa delay in paycheck. So far withdrawals are tolerable enough to go to work everyday but still uncomfortable. I’ve had more severe withdrawal from weak opiates like hydrocodone. I don’t plan to wait around to see if it gets worse im picking up my script today. Anyway, even after two years I still get s mild buzz from it. A little euphoria and a mild warm hug that lasts all day. I’ve accomplished more in two years on sub then I have in any other point in my life using or not. Subs help my depression, take care of any pain (even after leg surgery), and I no longer have to doctor shop or visit bad neighborhoods with potential to get robbed. All in all this medication has saved my life.

7:20 pm January 21st, 2015

I was on Suboxone films 12mg for a few months and had no problem. The absorption of the films are superior to tablets.

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