Does Suboxone show up on drug tests?

Yes and no. Most employment or probation/parole drug screens are not comprehensive enough to test for Suboxone. However, Suboxone can be detected when specifically targeted. More on Suboxone drug screens here.

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Yes and no.

The fact is that is that, yes, the active ingredients in Suboxone can be detected ( buprenorphine and naloxone), but only if tested for specifically. However, neither component will appear as an opiate on standard testing for opiates.

If you are enrolled in an opioid treatment program (OTP), your physician may order a comprehensive panel, for a variety of reasons. Why? More on why doctors test for Suboxone and drug testing standards and methods for Suboxone here.

Suboxone in treatment

Suboxone, the buprenorphine – naloxone combination, has been shown to effectively treat opioid dependence or block the effects of illicit opioids without noticeable negative effects of naloxone.  Suboxone euphoria effect is debatable, but according to some researchers, because of its lower potential for abuse and strong safety panel, Suboxone is considered the first line medication option for beginning opioid dependence treatment. So why order a drug test for Suboxone?

Why order a test for Suboxone?

Tests are generally ordered to be Suboxone-specific in a clinical setting when there is a suspicion of non-dosing (clients may be selling their medication) or low absorption may interfere with effective treatment. Suspicion of benzodiazepine abuse, which has been attributed to at least one death when combined with Suboxone, is another possible reason. The 12 panel test is costly, and seldom is used outside a clinical setting.

What screens detect Suboxone?

The major active ingredient in Suboxone (buprenorphine) can be detected in urine, blood, or hair by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (CM/MS) and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in urine. In a study done in 1994, researchers used the enzyme-linked multiedimmunoassay technique after administering naloxone, and again, although the metabolites of naloxone are similar in structure to oxymorphone and are excreted in the urine for several days, naloxone was not associated with a positive for opiates.

How long can Suboxone be detected?

Suboxone appears in a comprehensive drug screen as buprenorphine within 2 to 5 hours. How long Suboxone stays in your system varies.  But Suboxone is usually not detectable 2-3 days after administration, dose dependent. In some cases however, buprenorphine has been detected up to 4 days after ingestion, due to a long half-life (24-60 hours) and slow onset.

What is the cut-off level for Suboxone?

What is the cut-off level for Suboxone to be considered present?  Present testing techniques are less than precise, but the detection level is currently 10ng/ml.

Suboxone use and potential for abuse

In treatment of opioid addiction, Suboxone is currently the first medication prescribed. Suboxone can come with a potential for abuse, but this is relatively low. Suboxone abuse occurs most among individuals without previous opioid addiction. If Suboxone is taken in ways other than prescribed (swallowed, chewed, or snorted), the user may feel a stronger euphoric effect, increasing abuse potential. But due to the opioid antagonist properties of the combination in Suboxone, the potential for abuse by injection remains low. If injected, Suboxone creates withdrawal due mainly to the naloxone ingredient.

Questions about Suboxone use

If any of you had a problem with narcotic addiction, and are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, this medication may be part of a successful treatment plan for you. Please leave your comments or questions below. All comments are anonymous and your privacy is respected.

References sources: NIDA Monograph Series: What Bupremorphine is and Why It’s Important Annals of Emergency Medicine: Does naloxone cause a positive drug screen? MD Alan B. Sorrow, PHD, MT,DABCC Frank H. Wians, Jr, MS,MT, Stephen L.Mickelsen, BA, MT John Norton. May 6, 1994. Abstract.
SAMHSA/CSAT TIP Treatment Improvement Protocols: Chapter 9, “Drug Testing as a Tool”
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Hi I get drug screens 2 times a week. The other week my test cup showed up positive for buprenorphine. The problem with that is that Ive never taken anything with buprenorphine in it. 40 minutes later i retested and the only thing i consumed was one botrle of water and the test was then negitive for buprenorphine but positive for alcohol. Which also have not touched in over a year. I am perscribed seroquil, and xanax. And I have to somehow prove these two Contridictary tests to a judge. Im clueless as to how this is possible. I requested my sample be sent to lab and still four weeks later no results. Has anyone ever heard of anything like this before?

  2. my daughter takes subutex. she was tested on a three panel drug test and it showed up as MDMA and PCP. is it possible for subutex to show as these drugs.

  3. I have been prescribed suboxen for the past 6 months. Everything has been fine but my last visit one of the office workers pulled me aside and told me my last few drug test did not contain naloxon in them. I have been taking my medication faithfully and never skip a dose. After accusing me of every scam in the book, they gave me a saliva test. My question is why would there be no naloxon in my system?

  4. Do standard probation drug screens include buprenorphine???…i may have to take a UA on tuesday…i have been taking crumbs of subutex (.50mg) or less yesterday(sat)…today(sun)..and probably tomorrow(mon)…i dont even want to take it..but in order to function..i NEED to…like i said i have a UA on is Sunday…if BUP is in fact tested for…will i test positive at such a low dose if i drinl lots of water???…and how common is it for probation drug screens to test for BUP???..I am in florida..please help…my family needs me and i cant afford to go to jail

  5. When applying for a job, is Suboxone normally tested for? Or is that something that they have to specifically ask for? I recently kicked herion and I used Suboxone to do it. Not much, 31/2 stripes. My company is transferring me to another division and there is a process that I have to go through. I have 4 days till I test and this is day one with no Suboxone. Will I be clean is my question?!

  6. Do all Dr test for Suboxone levels or doesn’t levels need to be checked by blood test please help!!?
    Came up short on script have one half strip hoping if I take it before appt I will be good last time took was 2 8mg Monday
    Appointment is Friday help me out people !!!!?

  7. I was prescribed Zubsolv 5.7 2/day for years of opiate dependency. I don’t think they are strong enough due to I am still having cravings and ended up taking 3/day a couple days. I only have 1/2 table left and go to my apt tomorrow to get urine and script refilled. If I take an 8 or 12 mg. Suboxone will it show the same as Zubsolv on urine test tomorrow. Also, this is only my 2nd appt. in the treatment program. Will they think I am trying to abuse these if I ask them to take 3/day? I used to take 90-120 mg. of oxycodone a day for at least 4 years.

    1. Hi Ting. Speak with your doctor about your cravings. Maybe, you need a therapy session or you may want to enroll into a support group.

  8. I have only took 2 of the 2mg of the suboxone and I was wondering how long does take to get out of your system? I took it because I was in withdraw from the oxycodone cause I run out of my meds. I go back to my Dr next Thursday and don’t want to get in trouble

  9. I’m on probation n get a 10 panel and day report with a 5 panel….will subs show up …or do they need own special test for subs

    1. Hi Jstar. Suboxone can be detected in drug tests, but only if tested for specifically. Usually, probation drug testing could include anywhere from 5 to 12 drug panels or more, and may include an alcohol test. The most tested substances include marijuana, cocaine, PCP, opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines. You may download our free e-book The Definitive Guide To Drug Testing if you want to learn more.

  10. Hi im trying out for the program and i got to get the first drug screenin done. I have been taking a friend suboxone will it come up in my test and prevent me for starting trail

  11. Call out and reschedule. Take the loss deal with the pain. Better a week a hell then getting cut off and having weeks or months of hell or jail. Make yourself sick either withdraw or exlaxs ECT go to the ER for a bad case of the flu or stomach virus. Or say diverticulitis. Get your note. Do it once and the pain will teach you to never do it again. Thank me later.

  12. My pain management doctor prescribes me Suboxone 8mg strips with buprenorphine & naloxone. I will be given a drug screen at my next appointment as usual but am dirty so I’m wanting to know if I can use someone else’s clean urine & dissolve part of a strip in it or are they able to tell the difference between it being dissolved in the urine & it being metabolized in my system from either their drug test or from GC-MS testing.

  13. Could anyone tell me how long a quarter would stay in my system if it won’t be out by Monday could you tell me what to do to get rid of it faster I took it this morning at 7am Friday

  14. After reading many of the responses posted by Lydia and Ivana from this blog I feel compelled to share my experience. My fiance has been on and off of pain management for many years due to a horrific work-related accident in ’98 and a recent diagnosis of MS. Long story short, there was a 3 day period 3 weeks ago (16 days to be exact) when he was without his 40mg daily dose of methadone. After attempting to tolerate the crippling withdrawal, we decided that another 2 days of hell would be impossible. I had quite a few 8mg suboxone tablets left from an old script and he took roughly 24mg over that 3 day period. When he tested positive for buprenorphine at his appointment the next day we obviously weren’t surprised. His doc has treated him for a very long time and was willing to continue treatment after a stern talking to. His next appointment was scheduled for 2 weeks later, yesterday. Guess what he showed positive for again? Buprenorphine!!!!! He also had methadone, oxycodone and all other non-narcotic meds in his system but that one is still hanging around after 16 days. He hasn’t taken that drug since the day before that first appointment when we knew he would show positive so you understand my concern when reading your response to the question “how long does suboxone show in your urine?” 4 days is absolutely incorrect. I would hate for some trusting individual to take your answer as absolute fact and possibly end up humiliated and jobless due to a dirty urine. A word of advice, RESEARCH!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hi Elizabeth. Based on all studies performed with Suboxone sublingual tablet and film buprenorphine has a mean elimination half-life from plasma ranging from 24 to 42 hours and naloxone has a mean elimination half-life from plasma ranging from 2 to 12 hours. We have selected our information from trusted government sources referenced below the article. You can also read more on Suboxone’s elimination here: (scroll down to elimination). After all, detection times depend on a variety of factors that include a person’s metabolism, weight, general health state, level of hydration, age, etc.

  15. First, employers test for suboxone. If ur going for a construction job ur def getting tested. Not sure about office. Test is not expensive. I took a mouth swab test for a union job. Now the history. Had been taking sub for about a year. Was taking maybe 1.5mg per a day. I took .75mg at 5pm Wednesday, then another .75mg at 10am on Thursday. I took the swab drug test that same Thursday at 630pm. I passed it thank God. I am 6 feet 200 lbs. normal metabolism. My friend who is a doctor thinks that the dose I was taking was so little that it did not show up. The end.

  16. If I use synthetic urine for a drug screen at my doctors office and add some crushed up buprenorphine to the sample will it test positive? I am prescribed 8mg sublingual pills. My doctor tests randomly to make sure nobody is taking anything else as well as making sure everyone is taking their pills. I’m taking my script but smoking weed on the side and so I can’t give my own urine. I gave some synthetic last time and the nurse said that it was unusual because it was so clean. I replied by saying I was out of my script for 3 days so that was probably it. I don’t know if she bought it. Thanks

  17. Hello. I take suboxone or subutex but wont have a prescription until the end of the month. My problem is it has helped me off drugs but my job does random drug testing. Will i fail or pass the test?
    The test they give at my wotk is a 10-50/300 if anyone knows the difference please help and comment

  18. Quick question….I’m getting prescribed subutex, right at 9 months preggo (38weeks) I ran out this morning but I have a friend who gets sub strips and they are offering me a strip to get me by till Tuesday when I go back to Dr….my question is will the naloxone show in my drug test when I’m just supposed to be on straight bupe???? Any answers would be greatly appreciated!! I was on suboxone all the way up to my 30th week or so of pregnancy bc I didn’t even know I was pregnant up until around 25ish weeks. But this new sub Dr I’m going to immediately switched me over to the subutex.

  19. I take one 8mg/2mg suboxone in two days so liuke half one day and the other half the next day but I don’t take it all at once, i cut the half’s in smaller pieces. I have a drug test soon how long before my drug test should I stop taking it? Please I really need to know!!!

    1. Hi, Kody. Buprenorphine and naloxone, the active ingredients in Suboxone, can be detected, but only if tested specifically. Neither component will appear as an opiate on standard testing for opiates. However, buprenorphine may be detected up to 4 days after ingestion.

  20. I have been on methadone for 11 years. I get drug tested several times a year at my doctors office. I recently went there & gave a urine specimen,& he told came in & asked if i had been around buprenorphine. I said no of course not. He said that my urine woupd be sent to a lab. I just got on my doctors website where i can see my personal info & he posted my results. It says RESISTANT for Suboxone-positive,but then further down it has 3 different buprenorphine tests that all say NEGATIVE for buprenorphine metabolite-(conf) NEGATIVE for buprenorphine-(screen) NEGATIVE for buprenorphine-(conf). How can i test positive for Suboxone but the ingredient in it? Thats like saying i tested positive for Tylenol but negative for acetaminophen. Did i pass?

  21. i took my suboxone film under my tongue right before a swab. drug test. will the swab directly touching the suboxone under my tongue affect the results?

  22. I go for a mouth swab and a hair follicle test Friday. My last dose of suboxone was early Saturday morning. should I be okay?

    1. Hi John. Suboxone is usually not detectable 2-3 days after administration, but it depends on the dose you take. In some cases however, buprenorphine has been detected up to 4 days after ingestion, this is due to it’s long half life.

    1. Hello Annie. Both, Suboxone and Zubsolv contain buprenorphine as their main active ingredient. So yes, if the test checks for the metabolites of buprenorphine, you can assume you tested positive for any drug that contains buprenorphine.

  23. Would like to know if my saboxone dr will test for saboxone levels in my system. I missed my appt. I have only 3 pills left. For the next 2 days I have to cut them in half to not miss any days. My level will be lower and I don’t want him to cut me off. I’ve heard that the low doses don’t even show up sometimes. Is that true and will he even test since it’s a separate test. ?

  24. Hi BOM. It depends on the dose administered. Suboxone shouldn’t be detectable on a drug screening test longer that 4 days.

  25. If someone snorted a tiny line how lo on will it stay in their system this was there first time doing that….so if someone could please answer this question we would greatly appreciate it…this person is so nervous about it I don’t know anything about that u I have neve done anything like that before

  26. I was wondering if I come out for suboxone will the prescription from the doctor make its goo away and will I be considered passing the drug screen .

  27. I was wondering I have to drop a drug screen for Chrysler if I pop up with suboxone will they have the option of firing me even though I bring the prescription note from doctor?? Or if I do come out dirty for suboxone I just take the note from doctor will it’s then consider me clean

  28. I have been taking suboxone 8mg/2mg for two weeks and now will have to take a drug test due to a new company taking over.I did this cause I’m prescribed pain meds legally but they won’t allow it so I tried to hide it.Their test is a 10 panel. Basic test. Will the suboxone be checked for. I take 1 a day.

  29. Will I fail an oral drug test for a new job if I’ve been taking subs daily for about 2 yrs, mayb about 2mg a day subligualy?

  30. a friend is going to a pain managment for neuropathy and he is told 6 months after several appoinment that his first two test showed positive for suboxone and I know he does not take it. Are there any medicines together that would show a false positive or due to the lack of chain of custody in this office urines could have been mixed up.?

  31. I have a friend that took less then a mg. of suboxone on a Wed @ 8 am and on Friday @ 3 pm my friend had to take a urine drug test at the doctor office. I think my friend may have took 2 mg. in a month. I don’t know if that’s bad but my friend had been very worried I just want to help.

  32. Hello. I have been on Suboxone for about 4 months now. My current dosage is 8mg, 3X daily. I do split them up about every six hours.I do not take them all at one time. My question is do you know on the drug screens between what range my buprenorphine level should fall into? I drug screen for family court and my worker is saying that my levels are not steady that they range all the way from 20ng/ml to 160ng/ml. Could you also let me know of all the different things that could affect my levels, such as one’s weight, how well the strip was absorbed, or kidney functioning, creatine level or amount of liquid drank prior to testing??? I even got a dilute yesterday, and had only drank 2 of the 20 oz. waters. I take them whenever I feel like I need one during the day. One strip about every six hours, sometimes even different, but 3 strips per day. I need some numbers to tell me what the lowest could be, and up to the highest for my dosage. Please Help!!!

  33. i take subutex but mine came missing somone gave me a suboxone so id pass my test since suboxone contains naloxone will my test show for it since subutex dont contain naloxone

  34. Hi Nik. Buprenorphine can be detected in urine, blood, or hair by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). However, currently no commercially available tests exist for buprenorphine (enzyme immunoassays). So, you should test NEGATIVE for abuse of opiates if you are taking Suboxone. In the case that buprenorphine is detected, present your prescription to the Medical Review Officer. That should change the test to a NEGATIVE for abuse.

  35. Hey, I take mg of suboxone a day, and on Saturday (5 days away) I will go to a site and get testd for drugs. First of all, will the test be positive? And secondly if I stop taking suboxone from now until than, will it show positive still to opiates? thanks

  36. If I swallow a weeks worth of subs, like swallow them at the time they should be melting in my mouth, will it show up on my urine test?

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