Signs and symptoms of Suboxone addiction

Are you worried that you or someone you know may be addicted to Suboxone? Check out the signs and symptoms of Suboxone addiction here, as well as possible treatment options.

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While doctors agree that Suboxone addictive-ness is much less likely than stronger opioids, you can become addicted to Suboxone (especially if you snort Suboxone or take Suboxone to get high).   So if you’re concerned that you or someone close to you is addicted to Suboxone…what do you do? In this article ,we will describe some of the signs and symptoms of Suboxone addiction, and educate you on the treatment of Suboxone addiction. Then, we invite your questions about Suboxone addiction at the end.

Symptoms of Suboxone addiction

Suboxone addiction includes both symptoms of abuse and symptoms of withdrawal. In fact, many symptoms are obvious and similar to those of other opiates and opioids, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone or codeine. Common Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include nausea and vomiting, along with diarrhea. Symptoms of Suboxone addiction or abuse to look for include:

  • apathetic mood
  • depression
  • drowsiness
  • increased blood pressure
  • poor memory
  • slurred speech
  • small pupils

There are also some things to look for in regarding a potential addict’s psychological and lifestyle changes. According to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the criteria for Suboxone abuse include:

  • continued use of Suboxone despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems due to Suboxone use
  • failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school or home
  • frequent legal problems
  • frequent use of Suboxone in situations which are physically hazardous, such as driving a car

If the person you are concerned about regularly has these problems, this may be a sign that they need to get help.

Suboxone addiction symptoms: Can they be treated?

Yes, Suboxone addiction symptoms can be treated. Any treatment for Suboxone addiction will combine psychotherapy, behavioral changes and pharmaceutical treatments. Addiction is a multifaceted disease that requires attention in all three areas. For long term sobriety, therapy and drastic behavior changes will be necessary.

1. How to intervene

Start by contacting an addiction therapist to learn the best ways to approach an addict. It is important to approach the situation in the correct way, so the Suboxone addict will want to seek help rather than remain in their addiction. Remember that you may not be dealing with the person that you know, because addiction can change them. In most cases, an intervention can be a good idea. Talk to an intervention specialist to set up a time when you can confront the addict in a manner where they will be receptive.

2. Detox and withdrawal

Physical Suboxone addiction symptoms are addressed drugin Suboxone detox. When withdrawing from Suboxone abuse, tapering and gradual dose reducation can help. Clonidine may help ease nausea. A detox clinic or addiction MD specialist can tell you more about pharmaceutical options during Suboxone detox.

3. Outpatient Suboxone addiction treatment

Treatment options for Suboxone addiction also address psychological Suboxone addiction symptoms. Treatment for Suboxone addiction includes both outpatient treatment and inpatient residential treatment, depending on the needs of the individual. Outpatient programs run addiction treatment programs via a facility where the patient will only be at the facility for scheduled appointments. They will go through an initial assessment and then will have group counseling session, individual counseling sessions as well as a physician to treat the withdrawal symptoms and to make sure their health is not declining.

4. Inpatient Suboxone addiction treatment

An outpatient program may be a good idea for someone who still has a job and a safe place to live. However, if the addict doesn’t have a job or a safe environment to live in, an inpatient program, where they would live onsite, would be a better choice. Inpatient programs are similar to outpatient programs, but the addict will be under constant supervision from nurses and health professionals in order to combat the physical symptoms, as well as beginning the long-term psychological treatment.

5. Support groups

Narcotics Anonymous is a non-profit, community-based organization for recovering addicts. Narcotics Anonymous members learn from one another how to live drug-free and recover from the affects of addiction. (

Signs of Suboxone addiction questions

Do you have more questions regarding the signs and symptoms of Suboxone addiction and treatment? Have advice or knowledge on the subject of Suboxone addiction? Send us your questions and we will respond quickly and personally.

Reference Sources: DSMIV-TR Criteria for Substance Abuse for Dependency
NIDA: Drug Facts: Treament approaches to drug addiction
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. My 22 year daughter lives in n.y. I live in Fla. She came today for a week. I knew she was on suboxtion but didn’t know she was using it with a needle. She came by plane so she dont have needles and I search her at airport. But now she addmitted to me she is shooting it. I will not allow her out of my sight or go anywhere . What should I expect?

  2. I have an opiate addiction but haven’t used in 2 yrs but use suboxone 1 strip daily and have good results but without that 1 strip I get sick if take none .with it I fiction and work much better without I’m not able to live a productive life and will replace suboxone with other substances .they keep me clean ,sober and functional?problem I’m not prescribed or under care of md?

  3. 1. Is suboxone prescribe for fibromyalgia?
    2. Does Suboxone cause dependency or addiction?
    3. What pain does a soboxine user have if they stop using it?
    4. Do doctors prescribe suboxone for pain relief?

    1. Hi, Bobby. People with fibromyalgia are typically treated with pain medicines, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and sleep medicines. Only three medications (Lyrica, Cymbalta and Savella) are approved by the FDA for the treatment of fibromyalgia. However, some doctors may treat fibromyalgia with a variety of other medications developed and approved for other purposes. You can find more info here:

      On the other hand, Suboxone is a potent opioid analgesic, but it’s mainly used in medication-assisted treatment to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates. More on Suboxone here:

  4. I am concerned for someone who has a history of being addicted to suboxone but of coarse denies it. She was recently court ordered to take a drug test (hair follicle). And it came back positive for the drug suboxone. She claims that she has been prescribed a different medication that would produce the same positive results for the lab. Is there another medication that would produce the same results as suboxone? My biggest concern is for her children’s safety.

  5. I am a recovering addict. Suboxone along with therapy and meeting have helped me stay off the oxycontin that I was addicted to. I started at 16mg when I first started treatment and am now down to 4mg a day. I have been on Suboxone for 7 years now. The problem is I want to come off the drug completely and have tried doing as my doctor says to taper off, but I cant go any lower than than 4mg without withdrawals. I realize tjey are uncomfortable. ..but I just cant do it. My friend who did come off says she didnt feel somewhat normal for a month and back to herself for 6 months. I have to many responsibilities to be in bed for a long period of time. Im scared I may be on the 4mg forever. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi, Scared. Withdrawal symptoms happen whatever you do, but they are different from person to person. You can do this, and you’re not alone. You already have friend with same problem, so ask her/him for support, or start thinking about enrolling into group therapy. Also, consider using home remedies and over-the-counter medication to ease withdrawal. Good luck!

  6. I get angry thinking of how I went to a hospital for 30 days to get off all the strong opiates I have been on. Of course I took them greater than prescribed. After 23 major surgeries my tolerance was already of the charts. Now my doctor says I am doing so well and has kept me on it for pain control. I have never abused it nor do it in ways of snorting or shooting. Wow addicts wanting to be high will always find someway of using it in perverse ways. I have never been on a higher dose than two 8.2 films a day. Most days, many more than not, I have only used one. My only complaint is constipation. So knowing my level and use of my prescribed Suboxone what will my withdrawal be like????????. I will check for your answer. I am 65 and a true chronic pain patient. My doctor says probably the rest of my life. I have had a couple of ER visits for pain and then prescribed usual pain meds for a couple days. I always take after 12 hours of suboxone’s last use.

    1. Hello Don. Having on mind that every drug affects each person differently, you should be aware that Suboxone withdrawal symptoms also differ in severity and duration. Some of Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, restlessness, sweating, mood swings, pain in the joints, aches, cramps, and etc.

  7. We are dealing with an addicted son who is 24 and was a heavy user of Heroin for 6 years. He has been in and out of detox and sober living environments many times, but he either gets kicked out or relapsed shortly afterwards. He started Suboxone treatment and has been taking a high dose for 2 years now, with no tapering or reduction. In recent weeks he seemed to be doing better, has been clear eyed, got a job. Today I found him hunched over in his chair in a stuper, on his desk in front of him was a used needle and a burnt spoon with brown residue. His explanation for this scene is that he shot up Suboxone as part of this treatment. I find this nearly impossible to believe. Could it be possible that shooting up with Suboxone is part of his recovery? I strongly suspect this is just another big lie, in the long list of big lies. He apparently has a high tolerance to heroin due to his many years of addiction. Is it even remotely possible that shooting up Suboxone could produce the nod state that would lead to him being stooped in his chair, leaning all the way down onto his lap? I understood that Suboxone prevented the addict from getting high. I am fearful of accepting this explanation for fear that it will be just another example of enabling him to continue his drug abuse. I feel I have to take some meaningful action, such as kicking him out of the house, but I also don’t want to over-react either. Even if he shot up with Suboxone, isn’t that just a different type of drug abuse? Can you offer any insights into this particular situation.

    1. Hi Larry. Even if he did shoot up Suboxone, this medication should not be injected. Addiction is never simple, and it’s not only the drug that compels him to use again and relapse. I am sure all those treatment approaches have identified some underlying reasons for addiction, but how were they treated and were they addressed thoroughly? I suggest you call the free helpline number displayed on our page to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers that can find the kind of treatment that fits your son’s needs.

  8. Hello, I was on suboxone for about 4 years. I went to rehab and I’ve been completely clean for 35 day. On Monday the 31st. I fond 2-8mg strips in my backpack and decided to cut into 1/4’s. Will this cause my to go back into full withdraw?

  9. I had just broken up w my boyfriend who started suboxone a few weeks ago. he goes to a clinic to get them but will also go to other people to buy them. He seemed to sleep a lot his pupils were so small and acted violent

  10. Hi Simply. I get your frustration, and believe me cross-addiction (as they call it) is more common than anyone would think. The thing is you get addicted to a medication in the first place since you become unable to live without the effects it produces. Using something else, so you don’t use the first med may help not use the first one, but you still grow to NEED the replacement. If it’s not done by following strict medical guidelines, it can be potentially risky.

  11. I have been on Suboxone for 1 year now. Still angry with the in-patient program that I went through that believes an addict needs to be on Subs for a year while their body heals. I was never told in that hospital setting that then stopping Subs would be a similar problem to why I went there in the first place. Now being told that because of my chronic pain I may need to be on it my entire life. I was not an addict of injecting drugs. Why does it seem that the doctors out in the field seem to know less about Subs than an addict like myself that has no intention of trading one for another. Not being told up front these things I think borders on being criminal.The sub users I know have the same anger and desire to stop and yet no one will or can tell the sub patient what to expect by comparison. I am taking half of what my doctor thinks I take. So cold turkey from 8 mg daily would be comparable to jumping from what 6 percs a day? Anybody have an answer? I have spoken to American addiction centers that now admit people to detox from the subs used to detox from the opiates. What is going on beyond the tremendous fortune the company makes from its use. Simply Bewildered at a system that would trade one for another and say that it is helping. It does work well for my pain just keeps me stupid enough to not chase using other pain relievers. I have gained back all my weight plus some. I want to lose the plus some weight that I don’t want. Crying in the dark for help and then someone comes to the rescue and pulls the shade the rest of the way down.

  12. Hi Fran. These all do sound like substance addiction symptoms. Did you get the results? What did the test say?

  13. I think my friend is addicted to Suboxone, she says she sick so we took her to a doctor, he agreed it looks like drugs but she passes the test so he took a blood test and we asked him to test for this without her knowing we find out wed, also a nuerooglist tomorrow , she has no idea we think this she thinks we believe her and we dont want to say anything just in case it is a medical problem her symptons are
    mood swings, slurred speech, makes no sense when speaking, shakes,trouble breathing,seizure just sits in bed all day stopped being herself , weight loss, , lying all the time . if we did not step in she will be dead soon we need to know if these are signs wed is a long time and she is real bad

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