Snorting Suboxone

Suboxone should never be snorted. But can snorting Suboxone be effective vs taking Suboxone orally? We review the dangers of snorting Suboxone and whether or not they can be avoided here.

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The effects of snorting and getting high on Suboxone range from sweating to overdose. You may even trigger opiate withdrawal. So, if you’re thinking about snorting Suboxone, you should know what happens!

In the interest of opioid harm reduction, we review what happens in the body while snorting Suboxone, as well as the dangers and safety concerns of snorting this narcotic medication. We welcome your questions at the end of this article, and will try to answer all legitimate inquiries with a personal reply ASAP.

Suboxone: What are you really snorting?

Suboxone is a prescription drug used to treat pain as well as addiction to opiates. Suboxone works by reducing opiate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The active ingredients in Suboxone are buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone. Inactive ingredients may include lactose mannitol, cornstarch, povidine, citric acid, sodium citrate, magnesium stearate, acesulfame potassium, and flavoring agents.

If you snort Suboxone, you won’t be only insufflating buprenorphine, but also these additional additives and chemicals. And regardless of how you take it,  Suboxone shows up on a drug test when specifically targeted.

How does snorting Suboxone affect the body?

Suboxone affects the central nervous system (CNS).

By binding to opioid receptors in the brain, Suboxone has similar effects to stronger opiate painkillers, which is why it’s used to help those struggling with opiate addiction. But Suboxone reaches a “ceiling” at doses higher than 16-32 mg. In other words, in doses higher than 16 mg, Suboxone ceases to have further effects even if you take more.

However, taking too much Suboxone is also likely to precipitate an opiate withdrawal. It’s also possible to abuse Suboxone and become addicted to it. This risk of Suboxone addiction increases when you snort it in order to get high.

Snorting Suboxone side effects

Taking Suboxone can lead to the same withdrawal effects experienced with opiates. Withdrawal is more likely to occur when the medication is taken in high doses. The possible withdrawal side effects of snorting Suboxone include:

  • drug cravings
  • fever
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • stomach pain
  • sweating

Snorting Suboxone to get high

Snorting Suboxone provides a fairly lackluster “high.” Just as with any drug, when you snort Suboxone, the action causes large amounts of buprenorphine to instantly hit the bloodstream and cross the blood-brain barrier. This instant effect is dangerous, because it can put you at risk of overdose or toxicity. If you are tolerant of opioids, you may be less likely to overdose on Suboxone because it’s comparatively weaker than similar drugs. But it’s still a risk.

Snorting Suboxone vs oral

Suboxone is only intended to be taken orally – the tablet is placed beneath the tongue and is absorbed into the bloodstream through the mouth’s mucosa. Oral preparations are safer than snorted Suboxone, because the dose can be controlled.

While crushing and snorting Suboxone may cause a quicker onset of effects, causing almost immediate relief of opiate withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand it’s much more dangerous, especially because higher doses don’t correlate to more intense effects.

Snorting Suboxone dangers

Snorting Suboxone has some serious side effects.

  1. First, it can cause opiate withdrawal.
  2. Second, (and you may not have thought about this) snorting any drug can harm your nasal passages over time and even spread disease if you share snorting instruments with others.
  3. Third, snorting Suboxone definitely increases the risk of becoming addicted to the medication.
  4. Finally, when you snort Suboxone it is possible to overdose.

Snorting Suboxone safely

Suboxone should never be snorted! Taking large doses of the medication all at once won’t give you better effects compared to the effects following oral administration. In fact, at higher doses when the medication reaches the “ceiling effect” it ceases to have further effects.

Also, don’t forget that we mentioned too much Suboxone can precipitate an opiate withdrawal, which is an incredibly unpleasant price to pay for a fairly lackluster “high.”

Snorting Suboxone questions

Do you still have questions about snorting Suboxone? If so, please let us know. We appreciate your feedback and try to respond to all Suboxone questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: About Buprenorphine Therapy
Medline Plus: Buprenorphine Sublingual
FDA: Subutex and Suboxone Questions and Answers
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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