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Suboxone Use

Suboxone Is Effective

Suboxone is a prescribed medication made of combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist-antagonist, while the latter is opioid antagonist. Because it acts directly on the central nervous system, Suboxone blocks euphoria effects produced by opiates, eases drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

In medicine, Suboxone is used to treat addiction, and has changed the whole process of treating and understanding addiction. 

However, some people find ways to get “high” on Suboxone. How? Find out more about medical use of Suboxone AND Suboxone drug abuse in the article below. Then, we invite your questions in the comments section at the end.
Suboxone can be misused.
If you find yourself taking Suboxone in ways other than prescribed …
You may need help.
Call us.
Find out more about your treatment options.

Medical Use Of Suboxone

Suboxone is the brand name for a medicine that contains buprenorphine, a semi-synthetic, mixed agonist-antagonist opioid modulator. Its primary use in medicine is to treat adults who are addicted to opioid drugs as a part of addiction treatment program. Usually, it is used in replacement opioid therapy to maintain levels of opioid in the body.

Moreover, as a potential analgesic, Suboxone has been used to treat pain for over 30 years, most often as transdermal patch. When used as recommended, Suboxone has proven to be safe and effective medication. How does it work?

Buprenorphine acts directly on the central nervous system by blocking the feelings of euphoria made by opiates. Moreover, it eases drug cravings and symptoms of withdrawal which happen after a period of physical dependence has developed. Therefore, you do not get “high” when you use Suboxone at appropriate dosing. In fact,  proper dosing helps stops the physical need to abuse opioids/opiates.

Suboxone vs. Methadone Use

Experts claim that the effectiveness of Suboxone and methadone are almost identical, but Suboxone has a lower maintenance rate at low doses from 2-6mg than low doses from 40mg or less of methadone. However, both drugs allow people to recover from addiction, and continue with their lives.

Suboxone Recreational Use

Still, Suboxone is an addictive drug. Even though buprenorphine blocks the euphoria of drugs such as morphine and heroin by binding with the same brain receptors, it is an opioid modulator, so it can trigger adverse effects like euphoric feelings. In comparison with other similar medications, the euphoric high effects of Suboxone are much less intense. Still, the way that people are getting high on Suboxone is by taking Suboxone other than prescribed.

If your intentions are to get “high” on Suboxone, you risk overdose and health problems.

Classified as Schedule III controlled substance, any Suboxone use besides prescribed by a doctor is illegal. Some of the most abusive modes of Suboxone administration include:

Chewing/crushing Suboxone = This mode of administration lead to tooth decay and a variety of gum problems.

Snorting Suboxone = The drug instantly enters the bloodstream, and starts to act almost immediately when you are taking Suboxone this way. Moreover, you can harm your nasal passages.

Injecting Suboxone pills = Pills and tablets are designed to be swallowed, but if you are injecting them you put yourself at great risk. Collapsed veins, swelling, and bruising are just some of the harmful risks that injecting Suboxone may bring to you.

IMPORTANT: Overdose is the great risk when abusing any kind of drug. In case of a Suboxone overdose immediately call 911 or Poison Control Centre on 1-800-222-1222.

Long Term Suboxone Use

Chronic or long term use of Suboxone is defined as use that lasts at least 6 month or more. Actually, if you are using Suboxone for 6 months and more, medically speaking, that period is considered long-term use of Suboxone.

Q: But, are there any side effects of long-term Suboxone use?
A: Increased level of drug tolerance and physical dependence are possible after long-term Suboxone use.

After regular use of Suboxone for a few weeks, the human system adopts the presence of the drug, and changes its internal chemistry to achieve homeostasis. In fact, this is the definition of developing physical dependence on Suboxone, a physical need of the body to use the drug in order to function normally. Moreover, the body increases Suboxone tolerance levels over time. Tolerance means that the body requires higher drug doses or more frequent dosing intervals in order to achieve initial effect.

Suboxone Long Term Use Side Effects

Buprenorphine’s side effects are similar to those of opioids. The effects of taking Suboxone can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting, and constipation
  • Sweating

Additionally, Suboxone can provoke a number of longer term effects. Here is a list of the most common side effects associated with long-term Suboxone use:

  • Drug dependence
  • Headache
  • Increased tolerance for buprenorphine
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Stomach pain

Prolonged Use Of Suboxone

It takes a relative short time to get used to Suboxone. After you have developed dependence on Suboxone, if you stop taking it or even you lower the daily dose, you will experience Suboxone withdrawal symptoms.

Usually, these symptoms occur a few hours after the last missed intake. During the first few days, withdrawal symptoms are mild, but reach their severity peak about 2-5 days after the last dose. Symptoms often resolve in 7-10 days. But, protracted symptoms may last couple of weeks to months. Some of the most common Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Body aches
  • Cold sweats
  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Mood changes
  • Pupil dilation
  • Poor appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nausea and vomiting

Suboxone Use Questions

This is only a small review of Suboxone use. Do you still have more questions? Please feel free to leave your questions in the comments section at the end of the page or contact us via our contact-us page. We will try to respond to you with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: Buprenorphine
NIH: Medicine Plus: Buprenorphine
NIH: Daily Med: Suboxodone
HFS: Suboxodone
Justice: Misuse of Buprenorphine-Related Products

Suboxone Use

How to Help a Suboxone Addict

How to Help a Suboxone Addict

September 15th, 2018

A list of resources for where to go for help, plus a full explanation of how Suboxone addiction occurs in the first place. Learn the signs and symptoms…and how to address them. More here.

2 Is Suboxone safe?

Is Suboxone safe?

June 29th, 2016

Yes, Suboxone is generally a safe medication. More on manufacturer and FDA safety guidelines when using Suboxone in the treatment of opiate addiction here.

15 Does Suboxone help with cravings?

Does Suboxone help with cravings?

August 3rd, 2015

Yes, Suboxone addresses drug cravings. Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone to decrease your desire for opiates and to block their effects should you take them. More on how Suboxone works as a complement to addiction treatment here.

21 Does Suboxone help with opiate withdrawal?

Does Suboxone help with opiate withdrawal?

May 27th, 2015

Yes. Suboxone can treat opiate addiction by preventing symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and other opiates. More on this type of medication assisted treatment here.

119 Is Bunavail like Suboxone?

Is Bunavail like Suboxone?

March 28th, 2015

Read about the similarities and differences between Suboxone and Bunavail for the treatment of opioid dependence and addiction here.

13 How does Suboxone work in the brain?

How does Suboxone work in the brain?

June 1st, 2014

Dr. Jeffry Junig explains here how buprenorphine (the main psychoactive ingredient in Suboxone) works in the brain.

40 How does Suboxone make you feel?

How does Suboxone make you feel?

May 4th, 2014

How you ‘feel’ after taking buprenorphine or Suboxone depends on your tolerance to opioids. But after dosing is optimized people on the medication usually feel normal, as they would feel if they were not on an opioid. More on Suboxone here.

79 Does Suboxone cause weight gain or loss?

Does Suboxone cause weight gain or loss?

April 25th, 2014

Weight loss is common during active Suboxone dependence. However, Suboxone abuse is often related to unhealthy lifestyle issues. More on Suboxone and weight loss/gain here.

22 Does Suboxone (buprenorphine) treat pain?

Does Suboxone (buprenorphine) treat pain?

March 25th, 2014

Buprenorphine (the main ingredient in Suboxone) is a potent opioid analgesic, and has been used intravenously to treat pain for over 30 years. More on Suboxone for pain here.

16 Can Suboxone kill you?

Can Suboxone kill you?

March 19th, 2014

Yes, Suboxone can kill you in certain situations, like when you mix Suboxone with other respiratory depressants, most often benzodiazepines like alprazolam or clonazepam. More on risks of Suboxone use and abuse inside.

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Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “Suboxone Use
3:00 am August 17th, 2018

Yes..I just picked a friend up who told me she was given SUBOXONE by another friend for a sprained finger; about 18 hrs ago. She does not take opiates at all…she is really out of it….has mild heart problems. I called the person who gave her this drug…he said he gave her 2, 2mg pills. Do I need to take her to hospital

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
3:08 pm August 17th, 2018

Hi Martha. If your friend doesn’t feel well, take her to hospital.