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What is Suboxone?

suboxone label

While not everyone has heard of Suboxone or knows what it is, there are many people who are addicted to this powerful drug and who are in need of help to overcome Suboxone addiction. While there are many people struggling with Suboxone addiction, there are plenty of others for whom Suboxone has been a lifesaver. As with many drugs, Suboxone can be used therapeutically and it can also be abused. When a drug like Suboxone is abused, it can be dangerous.

Suboxone is the brand name for buprenorphine, a synthetic opioid and partial opioid agonist. Suboxone is used to treat addiction from other opioids such as heroin or prescription painkillers. This allows the person to replace heroin with the Suboxone and begin the process of tapering off opioids altogether. Suboxone is an opioid, but it doesn’t produce the same euphoric high that drugs like heroin, OxyContin or morphine do. It is believed to reduce cravings and also blocks the effects of other opioid drug use, making them less likely to abuse other drugs while on Suboxone.

Proponents for Suboxone use cite the following as advantages or benefits of Suboxone use:

  • Lowered physical dependence
  • Milder withdrawal profile
  • Less likelihood of abuse
  • Blocks the effects of other opioids
  • Helps people stay in treatment

Suboxone Misuse

While Suboxone may help people to taper off and quit opioids altogether, there is a flipside. Sometimes, people can end up taking Suboxone for years, unable to taper off and quit using it. People may also continue abusing other drugs while taking Suboxone, potentially creating a hazardous situation with drug interactions. Suboxone may also be abused on its own, sold on the street and taken without the supervision of a physician.

While a person using Suboxone will not get the same high that one would get from heroin or Vicodin or Oxy’s, there is still an effect. Not only that, but people will take Suboxone when they can’t get other drugs so that they can avoid the withdrawal symptoms. Another problem is that a person may use other drugs with the Suboxone to increase the effects, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. This can lead to dangerous drug interactions that can cause serious harm or even death.

Opiate overdose is possible, especially if a person takes other opiates with the Suboxone. Because Suboxone is an opioid agonist, it minimizes the feeling of euphoria that someone would normally feel when taking the drug. In other words, if a person on Suboxone takes a Vicodin or does heroin, they aren’t really going to feel it. The danger is that the person may then take more of the drug so that they can feel it, and thus increase their chances of overdosing.

Signs of Suboxone Addiction

There are many different signs that can point to addiction. Physical signs of opiate use are one way to identify Suboxone addiction. Here are some that you may recognize:

  • Sleepiness and lethargy at inappropriate times. He or she may seem to doze off at random, unexpected times. This is known as “nodding out.”
  • At the same time, a person who has a Suboxone addiction may struggle getting to sleep. Insomnia isn’t uncommon.
  • Sudden changes in weight often accompany opioid addiction.
  • The Suboxone addict may appear pale, drawn and have dark circles under the eyes.
  • Constricted pupils.
  • Other physical signs of opiate use: Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, shaking, sweating, constant yawning, itchiness.
  • Other signs of Suboxone addiction may include:
  • Avoiding family and friends.
  • Missing work or school, or performing poorly.
  • Uncharacteristic behavior.
  • Erratic mood swings.
  • Depression, anxiety, agitation.
  • Financial struggles, needing to borrow money, not paying bills.

These are just some of the signs that drug abuse and addiction are taking over someone’s life. Fortunately, there is help for Suboxone addiction.

Getting Help for Suboxone Addiction

If you are struggling with Suboxone addiction, our team of licensed and certified addictions and mental health professionals at Dedicato Treatment Center can help you. Whether you have been using Suboxone recreationally or are on a Suboxone program and wish to stop taking opioids altogether, Dedicato Treatment Can help you get off Suboxone for good.

The first step is to detox from the drug. This may be done over a period of days or weeks. Some people may slowly taper off, and some may go off quickly. It is important to seek medical advice when choosing to get off opioid drugs. Dedicato Treatment Center detox services can give you the support you need to detox in a safe and comfortable manner.

After detox our treatment team will help you start your road to recovery. This is where you will address the psychological aspects of your addiction. It is important to do this because if you stop with detoxing from drug but go no further you are more likely to relapse in the future. Treatment can give you the tools and insight needed to build a foundation of recovery that will allow you to remain free of Suboxone addiction.