Suboxone Saves Lives, but Suboxone Withdrawal is a Problem

Suboxone can save the lives of people who are addicted to opiates, but dependence on it can lead to challenging withdrawal symptoms. 

Table of Contents

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is an opioid medication containing a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. It is a controlled substance classified as a Schedule III prescription drug. The drug blocks a person’s opioid receptors, which can reduce the urge to consume more potent, dangerous illegal opioids. However, those who become too dependent on this substance may suffer from Suboxone withdrawal symptoms if they cut back.

What does it Treat?

Typically, Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction and dependence on opioid drugs. Since Suboxone can reduce a person’s cravings for other opioids that are more dangerous and illegal, it is frequently used as a substance replacement therapy to treat people suffering from opioid addiction.

Is Suboxone Addictive?

Yes, Suboxone can be addictive. Because it is considered an opioid, people who suffer from opioid addictions may be susceptible to Suboxone addiction. If Suboxone is abused or an individual becomes physically or psychologically dependent on it, then addiction becomes a common side effect.

This dependence can be extremely dangerous, as abuse or overuse of Suboxone can lead to overdose. 

How is Suboxone Metabolized?

Suboxone is metabolized through the liver. When ingested, the drug is absorbed through the blood and exposed to liver enzymes. The substance is then released back into the blood, filtered by the kidneys, then excreted through urine. 

Suboxone Half-life

To understand the half-life of Suboxone, it is essential to consider the half-lives of the two different components that make up the drug (buprenorphine and naloxone). The half-life of buprenorphine is twenty-four to forty-two hours. The half-life of naloxone is two to twelve hours.2

Typically, it can take five to eight days for the body to rid itself of all traces of Suboxone.

Factors that Affect Detection Time

Several factors can affect the detection time of Suboxone in the body. The detection time can be affected by one’s:
  • Metabolism speed
  • Height and weight
  • Body fat content
  • Dosage size
  • Liver health
  • Substance tolerance level

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

Suboxone Withdrawal 

Suboxone withdrawal involves a wide range of symptoms. The Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Tongue pain
  • Mouth numbness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sweating
  • Back pain
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Insomnia

Withdrawal from Suboxone can also increase the risk of opiate relapse. 

Precipitated Withdrawal

Precipitated opioid klonopin withdrawal is a phenomenon that occurs when a substance can stimulate withdrawal within an opioid user. When Suboxone is taken by someone who is dealing with opioid abuse, the medication has higher binding strength and can block their opioid receptors, leading to the immediate onset of withdrawal symptoms. 

How Long Does Suboxone Withdrawal Last?

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms can last up to a month, but the intense physical withdrawal symptoms typically last up to seventy-two hours. The withdrawal timeline can vary from person to person. People experiencing Suboxone withdrawal symptoms can expect trouble sleeping, body aches and pains, and mood swings for up to one week.

Strong feelings of depression caused by withdrawal from Suboxone can occur for up to two weeks. The opioid cravings and depression typically take up to one month to dissipate. As mentioned before, the Suboxone withdrawal timeline is different for everyone. 

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications to treat substance use disorders. MAT can sometimes help patients sustain recovery and prevent overdoses. MAT is frequently used in the process of detox to recover from an opioid addiction or substance use disorder. 

Using Suboxone as MAT

Suboxone is used as MAT for opioid addiction and dependence. Although the medication does not act as an end-all-be-all cure for substance use disorder, it can help wean the patient off the harmful opioids. Using Suboxone as MAT can also decrease the risk of overdose and substance abuse. 

Why Suboxone?

Suboxone has proven to be effective for opioid-replacement therapy since it can bind to opioid receptors and precipitate the withdrawal process. Psychological cravings can be reduced when taking Suboxone to treat a substance use disorder. 

What to Expect?

When taking Suboxone for MAT, expect opioid cravings to subside after the drug has taken effect. The long-acting effects of Suboxone allow people to eventually partake in alternate-day dosing before weaning off entirely. 

Tapering Suboxone

Tapering Suboxone can help avoid or eliminate dependence on the addictive substances within Suboxone. When tapering Suboxone, the dose size is consistently decreased over time to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Stabilization

Stabilization takes place when the person is no longer using the original opiate that caused the addiction disorder and no longer feels cravings for that drug. The stabilization phase of Suboxone withdrawal can last from one to two months. Once patients have fully stabilized, they can proceed to do alternate-day dosing. 

Suboxone Detection Test

Suboxone can be detected in the body through several testing methods. The length of detection time may vary from person to person, depending on tolerance, weight, height, age, body fat content, liver health, and dosage size.

  • Urine: This drug can be detected in a urine test from eight to twenty days, depending on the size of the dosage.
  • Hair: Suboxone can be detected in a hair follicle test for up to three months after consumption.
  • Blood: The substance can be detected in a blood test for up to two days.
  • Saliva: Suboxone can be detected in a saliva test for up to two days on average.

Treatment for Suboxone Addiction

Suboxone Detox

Detox for treating Suboxone addiction and the different types of withdrawal symptoms involve allowing a person to be in a safe and comfortable space while tapering off this substance. For safety purposes and to reduce relapse risk, Suboxone detox should always be medically supervised. Withdrawal from this substance can be extremely difficult and dangerous if done alone and without professional aid. 

Therapies

Therapy usually begins during or after someone detoxes from the substance. A person being treated for Suboxone addiction may undergo different therapies to help them mentally and emotionally overcome the difficult withdrawal period and understand the source of their addiction. For people with severe addiction disorders, long-term therapy may be necessary to avoid relapse. 

Resources

Related Content

Gina Bowman

Executive Assistant

Gina Bowman is the Executive Assistant at Brooks Healing Center. She was born in Florida but resides in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband, Tyler Bowman, and two daughters Charlotte and Isabella.

Gina is a friendly, loyal, and dedicated individual. She has a heart for helping others and understands the effects of addiction and the toll it can take on families. She is the one that helps make things happen behind the scenes and brings fun ideas to Brooks Healing Center as well as keeping things organized. 

Colleen Bradford, MBA, BA-MHR

Executive Director, Human Resources Director

Colleen Believes servitude towards others provides a solid foundation for personal and professional growth. She is a calm problem solver who juggles multiple situations simultaneously and works confidently and efficiently in even the most challenging, fast-paced environments. She is highly regarded for her consistent ability to apply sound judgment, emotional intelligence, and etiquette to sensitive, confidential, and unpredictable situations. She is an organized, professional, resourceful, and seasoned healthcare professional with diverse skills for boosting organizational productivity and quality of care initiatives.

Colleen has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration with a minor in health care administration from Trevecca Nazarene University. She has been married for 32 years to Doyle Bradford, and they have two sons, Thomas and Allen Bradford, along with two grandchildren, Ben and Faith Bradford. She is excited to have this unique opportunity to serve her community. She is a phenomenal cookie baker and mother figure to those at the Brooks Healing Center. We are honored to have her be a part of our vision. 

Frank Throneberry

Co-Founder and COO

Frank is a lifelong 7th generation native of Middle Tennessee. Frank cares for his local community and keeping Tennessee healthy, knowing that people all over the USA seek out his home state’s friendly and outdoor atmosphere. He is a hardworking and energetic person that is no stranger to going out of his way to help others.

Frank started his recovery from alcohol and substance abuse over seven years ago. He is continually working on a recovery program and became passionate about sharing his story, helping others, and supporting others to find freedom from their addiction. He also formerly owned and managed ‘recovery community’ homes where he walked with and encouraged many individuals in their journey. Frank’s servant attitude is what helps him listen, understand, and put others’ needs first.

Outside of his career, Frank cherishes his time with his wife, Maribeth, and his three children: Jackson, Piper, and Charlie. They enjoy the great outdoors on their family farm in Shelbyville, TN, and boating and fishing with family on Tim’s Ford Lake. He is a dedicated husband and father. 

James “Tyler” Bowman

Founder and CEO

Tyler is the heart of the Brooks Healing Center. His vision is to guide others to find their own recovery and to thrive in life. Tyler was fortunate to have lived through his addiction and now finds fulfillment in serving others. Tyler has worked in the substance abuse field for over five years and felt convicted to build a place where individuals are loved until they can learn to love themselves.  

Tyler has the love and support of his family as he continues to provide care to those who have lost themselves along the way. Tyler is the father of two daughters, Charlotte, his oldest, and Isabella, his youngest. Tyler’s wife, Gina, supports the Brooks Healing Center’s vision, and she shares his passion for helping others as well.  

Tyler has a story to tell and is willing to share his experiences, good or bad, with anyone. Brooks Healing Center is the way he gives back for all he took when he was using. For the past seven years, Tyler has gone beyond to share his recovery and is thriving in life.