What is Suboxone?

Suboxone® is a prescription medication containing a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone treatment can help people addicted to drugs like prescription painkillers, heroin and morphine.

Suboxone® helps reduce the harsh withdrawal symptoms that come from quitting opioids / opiates and also helps to reduce cravings. With reduced withdrawal symptoms and cravings, Suboxone® users may be better able to complete their detox from opioids / opiates, stay in treatment, and achieve long-term addiction recovery.

What is Suboxone Treatment?

In general, patients who are diagnosed with opioid / opiate addiction may be prescribe Suboxone treatment. Suboxone® softens the withdrawal symptoms that the patient would feel coming off opioids/opiates “cold-turkey.” Opioid/opiate withdrawal syndrome (the name for all of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal taken together) can be very uncomfortable but is not generally considered to be life threatening.

Once Suboxone treatment begins, your doctor will determine how long the treatment will last.

Suboxone treatment may work best when provided in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, like one of the outpatient treatment programs offered at Advanced Health and Education.

How is Suboxone® Different from Other Opioids?

Suboxone® contains buprenorphine and naloxone.

Buprenorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid medication used for pain management. Buprenorphine is called a “partial opioid agonist” because it has some – but not all – of the effects of “full opioid agonists” like heroin.  Although buprenorphine blocks pain like other opioids / opiates, it does not cause the same euphoric effect when taken as prescribed. As such, there is less risk of physical dependence and misuse compared to other opioids / opiates. At the same time, buprenorphine blocks the effects of other opioids / opiates and decreases cravings.

Naloxone is an opioid “antagonist.” Naloxone actually counters the effects of an opiate overdose. Naloxone is added to Suboxone to discourage patients from trying to dissolve and inject the medication to try to get high.

What are the Symptoms of Withdrawal After Suboxone Treatment?

There are mild withdrawal symptoms when stopping Suboxone at the end of the course of detox treatment. The withdrawal symptoms typically begin the first day ingestion stops and can include:

  • Depression
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Watery eyes
  • Stomach cramps/diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Sleepiness
  • Aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

What to do Before Beginning Suboxone Treatment

Before beginning Suboxone treatment, patients should advise their doctors of any recent narcotics use, or any of the following:

  • Any allergy to buprenorphine
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Constipation/bowel conditions
  • Respiration problems (asthma, apnea, sleep apnea, COPD)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Seizures
  • Brain tumors
  • Thyroid or adrenal gland problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding
  • Muscle weakness
  • Head injury
  • Enlarged prostate or urination problems
  • History of mental illness/psychosis
  • HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis (B or C)

Call Us for Suboxone Treatment and Detox Referrals

Please call our New Jersey rehab facility today for a free consultation. We can refer you to a detox program offering Suboxone® treatment and let you know what other therapy programs may be available for you or your loved one. Call our NJ rehabilitation center 24 hours a day at 888-687-6977, or contact us here.