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Safe Suboxone Withdrawal and Detox

It's an unfortunate truth that some of the same tools used to treat addiction can become addicting themselves, and this is true for Suboxone. Suboxone is a medication used to help address the severe withdrawals associated with stopping the use of opioids such as pain killers and heroin. Outside of a well-structured treatment environment, individuals who are already prone to addiction can become physically dependent on Suboxone, which leads to a need for outside assistance when detoxing.

Call us today for more information about safely detoxing from Suboxone. Our counselors can be reached anytime at (877) 392-3342, and consultations are kept confidential and are free.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a prescription medication that contains ingredients known as buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a medication used in the treatment of opioid addictions because it provides some of the same feelings that an opioid does, though not always at the same intensity. This lets medical providers help someone with an opioid dependency wean off of drug use without experiencing some of the uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms associated with withdrawal.

The second active ingredient in Suboxone, which is naloxone, helps reduce the chance that someone might abuse Suboxone by injecting it to get a high. The drug is designed to cause withdrawal symptoms if it's taken in any manner other than orally, which helps safeguard individuals who are struggling to make better decisions about drug use.

The ingredients in Suboxone are approved for use in both inpatient and outpatient environments, which makes it a versatile solution for treating certain addictions. Unlike treatment with methadone, which usually requires a very strict clinical environment, treatment with Suboxone can be customized to meet the needs of your personal situation.

What is Suboxone Detox?

Successful Suboxone detox involves inpatient treatment in a professional, caring environment staffed by both medical and mental health staff. Medical staff oversee the detox process to ensure you are medically-stable and comfortable while coming off of Suboxone. Medical supervision is important for safety because withdrawal symptoms can include fever, headache, digestive distress and other physical ailments. Medical staff are able to immediately address such symptoms to make detox more comfortable.

An important aspect of inpatient treatment is comprehensive attention to all your physical, chemical dependency and mental health needs. While the medical aspects of detox often concentrate on physical, emotional and mental withdrawal symptoms, counseling and education is also critical to long-term success, especially once you leave our facility. Individual and group therapy helps you address risks or triggers for drug use and understand and practice healthy coping skills. 

Is Suboxone Addictive?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Suboxone can cause physical dependence. While the FDA notes that physical dependence and addiction are not exactly the same thing, the inability to stop using Suboxone on your own – even if you've been prescribed it for legitimate use – can come with some of the same impact as an addiction. Someone who is already addicted to other drugs or is struggling with addiction or recovery can, in fact, become addicted to Suboxone.

If you are using Suboxone that hasn't been prescribed to you, or if you are using Suboxone above what has been prescribed to you, then you are likely abusing the drug. If you suffer from physical withdrawals when you don't take the drug regularly or if you are taking risky actions to obtain and maintain your use of the drug and you want to stop, call us today. Our compassionate team answers phone calls any time of the day, all year round, and you can reach someone at (877) 392-3342. Even if you aren't sure you are dealing with an addiction, call for a free, confidential consultation to find out more for peace of mind and the knowledge of what actions you can take today.

Side Effects of Suboxone Abuse and Withdrawal

Suboxone Short Term AbuseLike any prescription drug, Suboxone does have potential side effects, and those effects can be magnified by abuse of the drug. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration notes that the potential side effects of the buprenorphine in Suboxone include:

  • Muscle cramps or aches
  • Sleep issues
  • Irritability or feelings of distress
  • Cravings for the drug or other substances
  • Digestive distress
  • Fever or chills

The symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal include all of the side effect symptoms as well as:

  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Numbness in the mouth or extremities
  • Constipation
  • Irregular heart beat
  • A decrease in the amount of sleep you get
  • Blurred or irregular vision
  • Fainting and dizziness
  • Lethargic behavior and fatigue
  • Problems with memory or concentration

Long Term Suboxone SymptomsThe FDA notes that use of Suboxone outside of professional treatment, including overusing prescribed Suboxone, can be dangerous. Suboxone can lead to very serious respiratory problems, including extremely slow breathing that impacts your body's oxygen supply. The FDA also cautions people not to stop taking Suboxone cold turkey if they have been prescribed it because the withdrawal symptoms can be painful and even dangerous to health. The same is true if you have developed a physical dependency on the drug, as your body might now believe it needs the drug to survive. In such a case, one of the best routes to a healthy, long-term recovery from Suboxone addiction is via professional treatment.

Signs of Suboxone Withdrawal

Regardless of why you began taking Suboxone, you might think you can stop taking it on your own. Physical symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal can last for months and are often both painful and very inconvenient. This is why most people have little success staying off the drug long-term when they try to detox on their own. 

Some common physical side effects of Suboxone withdrawal include:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Fevers and chills
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive discomfort or acute distress
  • Sweating

All of these symptoms could interfere with your ability to work productively or interact with others, and you could also experience emotional and mental Suboxone side effects and withdrawal symptoms. They can include:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating

On top of all those symptoms, you will also likely crave Suboxone or other drugs even a month or more after you believe you are fully detoxed. 

The severity and duration of Suboxone withdrawal symptoms depends on your body, how long you have been physically dependent on the drug and how much of the drug you have been taking. For many people, the only effective way to detox safely from Suboxone without dealing with debilitating withdrawal symptoms is in a professional environment.

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptom Timeline

Even knowing the side effects, you might think you can grin and bear your way through Suboxone detox on your own because the symptoms will only last a few days. While the symptoms are often the worst in the first few days, they can go on for months, especially if you don't detox in a safe, healthy manner.

During the first few days, the physical symptoms are usually at their worst, and they can be debilitating. Because people who are trying to detox on their own might not want to admit their drug dependency to others, they often try to detox while maintaining work, family and social lifestyles. This leads to a very real struggle, because it's hard to deal with issues such as severe nausea, digestive pain or headaches while acting like nothing is wrong. The result is that people turn to Suboxone for temporary relief and end up reentering the dependency cycle.

Even after the first few days, mood swings and bodily pain can be a problem during the first week or two. After a week or two of dealing with such issues, individuals can begin to feel both discouraged and depressed. Outside of a professional treatment environment, these feelings often lead to repeated drug use.

While this overview of the Suboxone withdrawal timeline might paint a bleak picture, there is good news. You don't have to hide your struggle from everyone. You can reach out to caring professionals anytime – any day – to share your struggle and find out how to reduce the impact of withdrawal and seek successful recovery.

After Suboxone Detox

The goal of professional detox should never just be to treat the immediate physical dependency on Suboxone. By working with others, you can learn what factors might have contributed to the dependency and how you can reduce those risks in healthy ways. Education on diet, exercise and nutrition, coping skills and stress relief, and the ongoing drug-recovery process are all critical components of success.

Don't face a Suboxone detox alone, and don't talk yourself into the lie that you have no choice but to keep taking the drug. You always have a choice, and our compassionate counselors are available right now – anytime of day, even on holidays – to talk to you online or on the phone about those choices. 

Call toll-free at (877) 392-3342 to talk to someone about your desire to live Suboxone free. All calls are confidential and consultations are free.

Learn more about our Treatment for Suboxone Abuse.

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