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Suboxone Abuse and Addiction

Drug Abuse and Addiction Suboxone Abuse and Addiction

Suboxone Addiction & Treatment

Suboxone is a prescription medication used in the treatment of opioid addiction during opioid drug detox.  It can also be addicting, as it has some of the same attributes as the prescription opioids it is used to treat.  Overcoming opioid abuse and drug addiction can be tough, and medically assisted detox can be one of the treatment methods used.  Drug rehab treatment plans are designed to identify the specific needs of each patient who is struggling with opioid dependency or any other substance use disorders. Opioid withdrawal can come with some severe symptoms and drug and alcohol treatment options that include medication assisted treatment programs can be vital to someone’s drug addiction recovery. 

What is Suboxone?

Prescription medications that are marketed under the brand names Zubsolv, Suboxone, and Bunavail are a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone. It is used as part of the treatment for opioid use disorder during the drug detox process. Although it is used in the treatment of opioid addiction, addiction and abuse of Suboxone are possible issues that can occur. The combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone are used for multiple purposes to help with opioid withdrawal.  Buprenorphine is a partial Opioid agonist which blocks the opioid receptors which is done to reduce an individual’s urges to use the drug. Naloxone acts to reverse the effects of opioids in a person’s system. 

Suboxone Effects

The positive effects of the combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone in Suboxone, which include the cessation of opioid withdrawal side effects and the urge to use opioids as you go through drug detox, are very helpful for those people beginning substance abuse recovery.  There are some negative side effects associated with using Suboxone which can occur when taking the drug for either legitimate or illicit purposes.  These can include the following: 

  • headache
  • anxiety
  • insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  • sweating
  • depression
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • weakness or fatigue
  • back pain
  • burning tongue
  • redness in the mouth

Additionally, individuals can feel the effects of opioid withdrawal symptoms, such as body aches, abdominal cramps, and rapid heart rate.

Signs of Suboxone Abuse and Addiction

Abusing Suboxone, even if you started taking the prescription medication for a legitimate substance abuse treatment reason, can lead to addiction. Treatment programs that use Suboxone for medication assisted treatment closely monitor the use of the drug, but individuals can still abuse the substance.  If one of your loved ones is using Suboxone for opioid use disorder and you think they may have entered a cycle of abuse and addiction of the prescription medication, here are some signs your loved ones may have a problem: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tearing
  • Fainting
  • Appetite loss
  • Impaired or slurred speech
  • Sleep trouble
  • Muscle aches
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased blood pressure

As you may note, some of the symptoms of abuse can also occur during normal use of the drug. 

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

Although doses of Suboxone have helped in treating opioid addiction for thousands of people each year, individuals do abuse and become addicted to the drug.  Suboxone is only a partial opioid antagonist, however, addiction does occur.  When someone is addicted to Suboxone and stops taking the drug, they will experience symptoms similar to opioid withdrawal.  Here are some of the possible side effects of Suboxone withdrawal: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Lethargy
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Cravings
  • Fever or chills
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty concentrating

Long Term Side Effects of Suboxone Abuse

Suboxone treatment is a very good option for people struggling with heroin addiction, opioid addiction, and side effects are usually mild when taken as directed.  However, when someone abuses Suboxone and becomes addicted, taking the drug over a long period of time can cause serious side effects. These serious symptoms of Suboxone abuse can include the following:

  • severe allergic reaction or Suboxone overdose
  • abuse and dependence
  • breathing problems
  • coma
  • hormone problems (adrenal insufficiency)
  • liver damage
  • severe withdrawal symptoms

Suboxone Addiction Treatment

Being addicted to Suboxone can be treated at a drug abuse treatment facility. Types of treatment and levels of care may vary, but inpatient treatment, outpatient rehab, family therapy, behavioral therapy, and meditation therapy are all options. Being treated for Suboxone addiction may also take place during care for a cooccurring disorder like bipolar disorder, eating disorder or anxiety disorder. 

Treatment plans for opioid dependency, including Suboxone, are available across the country and anyone who thinks they may have become addicted to the drug should contact their doctor immediately. If one of your loved ones is taking Suboxone for opioid treatment, be aware of the signs of abuse listed above.