The Effects of Suboxone Use
- Article Quick LinksPrint
- Is Suboxone Harmful?
- Short-Term Effects of Suboxone
- Side Effects
- Long-Term Effects of Suboxone
- Suboxone Dependence
- Suboxone Withdrawal Treatment
Is Suboxone Harmful?
Suboxone Effects question 1
Suboxone is used in the long-term management of opiate abuse, but it can, in theory, be abused itself. It tends to lead to a mellow high that lasts for around 8 to 12 hours, so its use should be tightly controlled. If you find yourself abusing Suboxone, you run the risk of becoming addicted or restarting the cycle of abuse and addiction if you're trying to taper off the drug.
Suboxone typically comes as a sublingual strip. This means it can be dissolved under the tongue. It's related to Subutex, but Suboxone has both buprenorphine and naloxone in it. What this means is that it's difficult to abuse other opiates along with the tablet, because the naloxone will counteract the effect of the other opiates. Of course, buprenorphine has a much higher affinity for opioid receptors than even naloxone, so the naloxone doesn't affect it. This makes it dangerous in overdose as Narcan cannot easily reverse the effects. Fortunately, the ceiling effect of buprenorphine means it's hard to overdose on the tablet.
Suboxone Effects question 2
Short-Term Effects of Suboxone
Suboxone abuse produces a long-lasting sense of mild euphoria when it's taken, which lasts for around 8 hours. It's nowhere near as intense as a heroin or morphine high. The general effects of the buprenorphine last for about 22 hours. Unlike most opiates, the effects don't kick in for around an hour or two, which often leads to people taking multiple tabs to try and get high – and getting the entire dose at once when they're unprepared for it.
Suboxone Effects question 3
Side effects of buprenorphine abuse include projectile vomiting for up to 24 hours after the dose, particularly if too much has been taken. One user reported that "the amount of buprenorphine required to get high is only marginally less than the amount it takes to make you puke." Because of its availability and stability, however, it's favored by a number of addicts.
Other side effects include irritability and constipation or diarrhea, as well as insomnia. Jitteriness can also occur along with pinpoint pupils. Mixing the drug with alcohol is particularly dangerous as they're both central nervous system depressants, and the mixture can lead to complications and respiratory arrest.
Once you've taken a dose of Suboxone, you won't be able to take another opioid for at least 48 to 72 hours later. The naloxone will simply block it. In addition, if you take buprenorphine of any kind before you start entering withdrawal from the previous opioid, you'll get a precipitated withdrawal, which is where the buprenorphine substitutes the opioid in your body without giving you the same level of opioid relief. This induces withdrawal symptoms rapidly.
Suboxone Effects question 4
Long-Term Effects of Suboxone
As with any opioid or opiate, Suboxone abuse can have serious side effects. It's difficult to take in large quantities thanks to the ceiling effect it has — anything over about 32 mg simply won't make the addict any higher — but that still means you can suffer from withdrawal effects.
"As with any opioid or opiate, Suboxone abuse can have serious side effects. "
Typically, withdrawal consists of flu-like symptoms that manifest around 24 to 48 hours after the last dose. Of course, the long-term effects of Suboxone include addiction.
Suboxone Effects question 5
Because Suboxone contains an opioid, it can lead to dependence. This means your body starts to build up a tolerance to it and you won't be able to stop using it. One of the key signs of Suboxone dependence is that you start to suffer from withdrawal around 48 hours after ceasing use of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can mimic the flu, but they can last for up to week. It's not ideal, but it's a sign that the opioid is being slowly removed from your body. Suboxone dependence often requires a medically monitored detox period to keep the user safe. To help a Suboxone addict, call our 24/7 hotline at (800) 943-0566 for more information.
Suboxone Effects question 6
Suboxone Withdrawal Treatment
Suboxone withdrawal treatment consists of a detox stage, a therapy stage, and a recovery stage. Detox means you'll be withdrawn from the drug. Normally, this happens gradually with your dose slowly being reduced.
Once you're done with withdrawal, you then start the process of therapy. Therapy typically starts with discussing your life and how you got into taking drugs. You'll be asked about your thoughts and feelings, and you'll need to be honest. You might also be asked about your family and how you relate to others. All of this will be used to determine why you fell into drug abuse or addiction and what steps you need to take to get off drugs. You'll also undergo cognitive behavioral therapy to help you resist future temptations to use.
The last stage is recovery, where you'll be released from care and need to restart your life. You'll be expected to use the tools you've learned and the guidance you've been given to move on from your drug addiction. It's advisable to attend a regular peer support group like Narcotics Anonymous to get support when you need it.