Get help today 888-744-0069 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

Concurrent Alcohol and Subutex Abuse

woman passed out from mixing alcohol and pills

Subutex (buprenorphine) is used to treat an addiction to opiates. However, Subutex itself is addictive. Its addictive ingredient is buprenorphine hydrochloride, which reduces symptoms of dependence on opiates.

Subutex contains only buprenorphine hydrochloride, while other drugs designed for opiate dependence may contain naloxone and other ingredients intended to prevent drug abuse.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that can intoxicate users and inhibit critical thinking and motor skills (Fama and Sullivan, 2014). Mixing alcohol and Subutex can be extremely dangerous and should never be done, as it can be fatal to mix the two (McCabe et al., 2006). Often, people facing addictions to either Subutex or alcohol are admitted to rehab programs. Most rehab programs treat those suffering from concurrent addictions.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol With Subutex

There are several signs of concurrent alcohol and Subutex abuse. Below are symptoms of alcohol and Subutex abuse.

Combined Effects of Subutex and Alcohol Abuse

man-passed-out-on-pills-alcohol-on-tableConcurrent alcohol– and Subutex-induced health problems can be dramatic and require immediate medical attention. Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, it can have an exaggerated effect when it is used in conjunction with Subutex, with alcohol potentially inhibiting the metabolism of Subutex, thereby leaving this drug active in the body for prolonged periods (Jones et al., 2012). The drug interaction between buprenorphine and alcohol is considered a major one and can lead to respiratory distress, coma, and, potentially, death.

It is fairly common for individuals abusing both of these drugs to pass out. Because the combined effects of Subutex and alcohol use are so dramatic, doctors often instruct their patients not to drink at all when using Subutex. Individuals abusing the drug may not receive this warning.

Those taking Subutex or alcohol, either together or separately, should not drive vehicles or operate heavy machinery. Find out more about the harmful effects of alcohol and Subutex use.

Treatment for Co-occurring Alcohol and Subutex Addiction

There are many rehab centers available for those suffering from concurrent alcohol and Subutex addictions. Addicted individuals have the choice of selecting to receive treatment in an outpatient facility, which treats people daily. Or, they can choose to receive treatment in an inpatient facility, where the individual can live and receive 24/7 supervision while they are treated.

Individuals suffering from both alcohol and Subutex addictions should look for structured rehab programs with good support systems. Inpatient rehab programs are often considered more structured than outpatient programs, but it is up to each individual and their doctor to choose the preferred method of action. Most rehab programs last between 30 days and 90 days, but each rehab center has its program and specified duration.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an alcohol or Subutex addiction, you may consider beginning your search for the best recovery program available. You can always overcome an addiction if you have the right support system and a little motivation. If you are feeling ready to start living sober, call us for free today at . We are looking forward to helping you find the right rehab program.

Statistics for Alcohol and Subutex Use

teen-passed-alcohol-in-bedUse of drugs such as Subutex is becoming more common in the medical industry (Yokell et al., 2011). Subutex can be addictive as an opiate substitute, so there are risks to taking the drug. Most doctors try to slowly wean their patients off of opiates and Subutex until they can live without drugs.

There are many more readily available statistics on alcohol abuse. It is estimated that there are 88,000 alcohol-related deaths in the United States each year alone (CDC, 2016). This number is extremely high by any standard.

There are few statistics focused on concurrent alcohol and Subutex use in the United States, but there is a high prevalence of alcohol and prescription drug use, especially among teenagers and high school students (McCabe et al., 2006).

Teen Drinking and Subutex Abuse

Prescription drug misuse is rising among the population, with nearly 15% of all high school students admitting that they used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Almost 40% of all high school students have used alcohol at some point in the past month, with almost one-fourth having engaged in binge drinking behaviors in the past 30 days.

The prevalence of teen drinking and prescription drug abuse is rising (CASA Report, 2011, p.30).

How to Find Help for Drug and Alcohol Misuse

Professional addiction treatment can start anyone battling a substance use disorder on the path to a happier and healthier life. American Addiction Centers (AAC) maintains trusted facilities across the country. To learn more about rehab programs and treatment options, contact a caring admissions navigator with AAC free at .

Addiction Treatment Levels of Care

Recommended Drug and Alcohol Rehab-Related Articles

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.