Suboxone Abuse: Symptoms and Treatment

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Suboxone is often used by medical professionals as a treatment for heroin addiction or limit opiate withdrawal symptoms, but is often used by others to help them get high. Just because the drug was prescribed by a doctor doesn’t mean that it’s always helpful. While it can absolutely help people in certain situations, it can also be addictive and lead to abuse.

When sold on the street, you can find Suboxone by the names of Saboxin, Subs, Bupe, Stops, Oranges, or Sobos. The generic version, buprenorphine, resulted in over half of the 30,000 hospital visits from Suboxone according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Reaching out is a hard step to take – but as soon as you do, you’ll find family, friends, and professionals who are willing and able to help you move your lifestyle to a healthier, drug-free existence.

Suboxone is a combination of two drugs designed to help wean someone off opioid addiction. Buprenorphine gives the user a diminished dose of opioid. It works by activating the receptors in the brain that are triggered by the use of an opioid, but not giving as much of a high as other similar drugs and so is harder to get addicted to. Naloxone shuts down opioid receptors, keeping the drug from reaching those receptors and reversing the effects the opioid has. This means that even if someone takes their drug of choice, it has much less effect than it did previously.

Largely used as part of a treatment to withdraw from other opiates, the dose can be increased to handle pain experienced during withdrawal without the patient forming a habit. In many cases, people who are addicted to opiates are unable to stop cold because the withdrawal symptoms would be incredibly painful or even life threatening. Someone who has previously gone through treatment for other opioids may have a Suboxone prescription for maintenance after the detox period is complete.

While Suboxone has a much lower potential for abuse that other prescription opiates, it is still a drug that people take recreationally, often when they can’t access their preferred opiate.

Suboxone Addiction Signs and Symptoms

If you or someone you know is hooked on Suboxone, then there are certain symptoms and signs you should look out for. Many Suboxone addicts function well doing their regular jobs or schoolwork and have different symptoms from other opioid addicts. You may see them withdraw from people, engage in illegal activity to acquire their drugs, have irregular sleep patterns or fatigue, exhibit memory issues, or experience headaches or slurred speech.

Addiction can happen to anyone, so instead of blaming yourself for a failure, reach out for help. Even if you became addicted to Suboxone while seeking treatment for another drug, you can continue your journey to recovery by getting off Suboxone and becoming completely drug free.

  • Short-Term Effects: Using Suboxone has some common short-term effects that can include nausea, trouble breathing or respiratory depression, constipation, insomnia, and irritability. These can all be signs that using Suboxone is causing problems in your life and it’s time to move to a completely drug-free lifestyle.
  • Long-Term Effects: If you continue to use Suboxone for a longer term, you may find it difficult to manage your emotions. You may also experience a decreased sex drive, hair loss, constipation, anxiety, a lowered tolerance for pain, and abdominal issues. Continued use can also have significant impacts on your mental and physical health such as disorientation, apathy, feelings of isolation, depression, and suicidal thoughts. You may find yourself having difficulty interacting in social situations, causing failing relationships, trouble at work or school, and legal and financial problems.
  • Overdose Symptoms: When you’re abusing any drug, you run the risk of giving yourself an overdose. It could kill you or it could just cause huge problems for your body. If you or your loved one experiences symptoms of a Suboxone overdose, get medical help immediately. Symptoms include constricted pupils, nausea, drowsiness, blurry vision, collapsing, slowed breathing, and finally falling into a coma.

prescription drugs can be addictive

Accepting Your Suboxone Addiction

If you find yourself addicted to Suboxone, know that help is available. The first step to getting that help is acknowledging the problem and asking. It may have taken a while for you to get to the point where you could admit you needed help – reaching out is a hard step to take – but as soon as you do, you’ll find family, friends, and professionals who are willing and able to help you move your lifestyle to a healthier, drug-free existence.

If you have a loved one that is abusing Suboxone, you have taken the responsibility on yourself to help them see and solve that issue since you’re reading this page. While talking to them may be a frustrating and difficult process, it could also save their life.

In many cases, personal issues such as family care and responsibilities are what is preventing someone from seeking the treatment they need.

One way to help someone become aware of their issues is to have an intervention. This is where you and other friends and family members of the person who is addicted to Suboxone come together for a meeting. Remind everyone to stay calm throughout the meeting, even if things get tough. Your job is to show how much you care and how much you’re willing to support the addict through treatment and afterwards. Share how their addiction is hurting their future and those around them. They may not have realized the ramifications of their actions and need to be shown what’s happening.

In many cases, personal issues such as family care and responsibilities are what is preventing someone from seeking the treatment they need, so come prepared with a plan to help them meet those needs while they’re taking care of their detox and treatment. Being able to relieve those worries may mean you can get them to agree to treatment.

You may not be able to get the addict to agree to treatment after the first conversation. However, be persistent. It may take time for what you’re telling them to sink in and they are unlikely to appreciate your initial attempts.

Start your intervention by sharing that you’re aware of their problem and the issues you’ve noticed. Make sure they understand how much you care about them and what you’re willing to do to help them through the process. Share treatment options and other plans you have to help them get through treatment, and remember to remind them throughout the conversation that you’re doing this because you care about them.

If possible, try to hold your intervention when they are not under the influence of the drug. They may try to convince you that they are fine and don’t need treatment, but if you disagree, get them to at least see a medical professional to determine the best plan. Don’t blame them or make them feel like a failure. Instead, place the focus on the future and help them get to a healthier place in life.


Suboxone Detox and Withdrawal

Withdrawal from Suboxone can be difficult, especially if you transitioned from an opiate like heroin to Suboxone and never really quit. You might experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Sweating
  • Fevers and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

While these can seem overwhelming, handling your withdrawal at a treatment and rehab facility means you’ll have the staff on hand to help you through the worst of your symptoms. A good detox facility has helped hundreds of people get and stay drug free, and they understand how to help you get through the difficult detox period.

Suboxone Treatment

If you’re ready to take the first step towards recovery and start your treatment for Suboxone addiction, call Rehab-Finder.Org today to find the best treatment center for you. With information on the best treatment facilities from across the country, we can help you locate one that will meet your needs, budget, and preferences. From holistic centers to faith-based options, we know there’s a facility out there that can help you live a healthy life.

From yoga to group therapy, cooking classes to cognitive behavioral therapy, there’s a recovery option for everyone. Treatment is never easy, but it’s the best way to beat your Suboxone addiction for good.

Addiction can happen to anyone, so instead of blaming yourself for a failure, reach out for help.

You’ll start your treatment when you arrive at the facility and go through the intake process. You’ll be assessed by the doctors and therapists at the facility and they’ll outline the treatment program and rehabilitation program you’ll undergo while there.

Once you know the plan, you’ll start detox immediately. This could mean weaning you off your drugs or simply helping you handle the withdrawal symptoms. The length of detox varies depending on how badly you were abusing Suboxone. This is when you’ll experience the worst of the withdrawal symptoms.

Once you’re through detoxing, you’ll begin rehabilitation and addiction treatment. This can be a combination of many different types of therapies, including individual counseling, group therapy, and more. You’ll get education about addiction, handle any issues that might underlie your addiction such as mental health disorders, and learn the tools you need to help you re-enter your normal life and stay healthy and clean. Therapy can include cognitive behavioral therapy where you review your thoughts and feelings with a therapist to identify the impact these have on your behavior and addiction. You may have some family counseling or relationship counseling to help you identify and address difficult relationships that may be triggering your abuse of Suboxone.

As your time at the treatment facility winds to a close and you prepare to go back to your normal life, you and your therapist will discuss aftercare and recovery options. This is generally handled outside the treatment facility in the form of outpatient counseling to provide continued support and education. As you try to apply the tools and skills you learned during treatment, you may find unexpected hurdles or relapses. Aftercare gives you the support system you need to stay the course for recovery and address problems as they arise.

Aftercare treatment often includes ongoing individual counseling as well as participation in support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous. The latter provides valuable peer support and interaction. Making friends who are focused on healthy living is an important factor in staying clean in the future.

Paying for Suboxone Treatment

Drug abuse treatment can be expensive, especially if you need to pay for it out of pocket. Thankfully, most insurance covers some or all your treatment at an addiction facility. You just have to find the facility that accepts your insurance. One great way to do this research is to call Rehab-Finder.Org and let us do the groundwork for you. We will review your insurance policy to understand what is covered and prepare treatment options for you that are within your budget and will give you the treatment and amenities you desire. You’ve made the decision to quit, we’re here to help you make it happen quickly and easily.

Don’t let stress over how you’ll afford treatment prevent you from getting the help you need. Even if your insurance only covers part of the process, many treatment facilities will offer you payment plans because they know that getting off the drug will lead to better financial stability. There are also government-sponsored and church-sponsored options that are available at little to no cost to patients. Whatever your situation, there is a treatment option available for you.

You can beat an addiction to Suboxone. Like any addiction, it might not be a pretty process, but it will put you on the path to a more fulfilling, healthier life and strengthen your relationships.

If you’re ready to start, give us a call today at 877-251-4813.

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