Where Addiction Ends and Sobriety Begins


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A formula that mixes buprenorphine and naloxone, Suboxone is the brand name for a common drug prescribed for recovery from opiate addiction. The drug was only approved in 2002, making it a fairly new addition to the market.

Despite its effective treatment of opiate addiction, Suboxone has a high potential for addiction itself. Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that over 30,000 emergency room visits in 2010 involved buprenorphine abuse. Just five years prior, buprenorphine was involved in just 3,000 emergency room visits.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Suboxone Use

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, and buprenorphine is a partial opioid analgesic. Suboxone is similar to other opiate drugs and is noted by instilling feelings of euphoria, reduced pain, and physical calm. Other common side effects include:

  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Faintness
  • Feeling lightheaded and dizzy
  • Painful urination
  • Feeling feverish or warm

Complications of Suboxone Abuse

Suboxone can be potentially habit forming even at small doses. Addiction has an immense impact on your physical health, but it can be most harmful to your personal life. Addiction causes reckless behavior driven by using and obtaining drugs. This can lead to you lashing out at or pushing away your loved ones.

Suboxone addiction is commonly associated with the following health complications:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Organ failure
  • Overdose resulting in death

Dangers of Suboxone Abuse

Extended use of Suboxone can lead to numerous dangers to your physical and mental health, including:

  • Depression
  • Coordination issues
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased appetite
  • Liver problems
  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine

Symptoms of Suboxone Addiction

Contrary to popular belief, addiction isn’t a personal choice. It’s based on a chemical dependency. Suboxone causes a flood of dopamine, the hormone responsible for motor control, motivation, and reward. Many users will take Suboxone to trigger that feeling of reward. Your body will also adjust to the dopamine rush by producing less of it or inhibiting its effects. That forces you to take more Suboxone to maintain homeostasis.

Common symptoms of addiction include:

  • Using Suboxone for longer than It is prescribed
  • Using higher doses of Suboxone than prescribed
  • Mixing Suboxone with other drugs
  • Withdrawal symptoms when you’re not using the drug
  • Neglecting your responsibilities


  • Irritability
  • Intense cravings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Aches and pains
  • Depression and anxiety
  • An inability to stay focused

Medical Intervention for Suboxone Addiction

Medication can be an important tool in recovery. It can correct chemical imbalances and help you manage withdrawals and cravings. Suboxone and other opiates can be treated by opiate antagonists. For your Suboxone addiction, your doctor may prescribe:
  • Methadone
  • Subutex
  • Naltroxone

Suboxone Detox Process

Detox is your first stop on the road to recovery. Its main goal is to flush harmful toxins out of your body. This is usually accomplished by tapering off drug use and administering medication.

Inpatient care is the best option for detox treatment. It provides a safe, supportive setting that is free of distractions and negative influences that could cause relapse. Most importantly, inpatient care gives you easy access to an experienced team of medical professionals. Medical staff can provide counseling for emotional support and ensure that you get any necessary medication and therapy.

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