Can You Abuse Suboxone?

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Preventing Substance Abuse – Can You Abuse Suboxone?

Suboxone is a fairly new drug, compared to methadone, which is used to treat an addiction to opiates as well as mild pain in some cases. Opioid addiction has grown to epic proportions recently with over a hundred people dying in the United States every day to overdose, based on the CDC findings. While suboxone helps to treat opioid dependence, it is itself an opioid. We will look at the answer to the question “can you abuse suboxone?” in this article.

Can You Abuse Suboxone?

To fully answer the question “can you abuse suboxone?” we must take a closer look at what the medication is. Suboxone is designed with anti-abuse properties. It combines the properties of buprenorphine with naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid, and is usually used to treat substance abuse in various forms. Naloxone is a drug that blocks some of the effects of opioids on the brain, specifically the binding of the opioid to the dopamine receptors, which causes the euphoria that addicts are after.

So, can you abuse suboxone even though it has anti-abuse properties? The answer is yes. It is possible to abuse suboxone because it is still a powerful opioid, even though naloxone helps to reduce the effects of opioids, it does not block the effects entirely. When the medication is misused, it is considered to be suboxone abuse. Since opioids are highly addictive narcotics and a controlled substance, the risk of a suboxone addiction or dependence forming is high.

What is Considered Suboxone Abuse?

Abuse of suboxone is when a person uses the medication in any way other than what their doctor or intervention specialist prescribed. If they use it recreationally, for entertainment or in any way that isn’t according to what it was intended for, the person is abusing it.

How is it Abused?

According to doctors and drug manufacturers, the medication cannot be abused; however, people have found ways to abuse it. The most common ways that people abuse suboxone are as follows:

  • Chewing it.
  • Dissolving it and then using it intravenously.
  • Using it more frequently than what was prescribed.
  • Crushing the pill and then snorting it.
  • Using more than what was needed.
  • Combining suboxone with other substances such as illicit drugs, alcohol or other prescription medications.

Signs of Abuse

If you are worried that you or someone you love may be abusing suboxone, the following signs can help you to identify it.

  • Higher than usual blood pressure.
  • Fevers.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Profuse sweating.
  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Depression when before there was none.
  • Nervousness.
  • Constant drowsiness.
  • Memory problems.
  • An often apathetic mood.
  • They may have slurred speech.

Treatment for Suboxone Addiction

Suboxone addiction is treated much like other opioid addictions; however, the use of opioid replacement therapy such as suboxone or methadone will have to be closely monitored by the addiction specialists.

Patients can be a part of a residential or outpatient program, or a mixture of the two. Both rehab programs have equal success in patients, but the person can be more closely monitored if they are in an inpatient setting.

Treatment includes a detoxification period where the addict can be assisted with the various withdrawal symptoms that are common during withdrawal. After detox, the individual will partake in various treatment activities and therapy to establish new coping skills to better handle stress and other trigger situations. By the end of treatment, the patient is ready to leave but will usually be required to continue with recovery through support groups or other aftercare services to help stop a relapse from happening.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.