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Suboxone Addiction-Signs, Effects, Dosage and Treatment

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Key takeaways:

  • Suboxone is a prescription drug used for opioid use disorder and co-occurring disorders.
  • It contains buprenorphine and naloxone, which suppress opioid cravings.
  • Buprenorphine is a safer opioid developed in the 1970s for pain treatment.
  • Suboxone comes in dissolvable oral films and pills, taken under the tongue or with water.
  • Signs of Suboxone addiction include physical and psychological dependence.
  • Common side effects include limpness, slurred speech, shallow breathing, and itching.
  • Long-term effects can include pupil constriction, hallucinations, low blood pressure, and liver problems.
  • Suboxone dosage depends on addiction severity, treatment stage, medical and drug history, and age.
  • Naloxone in Suboxone causes withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped abruptly.
  • Lantana Recovery is a drug rehab center offering addiction treatment services.

Suboxone is one of the prescription drugs used to treat opioid use disorder and other co-occurring disorders. Its two contents are buprenorphine and naloxone which are used to suppress opioid cravings. Buprenorphine, “the opioid in Suboxone, was developed in the 1970s as a safer opioid than morphine or heroin for the treatment of pain” (Suboxone: Rationale, Science, Misconceptions, Velander, 2018) and is a prescription medication that is used as an opioid medication.

Naloxone suppresses the effects of opioid medication such as calmness and pain relief that can cause dependence on opioids. If you are struggling with addiction, here is a list of the best drug rehabs in South Carolina.

Suboxone comes in two forms: in the form of a dissolvable oral film and pills. The strip is placed under the tongue or between the gums and cheeks. The dissolvable tablet is also placed under the tongue or taken with water. Below we will cover the signs and symptoms of Suboxone, side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and frequently asked questions about the drug

Signs & Symptoms of Suboxone Addiction

While Suboxone is regarded by some as the future of medical treatment, others have expressed concerns. Although Suboxone is a prescription drug, excessive use, and abuse can lead to addiction and if you have become addicted, you have to sign up for an addiction facility like Lantana to help with addiction detox. Suboxone has opioid-like effects and long-term use can cause physical and psychological dependence. This can lead to drug craving ultimately causing substance use disorders and thus addiction.

Some of the most common side effects of suboxone are the ones it has on your mental health. Substance abuse and mental health issues go hand in hand but when it comes to bodily effects, here are some signs and symptoms:

  • Limpness/weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Eating disorders
  • Shallow breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Pain in the upper stomach
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite

Suboxone Side Effects

Various adverse effects such as respiratory depression, sedation, constipation, tolerance, and addiction are associated with Suboxone. Taking more than the prescribed amount has both long and short-term effects. While the side effects don’t show up right after you have developed the addiction, they are easier to detect when they finally do start appearing. Whether it is you who are addicted or someone you know is, it is important to know these effects so you can take immediate action.

Long-Term Effects of Suboxone

It is better to know the symptoms beforehand so that as soon as the symptoms start to show up, you know it’s about time to get help! Like all substance abuse disorders, suboxone also has long-term effects. Some of them which are:

  • Pupil constriction
  • Hallucinations
  • Body aches
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Messed up nervous systems
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Seizure
  • Coma
  • Liver problem

When used with other drugs like Valium, alcohol, and other opioids, suboxone can even prove to be deadly. People who are addicted to suboxone and undergo Excessive use can get hypotension which might lead to cardiac arrest. People with hepatitis infection are more prone to adverse effects on their liver. If you or someone you know is overdosed on suboxone, reach out for professional help as soon as possible to avoid any mishaps.

Suboxone Dosage

Suboxone dosage depends on a number of factors but should only be taken after consultation with your doctor. The key factors which decide the dosage are:

  • The severity of your addiction
  • The stage of treatment that you are in
  • Your medical record
  • Your drug record
  • Your age

Typically, the treatment for suboxone addiction like the programs we offer starts with a small dosage and is adjusted after some time into the treatment. The dosage may vary from 2mg-12mg depending on the above-mentioned factors. How much and for how long you need to take suboxone is decided by your doctor after careful tests.

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

Naloxone’s sole purpose in Suboxone is to prevent drug addiction and causes withdrawal symptoms in those who knowingly and unknowingly become Suboxone addicts and stop taking it. A single, high dose of buprenorphine can reduce craving during opioid withdrawal;  Suboxone in the form of an injection will cause severe withdrawal symptoms.

As sad as it may sound, it is true that you cannot escape the withdrawal symptoms since they are part of the cycle of addiction but one thing you can do is to ensure that you’re in the right hands when you’re facing those symptoms. Make sure that you’re in a safe space where you can receive proper treatment for these withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone Addiction Treatment

A lot of addiction treatment centers and drug rehab centers offer treatment programs that prescribe Suboxone to treat opioid dependence since it works by suppressing the effects of opioids. If your suboxone abuse addiction is getting out of hand, it is time to sign up for addiction recovery with us. The suboxone treatment is done in two phases; the Induction phase and the Maintenance phase. During the Induction recovery process, Suboxone is used to reduce the withdrawal symptoms while you stop or reduce the opioid abuse. Your doctor prescribes the dose and time of Suboxone. In the Maintenance treatment phase, Suboxone keeps the withdrawal signs in check while you complete the drug addiction treatment program. You take the Suboxone once a day same time throughout the program duration.

This is one of the best treatment methods known.

Suboxone is widely known to be the best among its alternatives. However, it might not be good for those with lung diseases, liver diseases, and head injuries. It is considered safe while breastfeeding but you should closely look if your baby is having allergic reactions to Suboxone. And since it is taken as an oral film, you can consume it on an empty or full stomach. Most importantly, how you take the drug depends on the phase of treatment you’re in; induction or maintenance.

Suboxone Rehab in South Carolina

If you or your loved one is looking for a nationally recognized and respected addiction treatment center in South Carolina, Lantana Recovery is a specialized drug rehab in Charleston. Lantana Recovery provides part-hospitalization rehab services and outpatient rehab services to people struggling with addiction.  Lantana Recovery extends our drug rehab services to Greenville residents. And they extend their drug rehab services to Columbia residents and surrounding towns.

FAQs about Suboxone

Who can prescribe Suboxone?

Suboxone is a controlled chemical, is a schedule three (iii) drug, and a doctor is allowed to prescribe it for opioid dependence only if he/she is certified through the U.S. federal government and has received special training.

How is Suboxone taken?

It is taken in the form of dissolvable oral films and tablets. They are put under the tongue or between the cheeks and gums. And how you take the drug depends on the phase of treatment you’re in induction or maintenance phases.

Will Suboxone make me sick?

Suboxone has several side effects and is most likely to make the user feel sick and nauseated. Its addiction causes long-term damage to the heart, behavioral health, liver, brain, and mental health.

Does suboxone help with pain?

While the Naloxone in suboxone helps with pain relief, it should be needed that is not prescribed as a pain reliever. Its main functionality is to help overcome opioid addiction.

How long should you take suboxone?

Suboxone dosage depends on the individual’s prescription. While the norm is to take suboxone for 6-12 months to fully overcome suboxone, it is also important to keep in mind that you check with your doctor regularly.



Alan Goodstat

Alan completed a postgraduate degree in social work from Columbia University in New York City and is a licensed clinical social worker in FL, NJ, NC and SC. Over the past 30 years he has worked in various leadership roles in privately held organizations and private equity portfolio companies.

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Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.