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Is Suboxone Addictive?

When someone develops an addiction to opiates or opioids, sometimes they use Suboxone as part of their recovery program. The medication can be quite helpful in controlling withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. However, for some people, it can end up becoming a problem in and of itself. Is Suboxone addictive? It can be when an individual begins to abuse the substance as a way to replace their prior abuse of a drug like heroin. When this happens, it becomes necessary to receive professional treatment. 

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a brand name for an FDA-approved drug that is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. It is used to treat people in recovery from opioid addiction. Suboxone comes in a pill or a dissolvable film and must be provided by a physician. This drug acts as an opioid agonist and helps reduce withdrawal symptoms that happen when a person stops abusing heroin. It can also reduce cravings to start using the drug again. 

Suboxone does not produce a feeling of being high, but rather a low-level feeling of euphoria that is just enough to fool the brain into thinking it has used heroin. This effect keeps the body from experiencing cravings or withdrawal symptoms. It is often used as part of medication-assisted treatment, which is a therapeutic method that combines counseling with medications used to combat addiction to drugs and alcohol.  

Is Suboxone Addictive?

Because the effects of suboxone are mild in comparison to opioids like heroin, the risk of becoming addicted to it is lower in comparison. Having said that, some people do develop an addiction. Someone may consult multiple doctors in order to procure more than one prescription for suboxone. This creates an opportunity to abuse a larger amount of the drug than someone should have. 

For other people, the problem of addiction develops when they use suboxone as a way to ease withdrawal symptoms when they cannot gain access to heroin or other street drugs to which they have become addicted. They may find that their addiction transfers to suboxone, which may be easier to obtain than drugs like heroin. 

Another answer to the question of is Suboxone addictive can come when a person who abuses it stops taking it and then begins experiencing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include cravings to use the drug, shaking, muscular pain, nausea, diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms. Someone who has been using Suboxone and wants to stop should do so under the supervision of a physician who understands substance use disorders. This way, the doctor can monitor the person for withdrawal symptoms and offer any necessary assistance to help control them.

Can a Person Overdose on Suboxone?

Overdosing on Suboxone presents a real risk for some individuals. Overdosing can happen when someone attempts to achieve a feeling of pleasure or being high. Because Suboxone does not provide this effect the way opioids do, the person may take an excessive amount that puts them in jeopardy of overdosing.

Overdosing on Suboxone proves most common among people who take it despite never having used opioids, as well as in the population of older people. Overdosing can also happen when someone combines the usage of Suboxone with alcohol, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and other drugs. 

Symptoms of Addiction to Suboxone

When considering the question of is Suboxone addictive or has it become addictive for a specific individual, something to consider involves if signs of addiction have begun. When someone is addicted to Suboxone, common symptoms include the following: 

  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Difficulty thinking 
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Poor memory
  • Feelings of depression

If the person using Suboxone or one of their loved ones is unsure if addiction has taken hold, they can talk to a medical professional to get an evaluation. 

How Is Suboxone Addiction Treated?

If the answer to “Is Suboxone addictive?” for an individual is yes, professional treatment becomes necessary. A clinician skilled in treating substance use disorders will provide a full assessment to understand the person’s history with drug abuse, how long they’ve been taking Suboxone, and how much they take. From there, they can affirm that an addiction has taken hold and create a treatment plan to help the person.

A detox program helps a person stop taking suboxone under the supervision of clinical experts. From there, many people move to outpatient treatment plans. These plans include regular outpatient programs, intensive outpatient programs, and partial hospitalization programs. Each of these programs provides treatment during the day while the person still lives in their home.

Treatment For Suboxone Addiction

Did you start out using Suboxone for the right reasons but found it became complicated and now you need help getting off it? If you are wondering, “Is Suboxone addictive?”, you may already need help dealing with an addiction. Buckhead Behavioral Health in Atlanta provides quality, effective treatment to help people get off drugs and return to a sober life. Our detox and outpatient drug addiction programs are overseen by medical experts trained to help people who have a substance use disorder. 
If you would like more information about our program, please visit our admissions page now.

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