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Suboxone Withdrawal: Symptoms, Signs, and Detoxification

Suboxone is an opioid given as medication to treat opiate addiction. The proper use of Suboxone blocks the effects of other opiates on the patient's body. This blockage helps during the withdrawal process. If the patient uses Suboxone long-term or stops its usage rapidly Suboxone withdrawal can occur.

Suboxone withdrawal symptoms from quitting its use can begin with 36 hours of the last dosage and last for several weeks. Some of these symptoms include muscle cramps, leg kicking, insomnia, diarrhea, sweating, anxiety, and depression. Because of the discomfort caused by the withdrawal, many patients return to Suboxone use to stop the symptoms. A period of medically assisted detoxification can help to relieve many of the symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal.

There are two methods of detoxification used for Suboxone users. The first method consists of rapid anesthesia detoxification. Under this treatment, a patient is given anesthesia that places them asleep as the drug is flushed from the body. In this way, the patient avoids most of the severe withdrawal symptoms. The second method is slower. It involves slowly tapering the patient off the drug by reducing dosages consistently until they are no longer administered.

Are you seeking help for Suboxone Withdrawal?

If you or someone you love is struggling with Suboxone withdrawal,  please consider calling us at American Addiction Centers. With facilities across the United States, we have trained advisors ready to answer your call and help you get the help you deserve. We can be reached at 1-888-935-1318Who Answers?.

Withdrawing from Suboxone: Treatment Methods and Options for Help

Withdrawing from Suboxone without medical help can be a long and uncomfortable process. A Suboxone withdrawal treatment program with medical assistance can help you through this process though, with significant relief from any withdrawal symptoms experienced.

The first 72-hour period of Suboxone withdrawal is a crucial time for seeking help. The withdrawal symptoms both start and peak during this period. Without treatment, this peak period can make a relapse into full use tempting. While all treatments are personalized to the patient, general treatment methods consist of a detoxing period followed by opiate blocking medication and psychological therapy.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery

The detoxing period has no set schedule for the Suboxone user. Its length depends primarily on the severity of drug use. Whether you choose rapid detox or drug tapering, most treatment occurs in an addiction treatment rehab facility. The rapid detox is on an inpatient basis, but tapering can be done both on an inpatient or outpatient basis as desired.

If you choose rapid detox, you can greatly shorten the detoxification period. Rapid detox begins with a medical pre-screening to determine your medical condition and drug use history. The pre-screening includes a complete physical exam and can take as long as 24 to 48 hours to complete. During this period, medication is sometimes given to stabilize the patient before the detox can occur.

After the pre-screening, the patient is placed under anesthesia for up to two hours. During this period, an accelerated neuro-regulation protocol is performed, which uses non-opiate based medications to cleanse the patient's opiate receptors. When the patient awakens from the procedure, there is no longer a physical dependency on the opiates, though a psychological dependency may remain.

A monitoring period lasting between 24 to 48 hours follows the rapid detox. During this period, medical personnel watch for any side effects from the treatment. After release, the patient is prescribed a non-addictive medication that removes physical cravings for the Suboxone. The medication also prevents opiates from providing a physical high when taken. A short period of psychological therapy usually follows the treatment to help the patient deal with any psychological cravings for the drug.

Suboxone Withdrawal: Symptoms, Signs, and Detoxification 1The second method of detoxification is a more traditional tapering off from the drug. Using this method, doctors administer constantly lowering doses of Suboxone to the patient until the patient's body is no longer dependent on the substance. While the tapering method does not eliminate the withdrawal symptoms, it does lessen them significantly. This decrease in the severity of the withdrawal removes some of the incentive to return to full use of the drug.

After the tapering ends, the patient receives blocking medication and psychological therapy to deal with any lingering psychological cravings.

Choosing a program that can provide help for Suboxone withdrawal as soon as possible is vital for stopping the use of the drug on a long-term basis. Speaking to a trained professional can help to guide you in the right direction for help.

Call 1-888-935-1318Who Answers? to speak to someone who can provide you with the answers you need about Suboxone withdrawal and treatment. The call is confidential, and the phone lines are staffed 24 hours a day by us here at American Addiction Centers. A leading provider in American addiction treatment.

Suboxone Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Buprenorphine
  • Generic Name Variations: Naloxone HCl dihydrate
  • Chemical Name:
  • Brand Name: Suboxone
  • Brand Name Variations: Subutex
  • Cost/Price:
  • Used to Treat Addiction? Yes
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Treat Opioid Dependency
  • Function or Use at High Dose: N/A
  • Chemical Makeup: N/A
  • System: N/A
  • Duration of Action: Several hours
Form, Intake, and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Film, tablets, serum
  • Administration Routes: Administered orally, injected
  • Dosage: 12-16 mg per day
  • Overdose: More than 16 mg per day
  • Alcohol Interaction: Adverse effects can occur
  • Illicit Drugs: N/A
  • Prescription Medications: Reduced dosage should be taken with other analgesics, sedatives, or depressants
  • Contraindications: N/A
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Headaches, pain, constipation, insomnia, sweating, rhinitis
  • Long-Term: Depression, withdrawal symptoms, infection, fatal if overdosed
  • Risk of Substance Abuse:
  • Signs of Abuse: Withdrawal symptoms, mood swings, irritability
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: 12-24 hours after the last dose
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, anxiety, cold or flu symptoms
  • Tolerance: Users can develop tolerance
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: Possible
  • Psychological Dependence: Possible
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule III


Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How Long Do Suboxone Withdrawals Last?

Since Suboxone is used to treat Opiate addictions, its withdrawal timeline can vary. The length of symptoms depends on the duration of use, and usually peak around 48 hours after the last dosage and can appear up to one month after taking it.

Do You Have a List of Popular Slang or Street Names for Suboxone?

Bupe, subs, subbies, orange guys

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

Since Suboxone overdoses can be fatal, it is highly advised that those trying to get clean from Suboxone seek medical help rather than a home remedy or alternative medicine for symptom relief. Rehabilitation centers have proven methods to ease the detox process and relieve symptoms as much as possible in a safe, natural way.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Suboxone?

Proper detoxification can take up to 5 days. The duration of any detoxification period depends on the length of usage. To research your options for drug rehabilitation and withdrawal relief, call 1-888-935-1318Who Answers? or visit our locator page.

Suboxone Withdrawal, Doctors, and Treatment

Suboxone withdrawal begins shortly after a patient stops the usage of the drug suddenly. Symptoms of withdrawal can begin within 36 hours of the last dose taken and may last for as long as two to three weeks. Because withdrawal from Suboxone use is an extremely uncomfortable process, users may return to the drug rather than continue to experience the withdrawal symptoms.

Painful withdrawal from Suboxone occurs only after an extended period of use or after using heavy doses of the drug over a short period of time. As long as the drug is used as directed by the patient's doctor, the withdrawal should be minimal in both length and severity. This limited withdrawal allows Suboxone doctors to safely prescribe the drug to patients.

Suboxone Withdrawal: Symptoms, Signs, and Detoxification 2Withdrawal from the overuse of Suboxone is lessened through the assistance of a medically supervised withdrawal treatment facility. Finding a facility within the first 72 hours of withdrawal is recommended in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms that are more serious. This initial three-day period is when symptoms are most likely to begin and peak.

The treatment process for Suboxone withdrawal typically consists or a period of detoxification lasting up to several weeks. During this period, the drug dose is slowly tapered off until it's no longer introduced into the patient's system. After detoxification, treatment is given through the use of an opiate-blocking medication that prevents the further taking of Suboxone, along with drug counseling.
An alternate method exists for Suboxone treatment in the form of rapid detoxification. During rapid detox, the patient is placed under light anesthesia. While under the anesthesia's effects, the patient's body is flushed of the Suboxone. When the patient awakens, his or her body is free of the drug. This prevents the patient from experiencing heavy withdrawal symptoms if the patient experiences withdrawal at all.

Buprenorphine: Suboxone Vs. Subutex

Both Suboxone and Subutex have been approved for the treatment of addiction to opiates. Both medications use buprenorphine to bind to the opiate receptors in the brain and spinal column, blocking any opiates taken from binding there as well. The treatments are effective because they eliminate the pleasurable sensations brought about from opiate use.

The primary difference between Suboxone and Subutex is that Subutex does not contain the drug naloxone, while Suboxone does. Naloxone is an opiate antagonist that does not activate the opiate receptors with use. When taken normally, Suboxone with naloxone will provide relief from withdrawal, as does Subutex. When abused through injection, the Suboxone will cause immediate full withdrawal. Since the Suboxone fills the opiate receptors and blocks other opiates from doing so when taken, the withdrawal cannot be reversed by taking further opiates.

Without the naloxone component, Subutex can be abused through injection. This abuse will cause the opioid receptors to fill with enough buprenorphine that some level of opiate high can be experienced. Subutex is still used by doctors for treatment even though it doesn't possess the anti-abuse component of naloxone. Usually, it's given as the first few doses for avoiding opiate withdrawal symptoms. These doses are always under a doctor's care to prevent abuse. After the first few doses, though, Suboxone is usually prescribed.

Choosing the Best Detox Medication

Choosing the best detox medication is based primarily on where the treatment occurs. For inpatient treatment under a doctor's care and supervision, Subutex is an acceptable medication, especially at the beginning of the treatment process. For long-term use, a Suboxone treatment is generally medically preferred.

The Suboxone treatment allows the patient to go through the withdrawal treatment process on an outpatient basis and also allows for continual use of the medication after detoxification without fear of opiate abuse while taking the medication.

Any questions you have concerning Suboxone withdrawal, or the medications Suboxone and Subutex, can be answered with a call to a national toll-free hotline provided by us, American Addiction Centers, at 1-888-935-1318Who Answers?.


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