Suboxone Detox Timeline
Suboxone is an opioid-based medication used in clinical settings to help those physically dependent on opioids safely detox. Despite its ability to be helpful in one’s recovery process, Suboxone can also be habit-forming if misused. This article will discuss what Suboxone withdrawal is like and how long it may take.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone. It is used to treat dependence on and addiction to opiates, including heroin and narcotic painkillers. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist-antagonist, meaning that it mimics some of the effects of opioid drugs, while naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it blocks the effects of opiates. Buprenorphine reduces withdrawal symptoms and prevents cravings, while naloxone prevents buprenorphine – as well as any other opiate – from causing the “high,” or rush of euphoria, associated with illicit drug use.
Suboxone can be a very useful tool in the opiate addiction recovery process, and many people use this medication for a short time, or even long-term, with no complications. However, Suboxone does have misuse potential and may itself become addictive, particularly if used incorrectly.
Effects of Suboxone Abuse
Suboxone is a carefully controlled substance. Only doctors certified to offer Suboxone can prescribe this medication. Often, it is dispensed directly from a medical office in order to discourage misuse of the drug. However, Suboxone is sometimes purchased as a “street drug” through illicit means. Individuals may also attempt to acquire additional Suboxone by claiming to have misplaced prescriptions or by visiting more than one doctor.
Even when used correctly, Suboxone can have unintended side effects. Misusing Suboxone, or mixing it with other substances, can exacerbate side effects or cause more serious effects to occur. Common side effects of Suboxone, according to the National Library of Medicine, include:
- Mouth numbness.
- Stomach discomfort.
- Pain in the tongue.
- Blurry vision.
- Back pain.
Some people do not react well to Suboxone. High doses of the drug can trigger more serious symptoms that require medical attention. These can include:
- Hives or rash.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Swelling in the face or extremities.
- Slurred speech.
- Odd bleeding or bruising.
- Lack of energy.
- Loss of appetite.
- Pain in the stomach.
- Yellowish skin or eyes.
- Dark urine.
- Light stools.
Very large doses of Suboxone can lead to an overdose, which occurs when the body cannot process the amount of the substance that’s been used. Symptoms of overdose include:
- Pinpoint pupils.
- Difficulty staying awake.
- Blurred vision.
- Slowed breathing.
Not everyone who uses Suboxone on a long-term basis is addicted to the drug. In fact, when used as prescribed and under medical supervision, Suboxone does not generally lead to addiction.
Many people recovering from an addiction to other opiates use Suboxone as a maintenance medication and taper their dosage as they are able to, without triggering a relapse into illicit drug use. Addiction occurs when an individual compulsively seeks out and uses Suboxone regardless of negative life consequences that result from such use. When used correctly, Suboxone should improve life circumstances, rather than causing additional struggles.
How Long Does Suboxone Detox Take?
Treatment for addiction to Suboxone typically begins with detox. This is the process of processing all addictive substances, such as drugs and alcohol, out of the body. If an individual has become physically dependent on Suboxone, they will experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping use of the drug.
According to an article published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, buprenorphine withdrawal syndrome is similar to that experienced when stopping use of morphine and similar opiates. While the specific withdrawal timeline will vary according to each individual, withdrawal symptoms typically appear within two days of stopping drug use and can last up to 10 days.
Medical detox programs are meant to facilitate the withdrawal process within a supervised, supportive environment, in which clients can receive medications, supportive care, and complementary therapies as needed.
The first symptoms of opiate withdrawal to appear typically include:
- Muscle aches.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Excessive yawning.
- Runny eyes and nose.
After a few days, other symptoms may appear. These include:
- Abdominal cramping.
- Dilated pupils.
- Nausea and vomiting.
The particular withdrawal symptoms experienced during Suboxone detox will vary between individuals. The severity and duration of symptoms will depend on various factors, such as:
- One’s physical health
- The presence of any co-occurring mental health issues
- One’s history of addiction treatment
The extent of the drug use influences the severity of the symptoms as well; more extensive past use of Suboxone will lead to a more severe withdrawal syndrome.
Methods of Detox
Detox from opiates and opioid agonist medications like Suboxone typically employs the use of medications. Suboxone itself is often used to treat addiction to other opiates, because it attaches to the same receptors within the brain, thereby mimicking the effects of other opioid drugs. But when Suboxone is the drug of misuse, other approaches must be used in the detox process.
One of the most commonly used medications in opiate withdrawal is clonidine. Clonidine primarily treats high blood pressure, which can occur when in withdrawal. This medication can also reduce anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose, and muscle cramping. Clonidine can reduce symptoms of withdrawal, but it does not prevent drug cravings. Other medications typically used to treat opiate withdrawal, like methadone, can reduce cravings, but may not be recommended when in recovery from Suboxone addiction, due to the potential for misuse.
Addiction Treatment in Florida
If you are struggling with an addiction to Suboxone or any other addictive substance, reach out to us at our drug rehab in Florida right now. You will be connected with an admissions navigator who can help you get started on your recovery, as well as answer any questions you may have about payment options or insurance.
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