Signs and Symptoms of Suboxone Use


Suboxone is a drug that was developed for treatment of addiction to drugs like heroin, hydrocodone, OxyContin, morphine, codeine, fentanyl and others. It was approved in 2002 for this purpose. Almost as soon as it was approved, it began to be abused by some individuals.

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is the synthetic opiate that prevents withdrawal symptoms in a person who quits using an addictive opiate, and naloxone is a drug intended to block the euphoric effects of the opiate.

Signs and symptoms of Suboxone abuse will include respiratory suppression, just like any other opiate. It is common for people to abuse Suboxone or buprenorphine with benzodiazepines which can suppress respiration to dangerously low levels. Deaths have occurred after these drugs were used together or when alcohol was added to the mix.

Signs of Use

A person who has abused Suboxone may manifest:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle pain and cramps
  • Watery eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Poor memory
  • Small pupils
  • Apathetic mood

In the opinion of one doctor who has treated hundreds of people, when Suboxone is given over a long period of time, it can result in:

  • Inability to accept and manage one’s own emotions
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Hair loss
  • Abnormal responses to stress

When Children are Exposed to Suboxone

In September 2012, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, one of the manufacturers of Suboxone, voluntarily withdrew their tablet formulation of the drug from the market due to the much higher number of child poisonings with that form of the drug. They continued to market Suboxone in the form of a small sheet of film that could be placed under the tongue. When children were exposed to this drug, it created dangerous or even fatal respiratory suppression.

Suboxone is a long-lasting drug so symptoms of use may still be present several hours after consumption.

A doctor who treats opiate addicts in Palm Beach by giving them Suboxone reported that small doses like two milligrams per day will block the great majority of a person’s ability to feel emotions while larger doses will make a person “practically numb.” Suboxone is available in doses up to eight milligrams. He also stated that abuse by snorting or injecting Suboxone could make a person “extremely high” if he (or she) had not recently been using other opiates.

Suboxone Abusers

The person who chooses to abuse Suboxone is likely to have abused opiates over a long period of time. He may simply abuse Suboxone as a way of preventing withdrawal symptoms from heroin or other opiate addiction, or he may wish to get high or simply be curious about the effect of the drug, based on surveys done in 2006. By 2011, the highest rates of seizure of buprenorphine-containing drugs were Maine, Massachusetts, New York and West Virginia.

Deaths have been reported in 2009 and 2010 of a father and son in Maine, two young adults in Milwaukee, a Maryland teen and a Wisconsin prison inmate, all as a result of mixing this drug with alcohol or other drugs.

The Best Answer is Complete Sobriety

While many people may find an improvement in the quality of life as a result of getting off illicit drugs, they are still going to suffering physically and emotionally from the effects of an opiate when they take Suboxone. The best answer is to experience life drug-free and when that sobriety lasts the rest of one’s life, that is even better.

The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has an excellent record of producing sobriety in people who may have been addicted for years, even decades. Each person is guided through a tolerable withdrawal, well-supported with nutritional supplementation and one-on-work with staff, followed quickly by a deep detoxification process. This detox helps pull drug residues out of the fatty tissues where they tend to lodge. Those completing this step talk about the improved clarity of their thinking and a better outlook on life. Many people also talk about the reduced or even eliminated cravings they experience.

There are some 45 Narconon locations around the world. Learn more about this program that never uses any drugs as part of its treatment. Many families who have sent a loved one to one drug rehab after another have found that this was the last drug rehab they ever needed.

Also, see Effects of Suboxone


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