Suboxone Stigma: An Informative Guide

Realizing that you have an opiate addiction and choosing to get help for it is a very courageous decision. The medication Suboxone is often utilized as the first line of defense against the addiction.

Suboxone is a mixture of two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone.

Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist which helps relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which diminishes the effects of other narcotics. Because this medication is an opioid itself, there is a heavy stigma surrounding it even though there are studies proving its worth.

Why Is Suboxone so Stigmatized?

A large part of the stigma behind Suboxone has to do with miscommunication because it isn’t readily available throughout the United States. As of 2015, 53.4 percent of U.S. counties, most of them rural communities, don’t have a buprenorphine provider.

Because these areas don’t have an authoritative figure that’s familiar with Suboxone, untrue rumors spread about the usage of the medication. Those rumors then become law in certain people’s minds, including medical and healthcare professionals, even though they don’t have the proof to back up the claims.

Why Stigmatizing Medication Assisted Treatment is Harmful

Suboxone has helped many different people whose lives were torn to shreds because of opioid addiction. The stigma surrounding medication-assisted treatment can often be the barrier that stands between addiction and recovery. Some of the misconceptions of using Suboxone for opioid addiction are:

  • Suboxone just substitutes one drug for another – There’s a difference between using a medication to treat disease and misusing a drug. Suboxone has been proven to be a stable, safe drug that can be utilized for a long-lasting effect if the recommendation of a doctor is followed.
  • You can get high off of Suboxone just like any other drug – At the end of the day, intoxication isn’t going to occur from Suboxone if a person is already opioid dependent. You can only get intoxicated from Suboxone if you misuse it, combine it with other substances, or if it’s used to medicate heavy episodes of agonist opioid abuse. Even if a person does misuse Suboxone, it can be easily discovered through urine drug testing and pill counts.
  • Using suboxone is just like giving up – Getting over an opioid addiction is a struggle that involves daily physical and mental work. Addiction isn’t just a habit or a hobby gone wrong. It’s a disease within the brain. When using Suboxone, a person’s craving for opioids is being fulfilled without receiving that euphoric high. Because the Suboxone is fulfilling that need, they’re able to focus on other aspects of therapy such as analyzing their psychological health so they can have the chance at making a full recovery.


The Truth About Suboxone

Often, the factor that keeps those with opioid addiction from the road of recovery is the effects of withdrawal. They can be debilitating to any individual. The symptoms of opioid withdrawal include severe diarrhea, insomnia, and abdominal cramping.

Just to prevent themselves from going through the effects of withdrawal, they’ll choose drugs like heroin and opioid painkillers to balance themselves out. Using Suboxone stops that vicious cycle because this medication is an opioid itself. It caters to the cravings of the individual without giving them a high.

The key to success is sticking to the doctor’s recommendation and administering the medication in a safe setting, accompanied by therapy and other methods of support. Because those with an addiction don’t have to worry about going through withdrawals, the rate of relapse lowers.


How to Handle the Stigma

Handling the stigma of Suboxone can be rough. But, there are a couple of things that you can do to manage the stigma accordingly and share accurate communication about the medication.

  1. Share Your Progress: The best weapon against miscommunication is proof. As you move further and further through your recovery, share aspects of your journey with the people around you. This is especially important for those who hold an unfair preconceived notion of the use of Suboxone. Educate those around you about your recovery and the things that you have learned through professionals about Suboxone.
  2. Ask For Help: Dealing with the stigma of using Suboxone can make you feel very alone. You may feel as though you don’t have anyone to talk to about your experience. But, there are places out there that will allow you to tell your story. Research support and 12-step groups in your area. You may be able to find one that’s specifically designed for those who have dealt with opioid addiction. If there aren’t any 12-step programs in your area, then you might be able to find an addiction support group online. Facebook has a wide variety of groups that have that same goal.
  3. Practice Self-Care: Constantly trying to prove that your method of recovery is beneficial is exhausting. Take time out of your day to do productive activities that’ll help improve your mental and physical state. For example, you can start a journal or read a book before bed. Put yourself first and make yourself living proof of the medication’s benefit.

Despite the heavy amount of research backing the use of Suboxone for treating opioid addiction, stigma still runs rampant around certain communities. If you believe that using Suboxone is the right choice for you, stay focused on your recovery journey.

Spread accurate information to combat the miscommunication, ask for help when you’re feeling frustrated and prioritize self-care. You deserve to live the fulfilling and healthy life that you deserve, and the path that you choose to get to that stable place is valid whether you’re using medication or not.



[1] Sung S and Conry JM. (n.d.). Role of buprenorphine in the management of heroin addiction. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

[2] Suboxone: Rationale, Science, Misconceptions. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Can Suboxone Get You High?

Opioid addiction is running rampant across most of the United States. People experiencing massive amounts of pain after an accident, injury or surgery are prescribed pain killers to help treat the pain.

When the dosage they were prescribed no longer squelches the pain that they feel, some people tend to take the medication more frequently or in larger doses to help treat the pain. Taking prescription pain killers can be a slippery slope because you don’t have to take them for too long to become addicted to them.

Nearly 2.5 million people in America are currently battling an addiction to opioids. Being able to get clean from them can be difficult to do on your own, especially if you are still in a lot of pain.

Fortunately, there are options when it comes to getting clean from your addiction though. Walk through the ins and outs of drug addiction treatment and how it can be beneficial to you.

Detoxing from Opioids Can be Difficult

Many people feel ashamed of their addiction and attempt to overcome it on their own only to fail. This is due to the extreme withdrawal symptoms that they experience. When you stop using opioids, your body craves them for quite a few days. During the first few days, you will detox from the drugs.

This means that the number of drugs you have in your body will slowly decrease over time. As this happens, your body starts to react in unpleasant ways.

During the detox period, many people have muscle cramping, nausea, dizziness and even vomiting. It can be hard to function because your entire body can feel as though it is revolting against you.

At the same time that your body is going through the symptoms, you may start to feel emotional symptoms of withdrawal too, such as paranoia, depression, anxiety, and even anger.

You Don’t Have to Fight Your Addiction Alone

There are many great treatment facilities available that you can go to when you are ready to quit using drugs. You can take suboxone while you are in the treatment facility to help you with the withdrawal symptoms that you experience.

Suboxone is created with two main ingredients, buprenorphine, and naloxone. The combination of these substances creates a drug that helps to minimize the overall withdrawal symptoms that you have to incur as you detox.

Suboxone Should be Taken in a Controlled Environment at First

It’s important to know that when you first stop using drugs, you will still have an emotional attachment to them. Many people assume that the only reason they take drugs is that they are physically addicted to them, but that isn’t always the case. There are many times when the tie to drugs is emotional, as well.

Suboxone can help reduce your cravings for opioids for the most part, but it cannot stop you from wanting them psychologically. You need to go to drug treatment counseling in order to determine if you have a psychological or emotional addiction to the drugs as well.

Many people battling opioid addiction have a co-occurring disorder and need to be treated for their mental or emotional disorder, as well as their addiction.

When you first quit using drugs, taking suboxone on your own may not be the best option to consider. You will still be surrounded by all of the temptations that you had before and there is a good chance that you could still be around drug abusers that you hung out with when you were getting high.

There are many drug addicts who steal suboxone because it can create a euphoric state if it is taken in excess.

How will suboxone get you high? Suboxone is designed to block pain receptors to make getting clean from drugs easier. The euphoric feeling that it creates when you are taking it in a controlled setting, as prescribed is so minimal that most addicts don’t even recognize it as being high.

On the streets, addicts know that taking suboxone outside of its intended use can get them a similar feeling to the high that they get on opioids, but it will last much longer than it does when they take other drugs.

The high that suboxone causes isn’t as intense as the high opioids cause, but due to the long duration of the high that it causes, it is still very sought after by addicts across the United States.

Avoiding a Suboxone High Isn’t Difficult

If you really want to get clean from drugs, you shouldn’t try to get high from suboxone. Taking the medication in a controlled setting prevents you from being able to abuse it and allows you to learn how to take medications properly so that you don’t abuse other drugs again in the future.

While you are within the facility, you’ll be taught important things that you need to know about drugs and addiction.

There are many addicts who don’t realize that they are susceptible to become addicted to other drugs again in the future. The education that you receive from the drug treatment facility arms you with the necessary tools you need to be able to avoid addiction in the future and to seek help right away if you feel that there is a chance that you may be relapsing.

Nearly half of all addicts who try to quit do end up relapsing again at some point or another. Avoiding a relapse requires hard work and dedication on your part.

After your initial treatment in a drug treatment facility, you may be able to seek outpatient care. This could mean that you could be prescribed suboxone to take at home. You need to be sure that you always take it as prescribed and that you store it properly.

You need to be sure that no one can get their hands on the prescription without your knowledge and that it isn’t within reach of pets or small children.



[1] American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2016). Opioid Addiction. Retrieved from

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). How effective are medications to treat opioid use disorder? Retrieved from

[3] Science Direct. (2017). Partial Agonist. Retrieved from

Suboxone Vs. Methadone

Methadone and Suboxone are prescription drugs that help to combat a wide array of addictions. With so many similarities and intricacies in their usage, we take a look at a comparison between the two.

What do Suboxone and Methadone Treat?

Suboxone is a special kind of medication that was developed to help combat dependence on certain drugs. However, while its brand name is Suboxone, it contains a combination of two medications; naloxone and buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a mild opiate that helps in abating pain, while naloxone is an opiate antagonist that blocks opioid agonists and helps with treating overdoses.

A combination of these two underlying ingredients helps people who have developed addictions to prescription drugs to develop a safer way to stop abuse.

Methadone is another popular drug that is usually used in treating narcotic addiction. It was once considered to be the industry standard in painkillers, but it has undergone much more evolution from World War II days. Now, it helps with treating narcotic addiction and reducing about a painless, much safer way.

What do Suboxone and Methadone Have in Common?

Both Suboxone and Methadone are opioids. They can also both be used by people in getting through the detoxification (detox) process. Essentially, a detox is the process that occurs when the body tries to cleanse itself of a drug. During this process, certain symptoms arise as a result of the body trying to acclimatize to an absence of the drugs in question. Most detox withdrawal symptoms aren’t life-threatening, but they’re still uncomfortable and can cause much pain to the patient.

This is where drugs like Suboxone and Methadone come into play. Using them in their appropriate dosage will help reduce your cravings for these drugs and ease the process of detoxification a great deal.

Even though both of these drugs were manufactured to treat certain forms of withdrawal symptoms and ease the transition from addiction to sobriety, there is a potential for misuse with the two of them. Misuse of the two drugs would create addiction symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms of the drugs are also quite similar, with the most common being nausea, dizziness, headaches, and sweating.

Addiction to many drugs comes with certain forms of treatment. For some drugs, the patient needs to stop usage all at once and other drugs need to be weaned from the system. Detoxing from most addictive drugs can be eased with certain medications.

When it comes to both Methadone and Suboxone, the rule of thumb when treating withdrawal is usually to seek professional help. This is because withdrawal is traditionally handled by tapering the victim off gradually. This should be done in the presence of a professional, who will be able to measure progress and prescribe resolutions.

How are They Different?

While the two of them are usually manufactured and are taken to treat withdrawal symptoms, it is worth noting that the types of withdrawal symptoms differ a little bit. Methadone helps with the treatment of narcotic withdrawal symptoms, while Suboxone specializes in opioid withdrawal symptoms.

You can get a Methadone prescription from various federal clinics, while Suboxone is usually prescribed through a local pharmacy, as long as you get a signed prescription form from a licensed health care practitioner.

Suboxone provides partial agonist action, while Methadone is a full opioid agonist. Essentially, this means that Suboxone will most likely have less of an impact on the cognitive abilities of the user, as well as fewer general opioid effects, than Methadone.

Generally, Suboxone is considered to be a much safer alternative to Methadone as far as opioid addiction treatment is concerned. However, the choice you make between the two is a personal one and it should also depend on the recommendation of trained and licensed medical practitioners.

The dosage forms for these drugs also differ a bit. While Suboxone is usually taken in doses of thin film and tablets, Methadone has a much wider range of application, with dosage forms, including liquid, tablets, and suspensions.

Both Suboxone and Methadone are opioids, which means that they are capable of providing symptoms of withdrawal. As a Schedule II drug, there is a much higher tendency of Methadone being misused than Suboxone which is a Schedule III drug. Also, the symptoms of withdrawal from methadone usually last from three to six weeks, while those of Suboxone last for several months.

If You’re Considering MAT, How Do You Find Out Which is Right For You?

If you’re considering Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) and you’re stuck between a choice of Suboxone or Methadone, your decision should depend on a consultation with a doctor.

Medical practitioners are a crucial ally in the treatment of addiction withdrawal symptoms, especially with the use of medications. They will help determine the right kind of medication for you, as well as the level of dosage that will be able to help in keeping your addiction under control. Your doctor will also be able to direct you to the right facilities that will provide you with the medications and the kind of counseling that you need to improve your condition.

Also, you should know that in most cases the mere administration of drugs won’t be sufficient in treating withdrawal symptoms. The journey is one you take with mental health experts and doctors if you hope to get off effectively.



[1] Buprenorphine vs methadone treatment: A review of evidence in both developed and developing worlds. (2012, January). Retrieved from

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). How effective are medications to treat opioid use disorder? Retrieved from

[3] Science Direct. (2012). Chapter 4 – Drug Antagonism: Orthosteric Drug Effects. Retrieved from