Category - For Patients

Is Suboxone Right for Me?


Finding the strength to seek treatment from addiction is difficult to say the least, especially an addiction to opioids. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day more than 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose . With so many lives at risk, new treatment drugs have been developed to increase rehabilitation rates, including suboxone use for patients.

Suboxone treatment

One of the reasons that opioid use is so hard to stop is the effect of the drug on the brain. Suboxone treatment involves using an opioid to treat opioid addiction. This type of treatment should only be done under a doctor’s supervision and along with therapy and aftercare support.

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction. It uses two different drugs- buprenorphine and naloxone to control the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Suboxone affects the brain in two ways:

Buprenorphine gives a small dose of opioid to help manage withdrawal symptoms. The highs are much lower than what would be experienced with opioid use but allow the user to slowly wean themselves off of their opioid of choice.  While buprenorphine activates the opioid receptors in the brain, naloxone shuts them down. It can cause withdrawal symptoms in those currently abusing opioids.

Suboxone Withdrawal

A study in National Institute of Health found that those who used suboxone had better outcomes. In the study it was found that those who used the drug were less likely to use both opioids as well as other drugs. It also assisted in the retention of concepts introduced to the patient during rehabilitation.

Treatment Delivery

There are several different ways suboxone patients can take the medication: by swallowing a pill, by dissolving the medicine or through injection. Many health practitioners suggest delivering suboxone through a dissolvable pill or suboxone film as it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and has immediate effects.

Suboxone for Pain

While suboxone was created to help opioid dependent individuals stem their addiction with minimal withdrawal symptoms, there are some that question if the drug should also be prescribed for pain management.

A study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health  has found that suboxone does not provide effective pain relief for chronic pain sufferers and also has too high of a risk  suboxone abuse or even suboxone addiction.

Suboxone Side Effects

Suboxone can only be administered by a medical professional as it can have many adverse side effects and can be fatal. In individuals who are abusing opioids, suboxone can produce withdrawal symptoms including irritability, mood swings, nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps and diarrhea. Those who have been chronically addicted to full opioid agonists (heroin, for example) could develop seizure or respiratory failure.


While many hail suboxone as a safer alternative to methadone, it still presents its own set of risks. If you are seeking treatment for opioid addiction, you can speak to your health care professional so see if a suboxone treatment center could be the right fit for you. For a treatment center near you, check out

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