How long does Suboxone last?

suboxone strips

When a person is addicted to drugs, his or her body changes, many drugs can cause neuropsychological changes that alter the brain as well as a full range of physical effects. While an addict may want to quit using drugs, he or she may need to continue using them to feel normal. In addiction, withdrawal symptoms from many drugs can be severe and may contribute to continued use. Suboxone is prescribed by doctors to help addicts break their addiction and achieve sobriety.

What Happens If You Use Drugs?

Often, people start using drugs out of curiosity or because of peer pressure. They may also be used as a coping method for a mental health condition or stress. Some opioids, such as Oxycontin and others, are prescribed by doctors. However, they are highly addictive. Some people may get addicted for these reasons, while others do not. There are a few risk factors associated with a higher likelihood of developing an addiction, such as mental health conditions, genetics, being exposed to drugs prior to birth, and more.

When you use drugs, you may feel relaxed, euphoric, or better in other ways. Often, the body develops a tolerance to drugs. A person may feel inclined to take more of the drug or to use the drug more frequently to experience the same effects. In addition to having physical cravings, a person may experience mental or psychological effects. For example, a person may feel unable to deal with a day’s stress without using drugs.

Will I Experience Withdrawal Symptoms From Drugs?

Once you have a drug addiction, you may feel a wide range of unpleasant and even painful effects if you do not continue using. To fight these effects, the addict may feel compelled to continue using even if he or she does not actually want to. Depending on the type of drug that you are addicted to, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Reduced respiration
  • A change in heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and stomach upset
  • Vomiting
  • Jitters
  • Muscle pains
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Dilated pupils

What Is Suboxone?

If you are addicted to opioids, you may have a greater chance of success when you seek professional treatment. As part of the detox process in a treatment program, your doctor may prescribe Suboxone, which is also called buprenorphine. This medication also includes naloxone. The buprenorphine in the medication is an agonist, which means that it creates some of the same effects in the body as the opioid. However, these effects are far weaker. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. If a patient injects Suboxone into the body, naloxone creates unpleasant side effects. By doing so, a patient is encouraged to use Suboxone as prescribed rather than abusing it.

Why Do People Take Suboxone?

Suboxone is an important part of a treatment plan for opioid addiction. It addresses the critical matter of withdrawal symptoms and cravings, which may otherwise lead to the continued use of the opioid. The medication eases the cravings that a person may feel. At the same time, it makes it unpleasant for a recovering addict to misuse this treatment drug. Ultimately, treatment with Suboxone may support the person’s goal of breaking an opioid addiction.

How Do You Take Suboxone?

Suboxone treatment includes three phases, and these are induction, stabilization and maintenance. Before treatment can begin, the patient must stop using opioids for at least 12 to 24 hours. The doctor will actively monitor the patient’s health and cravings. Once cravings have subsided, the doctor may gradually reduce the dosage and frequency of the medication. During the maintenance phase, the doctor will continue tapering the dose until the patient no longer needs it.

Suboxone tablets are placed under the patient’s tongue until they dissolve completely. The pills should not be chewed or swallowed. Usually, the patient will take one dose each day. The dosage amount will depend on many factors, such as the patient’s weight, drug use history, and metabolism. It is important to only take the amount prescribed.

How Does It Work?

Suboxone creates some of the same physical effects as opioids, but this is to a lesser degree. This directly addresses the challenge of fighting cravings during detox. Specifically, Suboxone targets your brain’s opiate receptors so that the opiates cannot bind to them. By doing so, the brain’s perception of opioid use’s effects is negated. In addition to these effects, Suboxone creates unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if the medication is not used correctly.

Because Suboxone is taken sublingually, it starts working quickly. Its benefits peak within 40 minutes to two hours. However, the effects of the medication will not be felt if opioids are used within 24 hours of the dose.

How Long Does It Last?

The actual length of time that Suboxone’s effects may be felt in the body varies based on the dosage. For example, a 1-milligram dose may produce effects for between 12 to 36 hours. A larger dose may remain effective in the body for up to three days.

Some patients experience side effects while being treated with Suboxone. These may include blurred vision, constipation, stomach upset, vomiting, oral numbness or pain and constipation. In rare cases, individuals may experience more serious effects. These could include extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing, facial swelling, swelling in the extremities, itchiness and hives. You should contact your doctor immediately if you develop these serious effects.

Will I Experience Withdrawal Symptoms From Suboxone?

Suboxone has been successfully used as an effective treatment for opioid addiction for almost 20 years. Because Suboxone can produce some of the same effects as opioids to a lesser degree, some people are concerned about becoming addicted to Suboxone. They worry about replacing one addiction with another. However, Suboxone has been specifically created to have a very low risk of developing dependency. Most people do not experience cravings for Suboxone as their doctor tapers their dosage. However, there may be a few relatively minor withdrawal symptoms. These could include anxiety, shaking, irritability, watery eyes, feeling very hot or cold, muscle pains, stomach upset and diarrhea.

Can I Get Addicted to Suboxone?

It is possible for an addiction to develop to anything that a person finds to be pleasurable. This may include various types of drugs as well as things like shopping, gambling, smoking, and more. While addiction to Suboxone is rare, Suboxone abuse is possible. If you are addicted to Suboxone, you may have slurred speech, feel itchy, have difficulty thinking clearly, or exhibit signs of impaired coordination. Withdrawal symptoms may also include blurred vision, a pounding heart, and shallow breathing. There are also psychological effects of a Suboxone addiction. These may include erratic behavior, insomnia, mood changes, depression, and poor memory. Be aware that it is possible to take a fatal dose.

Some people may also lie to their doctor about their cravings and health status in an effort to get prescribed a higher dosage. If the doctor does not do so, some addicts may visit other doctors in an attempt to get the higher dosage that they want or to be prescribed more Suboxone. While there is a very small risk of developing an addiction to Suboxone, this medication is still considered to be therapeutically beneficial because of its overall effectiveness. If you develop a Suboxone addiction, your doctor may gradually taper your dose as your treatment progresses.

Learn More About Suboxone Today

Whether you are suffering from the effects of an opioid addiction or a Suboxone addiction, Long Island Treatment Center can help. Our specialists are available to answer your questions about Suboxone and to help you get the addiction treatment that you need.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Long Island Treatment Center