A frustrated woman experiencing the first symptoms of withdrawal from suboxone.

How dangerous is withdrawal from Suboxone?

You may not even know what Suboxone is. It’s not nearly as famous as its counterpart opioids like heroin, morphine and vicodin. Suboxone has been an important tool in the fight against the opioid epidemic that has destroyed lives and communities across the United States over the past half-century. Suboxone has been taken by millions of people over the years to help treat their addiction to drugs, and in particular, opioid use disorder. But Suboxone is not a harm-free drug. And withdrawal from Suboxone is very serious.

Suboxone is a prescription drug for a very good reason. Suboxone is used to treat opioid use disorder, but it contains a narcotic, buprenorphine, that can lead to chemical dependence. And chemical dependency on suboxone can lead to suboxone withdrawal. And while all forms of withdrawal are dangerous, because Suboxone is so poorly understood, the dangers of withdrawal from Suboxone are even more poorly understood.

What is Suboxone? And how does Suboxone work?

We gave you the short version in that first paragraph. But here’s the longer version:

Suboxone is a prescription medication used to treat opioid dependence. It was approved by the FDA back in 2002. Suboxone contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it activates opioid receptors in the brain but to a lesser extent than full opioid agonists like heroin or oxycodone. 

This ingredient helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids. Naloxone is included to deter misuse of Suboxone. If someone tries to inject Suboxone to get high, the naloxone can act as an opioid antagonist and not reward that kind of drug/high seeking behavior.  

Suboxone is typically used as part of a comprehensive treatment program for opioid addiction, which may include counseling, behavioral therapy, and support groups. It is usually prescribed by doctors who are specially certified to provide medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence.

How does Withdrawal work? 

Anyone who has ever struggled with any form of substance use disorder is intimately familiar with drug withdrawal. Drug withdrawal occurs when a person who is physically dependent on an addictive substance suddenly stops or reduces their use of that substance. It typically happens with drugs that cause physical dependence, such as opioids, opiates, benzodiazepines, alcohol. Although it can occur with long-term intake of many other chemically addictive substances.

Regular drug use changes your brain and your body. Your natural dopamine baselines are reset as your body is constantly flooded with an The brain undergoes changes in neurotransmitter levels and receptor sensitivity to accommodate the drug’s effects. Over time, the body becomes dependent on the drug to function normally.

When drug use is abruptly discontinued or significantly reduced, the body’s adaptations are suddenly unmasked, leading to the range of physical and psychological symptoms known as withdrawal. The specific symptoms and severity of withdrawal depend on factors such as the type of drug, the duration and intensity of use, individual physiology, and whether multiple substances are involved.

Withdrawal from Suboxone: All of the Suboxone withdrawal symptoms

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Withdrawal from Suboxone is very real and very scary

As the active opioid in Suboxone, consistent buprenorphine intake (via Suboxone) can lead to chemical dependency. But because buprenorphine is an opioid, the symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal disorder are much the same as opioid withdrawal disorder. Like any opioid, withdrawal from Suboxone has a lot of various symptoms. And no two experiences with Suboxone withdrawal are the same. But here’s a list of the most common symptoms of withdrawal from Suboxone: 

Physical Symptoms of Withdrawal from Suboxone

  • Muscle aches and pains: Discomfort can range from mild to severe and often affects the back and legs.
  • Restlessness: Inability to relax or stay still, often leading to difficulty sleeping.
  • Sweating: Excessive sweating that is not related to physical activity or ambient temperature.
  • Runny nose: Increase in nasal secretion as a part of the body’s response to withdrawal.
  • Tearing: Eyes may water excessively without emotional provocation.
  • Yawning: Frequent and excessive yawning is a common, yet not widely understood, symptom.
  • Dilated pupils: Noticeable enlargement of the pupils.
  • Goosebumps: Skin may have a ‘goosebump’ appearance, often accompanied by chills.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Digestive discomfort that can lead to vomiting.
  • Diarrhea: Loose or liquid bowel movements.
  • Abdominal cramps: Can range from mild to severe and contribute to overall discomfort.

Psychological Symptoms of Suboxone Withdrawal 

  • Anxiety: Increased anxiety, which may include feelings of panic or dread.
  • Irritability: Short temper and frustration over minor issues.
  • Depression: Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or a lack of pleasure in activities once enjoyed.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, leading to significant sleep disruption.
  • Cravings: Intense desire to use opioids again in order to relieve withdrawal symptoms or recapture the feeling of euphoria they provide.

Ready to get help from Suboxone Withdrawal. Get help at ARIA today!

At the Addiction Recovery Institute of America, our addiction treatment specialists provide expert care for individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders. Our goal is simple: to provide each of our clients with the tools they need to achieve long-term recovery. When you enroll in any one of the programs at ARIA, you are committing to sobriety, right here in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

We are dedicated to holding up our end of the bargain by designing individualized substance abuse treatment programs that serve each of our client’s individual needs. To get in contact, Call us at (844) 973 2611 or head over to our Contact Us page, fill out our information form and our representatives will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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