Suboxone Withdrawal
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Learn about what helps Suboxone withdrawal, and what to expect in treatment.

When someone enters rehab to receive help for an opioid addiction they may be prescribed a drug called Suboxone. It is an MAT drug that can help reduce cravings and help reduce the risk of relapse. This can allow them to become more stable early in the recovery process.

Sometimes, though, this drug can itself become a problem. It is also an opioid, which means it can carry the risk for abuse or addiction. Others, who are not in the MAT program or in recovery, may seek out Suboxone for abuse.

One of the signs of Suboxone addiction is when the drug’s effects wear off and trigger withdrawal symptoms. This is a sign of drug dependence, as the body and brain now demand it. Keep reading to learn more about Suboxone withdrawals.

About Suboxone Addiction and Withdrawals

Suboxone is a drug that contains buprenorphine and naloxone. It comes in different forms, but the film form is most common, where the strips are placed under the tongue. The ‘bupe’ is an opioid itself that acts as a partial agonist. This means it can block the effects of the opiate and reduce the cravings for it. Naloxone is added to deter the person from abuse, as intense symptoms will result if they try.

It is good to note that this drug cannot be given at the start of detox. The client must be clear of the drug of abuse for at least a few days before starting on it. The detox team will assess whether you can safely begin treatment. 

Treatment centers use Suboxone to help someone in opioid recovery because it can help them slowly step down from opioids. Over time, the effects of opioids will be so reduced that cravings for the drug will cease. At that point, you will be tapered off the Suboxone.

One of the risks of using this drug for MAT is that it is so much like the drug of abuse. Some people wind up finding a way to abuse it. They may dissolve the film in water and inject it. This is risky because when someone injects it the drug will bypass the digestive system, shutting off the naloxone effect. 

The habit-forming properties of Suboxone may cause recovering addicts to begin abusing the replacement drug. They may place several of the film strips under the tongue at once to enhance the high. 

how long does suboxone withdrawal last

Help for Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

When you are ready to get help for a Suboxone addiction, you will need to start the process with a detox. During detox you will begin to have very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms as the drug vacates the body. The withdrawal symptoms are the same as for other opiates, and include the following:

  • Intense cravings.
  • Muscle aches and pains.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Chills
  • Indigestion and diarrhea.
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes.
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Symptoms of depression.
  • Symptoms of anxiety.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Irritability

Suboxone withdrawals begin within 24-72 hours of the last dose and last from a week to a month. Many of the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can be reduced in a detox program where healthcare providers can offer over-the-counter meds. You will receive constant support throughout the detox process. This includes psychological support for symptoms of depression or anxiety, too.

During the first week of detox you can expect to have sleep problems, mood swings, achy joints and muscle cramps. After the first week most of the symptoms of Suboxone withdrawal will begin to subside. There are some symptoms, though, that will linger for weeks. You might feel depressed, irritable, and still have cravings.

Suboxone Addiction Treatment Guidelines

Just as with any other opioid problem, a treatment program is needed to be able to break the grip of addiction. Detox is only the first step of the journey.

In treatment, there is a well-planned program that helps you change thought patterns. These are the patterns that have kept you or a loved one stuck in the cycle of addiction. Treatment consists of many different methods with this aim in mind.

A program for Suboxone abuse will involve these elements:

THERAPY

All rehab programs will focus a large portion of time on therapy. This is key to learning about new ways to manage cravings and triggers. The most common therapies used in Suboxone recovery are CBT, DBT, and CM. These methods help clients shift toward making a better response to triggers. Over time, these new thought patterns become habits and act as core coping skills.

GROUP SUPPORT

There is much to be gained by sharing with others while in treatment. Group sessions allow for people in recovery to gather and chat about topics that pertain to their struggle. The group setting offers a safe space to gain peer support.

PSYCHO-SOCIAL SKILLS

To avoid relapse, treatment programs focus much time on ways to protect sobriety. Clients will learn many new coping techniques and life skills that will aid them in their journey. 

HOLISTIC HELP

While in treatment, you will learn methods to help manage stress better. These are things you can carry forward into daily life after rehab. Treatment programs may offer yoga class, teach meditation techniques, or provide art therapy sessions.

12-STEP PROGRAM

It has become standard for rehabs to include 12-step themes into the program. Some may also offer access to A.A. or N.A. meetings, or even to other types of programs like SMART Recovery.

Finding Help for Suboxone Misuse

Many of the folks who end up with a Suboxone issue did not intend for it to happen. In many cases they did not seek the drug out to get high. Instead, just like all opioids, this drug was highly addictive and led to the later problems.

When a loved one does acquire a Suboxone use disorder they will begin to show symptoms of withdrawal. Learning what helps Suboxone withdrawal, and how to support them in recovery, can be a huge asset to your loved one.

LifeSync Malibu Treats Suboxone Withdrawal and Addiction

LifeSync Malibu can offer you the help needed for treating a Suboxone use disorder. If you or a loved one is struggling with this, give our team a call today at (866) 491-4426.