Suboxone addiction treatment: what you need to know
The misuse of this powerful medication can quickly lead to addiction

Suboxone treatment is a valuable tool in the treatment of opioid use disorders, but misuse of this powerful medication can quickly lead to Suboxone addiction. Like other opioids, Suboxone addiction can lead to intense withdrawals, drug cravings, and mental health symptoms that can be devastating to your quality of life.

Seeking Suboxone addiction treatment can help you overcome a Suboxone addiction and get you back on the road to recovery.

Connect with Lakeview Health at 866 704 7692 or reach out to us online today to learn more.

What is Suboxone?
What are its uses?

Suboxone is a targeted medication designed for the treatment of opioid use disorders. It is one of the few medications that has been approved by the FDA for medication-assisted treatment and is widely considered to be the gold standard for medical opioid addiction treatment.

It contains two active ingredients that help with the symptoms of an opioid use disorder: buprenorphine and naloxone.

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Buprenorphine and Naloxone


Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that targets the same neural receptors as drugs such as oxycodone, heroin, morphine, and fentanyl. Since it is partial agonist, buprenorphine produces weaker opioid effects compared to other opioids.

Yet, at the same time, it has a very high affinity for opioid receptors — which means that it will block the receptors against other opioids and even displace them if they are already in a person’s system.

In layman’s terms, buprenorphine is powerful enough to relieve the symptoms of opioid withdrawal without being so powerful as to create intense euphoria or dangerously slow a person’s breathing. It also has a lower potential for abuse than many other opioids.


Naloxone is included in the Suboxone formulation for one primary reason: to reduce the potential for abuse. Since buprenorphine can still be intoxicating, prescribing Suboxone can lead people to misuse the medication. Naloxone helps solve this problem by making Suboxone ineffective if not taken as prescribed.

Naloxone is a powerful opioid antagonist, meaning it binds to opioid receptors and displaces any opioids present.

When not mixed with buprenorphine, naloxone is used to treat opioid overdose and is sold under the brand name Narcan. Yet naloxone is not readily absorbed under the tongue or through the digestive tract, which is the main route of administration for buprenorphine.

As such, adding naloxone to the Suboxone formulation lowers the risk of abuse by preventing people from injecting the medication to produce a high. If Suboxone is injected, the naloxone blocks the effect of the buprenorphine and produces no euphoric effect.

Why people use Suboxone

There are two primary reasons that people use Suboxone: either as a treatment for opioid use disorder or as a recreational drug. For some people, the former can lead to the latter. Even as a medical treatment, the use of Suboxone is not without risks and can carry side effects and dangers that cause undue stress and complications.

Suboxone Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

The FDA has approved Suboxone treatment for opioid use disorders, and evidence has shown that it is one of the most effective ways of helping people break free from an opioid addiction. Suboxone has a few primary characteristics that make it effective:

When used as prescribed, people with an opioid use disorder are nearly twice as likely to complete treatment when taking Suboxone as compared to a placebo. Suboxone treatment is just as effective as methadone treatment at reducing opioid use, and Suboxone side effects are often much milder.

There are typically two ways that Suboxone treatment is prescribed. It can be used short-term to help people overcome opioid withdrawal symptoms, or it can be used for longer periods as part of a Suboxone maintenance plan. Deciding which treatment is right for you is something you need to do in a conversation with your provider.

Suboxone misuse

Unfortunately, Suboxone is not without its drawbacks. Suboxone dangers include:

Many people wonder how this can be the case, despite Suboxone being used to treat opioid addiction. Is Suboxone addictive itself? Why do people misuse Suboxone?

The simple answer is that Suboxone affects the brain and body in a very similar way to opioids and can create recreational effects.

Though much milder than drugs like heroin, oxycodone, or morphine, Suboxone can still create feelings of euphoria and relaxation, along with cravings. This possibility is particularly likely for people who haven’t used opioids for a long period of time.

Research has shown that of the 2.4 million Americans who used Suboxone, 700,000 reported misusing their prescription. So while the medication is generally safe for most people, the possibility of Suboxone addiction is very real.

Signs of Suboxone addiction

The warning signs of Suboxone addiction closely parallel the symptoms of opioid addiction. Suboxone addiction signs include:

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these signs, it might be time to look for Suboxone addiction treatment. Breaking free from Suboxone addiction is hard to accomplish on your own, and trained addiction professionals can make the process much easier.

Withdrawal symptoms

Suboxone withdrawals can be intensely uncomfortable. The symptoms of Suboxone withdrawals are identical to the symptoms of opioid withdrawals, though many people who have experienced both report that Suboxone withdrawals are much more intense. The symptoms of Suboxone withdrawals include:

Suboxone withdrawals can last for over a week, and many people are not able to break through this stage of recovery on their own. Seeking treatment at a Suboxone detox can help ease this process by using targeted medications and therapies that can help manage your symptoms and keep you comfortable on the path to recovery.

Suboxone detox

A Suboxone detox facility is staffed with medical and mental health professionals who are acutely aware of the effects of Suboxone addiction. They can monitor your symptoms, provide targeted therapies to help you during detox, and offer compassionate support for your recovery.

Suboxone detox is typically an inpatient process — meaning you live on-site at the facility during treatment. This form of treatment can further help people avoid relapse and prepare for the next steps in Suboxone addiction treatment.

Suboxone addiction treatment at Lakeview Health

If you’re struggling with your Suboxone use, reach out to the professionals at Lakeview Health to learn more about our Suboxone addiction treatment program. Our team has decades of experience helping people overcome their addictions and can help you achieve recovery as well.

We are proud to offer a broad range of amenities and services so that you can focus on what matters most: healing. Take a virtual tour of our facilities online or reach out to us by calling 866 552 6557 to arrange a visit.

We know how difficult it can be to struggle with Suboxone addiction — but you don’t have to do it alone. Our team can support you through this difficult time and show you the path to long-lasting recovery.

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