Can Suboxone Get You High?

Can Suboxone Get You High?
Dominic Nicosia

Written By

Dominic Nicosia

One of the most common questions people ask when considering medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder is: “Can Suboxone get you high?” While Suboxone is an effective resource for many battling opioid addiction, it has the potential for diversion abuse when misused or excess. Learn more about Suboxone, including its risks, benefits and possible side effects.

Suboxone® (buprenorphine and naloxone) is a controlled substance prescribed to treat people with substance use disorder (SUD), particularly those addicted to opiates, including heroin and prescription painkillers (hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl). It is one of several intended to be part of a treatment program that includes behavioral therapy and counseling. Suboxone is a combination of two medications – naloxone and buprenorphine. Naloxone reverses opioid overdose and blocks the euphoric effects of other opioids. Buprenorphine helps reduce the effects of dependency but carries dangerous side effects, including dependence, withdrawal and respiratory issues.

Medicinal Use of Suboxone

Suboxone is used in Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for those who qualify, and is administered in controlled doses. Suboxone works by minimizing dangerous and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, including long-term cravings, and is used to prevent overdose from opioids. It works by normalizing the chemistry of the brain and blocking the euphoric effects of opioids and alcohol. MAT has been proven to be effective and significantly decrease the necessity for inpatient detox. Treatment plans including MAT are individually tailored to meet the needs of patients, with the goal being complete abstinence from opioids and alcohol.

Complications and Potential for Addiction

Overdosing on Suboxone to get high is dangerous and can cause breathing issues and death. Taking this medication with benzos, alcohol, antidepressants or tranquilizers can also be fatal. The sublingual film version is made from an opioid that may lead one to become more easily addicted. Injecting Suboxone may also cause serious symptoms of withdrawal. When taken in doses and/or frequencies larger or more often than prescribed in order to get high, one can develop opioid use disorder.

Symptoms that one may have opioid use disorder include but are not limited to:

  • Requiring a higher dose to achieve the same results
  • Withdrawal symptoms, including:
    • Anxiety
    • Irritability
    • Body aches
    • Shaking
    • Sweating
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
  • No longer enjoying once pleasurable activities
  • Inability to quit despite failure to function in daily living

Consuming Suboxone in ways other than intended, such as crushing and grinding, can make the drug less effective. Additionally, stopping suddenly, injecting or snorting this drug may lead to getting high, followed by withdrawal symptoms. It is important to use Suboxone as it is intended and prescribed by a medical professional. One should never take this drug without a prescription.

Obtaining Suboxone illegally as a street drug can cause complications, as one has no way of knowing where it came from, what drug it actually may be or how it was made. Suboxone film can be misused in ways similar to other legal and illicit opioids, leading to abuse or dependency. It is made with buprenorphine, a drug used by people who abuse street drugs or prescription medications. Giving this medicine to someone without a prescription can cause serious harm or death to the individual and it is illegal to do so.

Using Suboxone without a prescription or in ways other than intended can lead to getting high and developing opioid use disorder. When administered in a medical setting, chances of abusing this drug are lower than if one were to attempt to use it at home. Taking this medication not as advised and without proper medical supervision can be life-threatening and cause legal issues if possessed or distributed improperly. Due to the potential for abuse, it is advised that this drug be kept in a safe place away from anyone who may use it other than oneself.

Dominic Nicosia

Dominic Nicosia

Dominic Nicosia, a seasoned content writer, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the realm of healthcare writing, particularly in the addiction care field. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Professional Writing from the University of the Arts Philadelphia (2009), Dominic has carved a niche for himself with over seven years of specialized writing experience in addiction care.

As the Senior Content Writer at Recovery Unplugged, Dominic is entrusted with the pivotal role of curating and overseeing the online blog, ensuring its alignment with the highest standards of accuracy, relevance, and trustworthiness. His responsibilities extend beyond the blog, encompassing all written communications within the Marketing domain. From articles and thought leadership pieces to web content, Dominic's penmanship is evident in every written facet of Recovery Unplugged.

Dominic's credibility is further enhanced by his contributions to esteemed publications like Austin Fit Magazine, where he delves into critical topics such as drug use, addiction, recovery, and mental health. His writings not only reflect his profound understanding of the subject matter but also resonate with readers, offering insights and guidance. Outside the professional sphere, Dominic's passion for music is evident. He has been writing and playing music for years, showcasing his versatility and depth as a writer and artist.

Dominic Nicosia stands as a beacon of expertise and credibility in the healthcare writing community. With a deep understanding of his subject matter and a commitment to accuracy, he consistently delivers content that is both informative and reliable, meeting the highest standards of quality and trustworthiness in the industry.


  • Proven track record in managing and enhancing online blogs, articles, and thought leadership pieces.
  • Adept at blending his passion for music with his writing, offering a unique perspective on topics.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Professional Writing from the University of the Arts Philadelphia (2009).
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