It seems odd to think that Suboxone® (buprenorphine) can be addictive. After all the drug, is meant to help people get off heroin and opioid painkillers. The truth is, however, that Suboxone does have the power to render people dependent if they don’t carefully monitor their intake and stick to the regimen prescribed by their doctors as part of a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment program. Knowing the symptoms of Suboxone addiction and when you’re experiencing them can help you understand when to speak with your doctor about changing the course of your treatment. Learn the signs and what to expect.
Why Can Suboxone Be Addictive?
While Suboxone is meant to treat opioid addiction, its main ingredient, buprenorphine, is actually an opioid. Suboxone is a “partial opioid agonist”, which means it releases smaller amounts of opioids that are just enough to curtail cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Examples of full agonists are heroin, oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone, morphine, opium, and others. Partial agonist opioids activate the opioid receptors in the brain, but to a much lesser degree than a full agonist. This is what has made buprenorphine a preferable alternative to methadone in many cases. It is possible, however, to become addicted to Suboxone if you or your loved one aren’t careful.
How Do I Know If I’m Becoming Addicted to Suboxone?
Physical signs of Suboxone addiction mirror those of other opioids and include:
- Fever and Flu-Like Symptoms
- Tremors and Shaking
- Muscle and Joint Pain
- Changes in Appearance (Skin, Weight, Teeth, Etc.)
- Excessive Sweating
- Cravings and Withdrawal Symptoms
- Dizziness and Vomiting
Behavioral Changes of Suboxone Addiction
Behavioral signs of Suboxone addiction also mirror those of addiction to other opioids and can often include changes in sleeping habits, lying and deception, changes in social circles, decline in academic or professional performance, and others. Psychological symptoms include paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations. If you or your loved one are struggling with any of these symptoms related to Suboxone addiction, it’s time to get help.
It’s important to realize that Suboxone is not a substitute for any other element of treatment and should be administered alongside behavioral therapy and rehab as part of a comprehensive treatment program.
Treating Suboxone Addiction
Once you recognize signs of Suboxone addiction, it’s important to get help immediately in the form of medical detox and behavioral rehab. Abrupt cessation of Suboxone for those who are taking it for opioid maintenance could lead to serious health issues, so it’s imperative that you or your loved one get help from an experienced and qualified doctor.
Recovery Unplugged offers comprehensive help for all types of opioid addiction, including overuse of maintenance drugs like Suboxone and methadone, and we’re ready to help you or your loved one break the cycle and take your life back. We are in-network with most major insurance companies, offer all levels of care and are staffed with trained doctors and nurses to help you through the worst of your withdrawal symptoms. Contact our admissions team today to start your treatment.