Suboxone Addiction and Abuse

Suboxone is a medication comprised of a mixture of buprenorphine and naloxone. Those who have been prescribed Suboxone can take it a variety of ways, from a film to a pill that is swallowed.

Most commonly, former drug addicts use Suboxone to help control their addiction to opioids. Doctors can use it while a patient is beginning medical detox from opioids, and harder drugs, like heroin.

Some people also use Suboxone over a long period of time in order to curb cravings. It can also up the person’s tolerance to their drug of choice, so that if they relapse, they don’t run the risk of overdosing.

Patients who take Suboxone usually do so at a clinic or pharmacy and take the drug in front of a qualified medical professional. This is because while the drug primarily helps defeat drug addiction, it can make the user feel high. As such Suboxone abuse exists.

Individuals can sell their Suboxone for money, or give it to others looking to get high. They can also stash their own Suboxone and use it to get high themselves.

Suboxone Addiction Statistics

Suboxone originally was manufactured because it is less addictive than methadone, a similar pill to help curb heroin overdose. However, this doesn’t mean that people don’t become addicted to Suboxone or that there isn’t a risk.

Generally, those who take Suboxone as a way to manage their drug habit are able to recover and keep their addiction at bay. The rate of recovery with Suboxone is around 60%. However, the other 40% have long-long addiction issues. These issues may also be part of their use of Suboxone.

General Stats on Addiction to Suboxone

Suboxone abuse is not as common as the abuse of methadone. This is because it was formulated not to give patients the same “high” they feel when taking methadone. Those who have been addicted to drugs, especially harder drugs like heroin, may not even feel the effects of Suboxone. Instead, to them, it will feel relatively normal.

But, if they increase their dosage to a point that is dangerous, they may be able to feel as though they are taking opioids.

Demographics

In 2013, doctors prescribed 16,000 prescriptions of Suboxone, though they prescribed far more for Subutex, a medication which only contains buprenorphine.

Most people who become addicted to Suboxone are not the people who have been prescribed the medication in the first place. Instead, most Suboxone users procured their medication from a friend who has been prescribed the medicine.

Drug users may sell their Suboxone tablets after they’ve attended the required clinics and are trusted to take Suboxone on their own. While the Suboxone might not be enough to get the person high anymore, they can sell it for money to buy more drugs that will get them high.

Therefore, when looking for Suboxone abuse, you need to look further than the person who was given the prescription. Instead, it is most often someone close to them. However, there are cases where individuals do get Suboxone from people they don’t know or from sales on the street.

Signs Of Suboxone Abuse

If you suspect someone you love is addicted to Suboxone, there are a few signs to look out for.

Someone who has become addicted to Suboxone may be purchasing it illegally. They may be buying it from the Internet, or a from a friend who receives the medication as part of a program. You may find pills on them, even if you know they have not been given it by a doctor.

A person who is addicted may also face financial problems due to spending much of their income on Suboxone. They may also be withdrawn and become noticeably depressed.

An individual addicted to Suboxone will also display some physical symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:

  • A high or euphoria
  • Acting out of character
  • Drowsiness
  • Diahrrea
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • High blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Dilated pupils

Am I Addicted?

If you believe you’re addicted to Suboxone, one way to tell is if you can actually quit taking the medication in excess. Individuals addicted to Suboxone often take more than they’re prescribed, “doctor shop” or get several prescriptions at once.

If you cannot function without taking more than your prescribed dose, you are likely addicted. Attempting to stop means attempting to stop in earnest, not just telling yourself that you can stop any time.

Dangers of Suboxone Abuse

Just like any opioid, there are dangers when it comes to taking Suboxone.

Some of the social consequences of an addiction to Suboxone may include being unable to hold down a job, not having money because you’re spending it on drugs or other problems like severe depression. If the situation becomes dire, homelessness may become a factor.

Because Suboxone is an opioid, individuals can overdose on it. Taking too much Suboxone can lead to depressed breathing. This, in turn, makes it hard for your body to take a breath and it can be fatal if not treated immediately. If you suspect you or someone you love have suffered from a Suboxone overdose, it is important to call 911 or emergency services in your area.

Suboxone can be a useful tool to help addicts recover. But Suboxone abuse is a problem that can lead to further issues and complications in someone’s life.

If you, or someone you love, are suffering from a Suboxone addiction, contact us immediately. We can help Suboxone addicts become the people they were meant to be: drug-free.