Opioid addiction is an on-going crisis and has been steadily worsening over several years. Whether it’s heroin or oxy, the dangers lurk all the same. More than 115 people die every single day from opioid overdose.
With that, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is, many people who are suffering from opioid addiction are seeking help. The bad news, though, is that many of those recovering from addiction find themselves with a new addiction.
Suboxone is a drug given to a person recovering from an opioid addiction to lessen the withdrawal symptoms they may experience. Because Suboxone so closely resembles the chemical makeup of an opioid, sometimes an addiction can occur.
If you have a friend or family member in your life that struggles with recovering from opioid addiction, you may need to keep a close watch on them for the development of Suboxone addiction.
Continue reading to learn more about Suboxone symptoms and warning signs.
Symptoms of Addiction to Suboxone
If a person is taking Suboxone strictly as prescribed by a doctor, they won’t exhibit signs of Suboxone addiction. However, once a person begins to abuse the drug, just like any other drug, they begin to develop certain symptoms.
Symptoms of Suboxone addiction might include any of the following:
- Watery eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Sudden memory problems
- Loss of interest in sex
- Excessive sweating
- Unusual apathy
Keep in mind that symptoms of addiction will vary from person to person. There are many factors involved with drug abuse, so different people will experience different side effects.
Some of the less common — but more serious side effects may include:
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness or fainting
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Depressed breathing
Warning Signs a Loved One May Be Abusing Suboxone
Unfortunately, spotting an addiction to suboxone isn’t as easy as it may sound.
Suboxone is a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. As mentioned earlier, the chemical makeup of suboxone is very similar to that of opioids. Suboxone is considered an opioid antagonist, meaning it acts on one or more opioid receptor.
Since suboxone competitively binds with the body’s natural opioid receptors, it prevents any misused opioid from binding.
That being said, the warning signs of Suboxone abuse are very similar to those of opioid abuse. Some of the most common warning signs include excess prescriptions, unexplained weight loss, and paraphernalia.
Excess prescriptions: Suboxone is a controlled substance that is prescription only. A person who has a developed addiction to suboxone won’t be able to fuel their habit for long on a single prescription. “Doctor shopping” is a term used when a person jumps from doctor to doctor within a short time frame in order to receive multiple prescriptions for a single medication.
Keep an eye out for extra prescription slips or bottles laying around.
Unexplained weight loss: Many people who develop a Suboxone addiction will rapidly lose weight. They may even stop eating, so look for signs such as an empty fridge or food pantry. You may also want to keep an eye on their wardrobe to see if their clothing becomes baggy.
Paraphernalia: Suboxone is typically prescribed as a tablet that dissolves under the tongue. A person with an addiction to the drug will typically inject it using needles. Look for powdery residue from crushed up tablets, needles, or even straps that may be used for vein constriction.
Is My Child Using Suboxone?
Children are not excluded from the opioid crisis. While it is less common to see a Suboxone addiction in children than in adults, it is possible.
If your child is receiving suboxone prescriptions for opioid addiction, be sure to monitor all prescription doses carefully. If you’re suspicious that the Suboxone is running out too soon, consider counting the tablets for a few days.
It’s important to confront your child right away, if you suspect abuse. Do not demand that your child just stop taking the drug, as this can be harmful to the child’s health as well as your relationship with them.
Is My Parent Using Suboxone?
Addiction to Suboxone is most present in young adults, however, just like with children, it is possible for an older adult to develop an addiction to the drug.
If you notice your parent has a sudden loss of income, this may be a red flag. The addiction can be so strong that a person may not even notice how much money they’re losing. A person with this addiction can feel like they need the drug just to survive.
77% of illicit drug users are currently employed. They may begin to miss work so they have more time to get high. If your parent suddenly starts missing several days of work, they may have a Suboxone addiction.
Intervention for Suboxone Abuse
Deciding to intervene is one of the hardest decisions a person can have to make, and it’s usually much easier said than done.
Here are a few tips for intervention:
- Never accuse your loved one of being an abuser or “addict”
- Encourage the idea of getting professional help, but do not demand it
- Do not be forceful in any way, this is a time to simply state your concerns
- Be aware that it is normal for your loved one to exhibit anger or frustration, and it may take several intervention attempts.
The intervention process is a very important step for any drug abuser. Be sure to brush up on the best intervention techniques before jumping in head first.
Get Help Today
If you’ve read through these Suboxone symptoms and warning signs and believe someone you know and love may be struggling with an addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out.
For coaching, guidance, and any questions you can think of, our experts are available and ready to take your call. Our specialists are trained to walk you through the addiction recovery process, from start to finish. Contact us for a consult today.
Don’t wait, tomorrow could be too late.