Suboxone Addiction: Treatment, Symptoms, and Causes of Suboxone Abuse

Suboxone is commonly used to treat opioid addictions. This medication works to help ease cravings and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal. Suboxone consists of two main ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. The combined effects of these two can significantly reduce cravings for addictive substances like fentanyl, heroin, codeine, and oxycodone.

Those who are currently in treatment may take Suboxone to ease withdrawal symptoms, while others use it after treatment to reduce cravings and prevent relapse. While most people take Suboxone as prescribed to treat their opioid use disorder, not using the medication correctly can result in a substance use disorder. Though, the risk of becoming addicted to Suboxone is far less likely than developing an opioid addiction, Suboxone addiction is still dangerous.

Taking larger doses of Suboxone more frequently can significantly raise your tolerance, but since the buprenorphine inside of Suboxone has a “ceiling effect,” people who use Suboxone are unable to overcome this tolerance no matter how much they use, leading to addiction and overdose.

Suboxone Addiction Treatment Services

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Suboxone, whether prescribed or not, a trusted treatment facility such as The Haven Detox-New Jersey can provide the medical care and support needed to successfully overcome an addiction. Patients will receive customized evidence-based care in a safe and comfortable environment that promotes recovery.

There are plenty of treatment options available for recovering from Suboxone addiction, such as medical Suboxone detox and residential Suboxone treatment with around-the-clock care, effective behavioral therapy sessions, and aftercare programs that promote long-term recovery.

You can learn more about our Suboxone addiction treatment services in New Jersey by calling (856) 565-3102.

Suboxone Addiction Symptoms

While Suboxone is incredibly effective at treating an opioid use disorder, it does come with a list of side effects like dizziness, anxiety, depression, sweating, muscle aches, sleep issues, blurred vision, tremors, and more.

At the same time, Suboxone side effects are much different than suboxone addiction symptoms and should be addressed when noticed. These addiction symptoms include:

  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Having multiple prescriptions for Suboxone from different doctors
  • Itchiness
  • Poor coordination or trouble walking
  • Slurring speech
  • Confusion

An overdose happens when the body is no longer able to metabolize the amount of Suboxone being taken. Because Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, people may not feel the signs of an upcoming overdose before it is too late. The signs of a Suboxone overdose include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting

Call emergency services immediately if you or someone  you know is experiencing a Suboxone overdose.

When to Seek Treatment…

If you have become dependent on Suboxone, it is time to seek professional help for the addiction.

Because it is considered an opioid, you must receive treatment as soon as possible for your condition to prevent it from getting any more severe. A residential treatment facility can provide a safe and comfortable environment to overcome addiction with support from medical professionals.

Call our New Jersey Suboxone detox and residential Suboxone treatment facility at (856) 565-3102 for immediate help.

If a Loved One Needs Help…

If you are concerned that a loved one is misusing Suboxone after recovering from opioid addiction, make sure to start paying attention to how much and how often they are taking the medication. If you notice they are taking more than the prescribed amount and are beginning to struggle with coordination, slurring their speech, or having trouble completing a thought, it may be time to intervene.

At this time, seek help from a professional who can create a customized program for you or a loved one to overcome the addiction. An addiction treatment center can provide everything necessary for a safe and effective recovery process.

Learn more about Suboxone treatment services in New Jersey for your loved one by calling (856) 565-3102.

Causes of Suboxone Addiction

A Suboxone addiction is typically caused by misusing the medication while receiving treatment for an opioid use disorder. A common example of Suboxone misuse involves a person taking their prescription without actually going to treatment for their addiction. This means they will take Suboxone to cope with painful withdrawal symptoms as they continue to use drugs such as heroin.

This common practice causes the body to develop a tolerance to the medication, which results in the person taking larger doses even though it will not increase its effects. Another example of how Suboxone addiction is caused is when those with no history of opioid abuse begin taking the drug for a euphoric feeling that they eventually become addicted.

Family History

Since suboxone contains buprenorphine, those with a family history of substance abuse may be more likely than others to become addicted.

However, this doesn’t mean that someone with a substance use disorder in their family history will seek out Suboxone. Instead, if they find themselves taking it to aid with another addiction, they are more likely to become dependent on it. This is partially because of genetics and partially because exposure to substance abuse at a young age increases the chances of addiction later in life.

Addictive Potential

People are far more likely to develop an addiction to opioid drugs than a medication like Suboxone, but it is certainly possible for anyone to become addicted. The effects of opioid drugs are way stronger than any dose of Suboxone.

Most of the time, Suboxone is being used so that the person can prolong their opioid use and manage painful withdrawal symptoms. This use of medication alongside an opioid can become incredibly addictive, making it even harder to overcome opioid addiction. Unfortunately, it also raises your risk of opioid overdose.

Risk Factors

Like all other substances, certain things can increase a person’s risk of developing an addiction to Suboxone. Since Suboxone contains an opioid itself, these risk factors are similar to those of an opioid use disorder. Below are a few common risk factors for Suboxone addiction:

  • Taking Suboxone and continuing to use opioids
  • ​Using the medication with no history of opioid use
  • History of substance abuse
  • Use from a young age
  • Trauma
  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Growing up around individuals who abuse substances
  • Mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Recovering from an injury or healing after surgery

It may be best to stay away from Suboxone altogether if any of these factors apply to you or a loved one. A medical professional and care team at a treatment facility like The Haven Detox-New Jersey can create a customized treatment plan for patients currently struggling with a dependency on opioid medication.

Drug Availability

Suboxone is only available through a prescription from a doctor. The best way to ensure that you or a loved one has absolutely zero access to the medication during recovery is through a residential detox program at a rehab facility.

Detoxing from a substance can also significantly decrease cravings and make withdrawal more manageable, making relapse a much lower risk. Since Suboxone is a prescribed drug with its place in treatment at many detox facilities, a professional can monitor your use and ensure you are never taking more than the recommended amount.

If they feel as though you should avoid it altogether, the doctor may work with you to find something else that is effective for you.

Peer Pressures

Peer pressure can arise when a person or a group of people influence someone to partake in a particular activity. While Suboxone is not exactly a type of drug that individuals are being pressured into using, opioids, on the other hand, can be. Many people who begin taking opioids do so because they watch other people around them do it until it develops into an addiction.

Those attempting to recover from an opioid addiction who still hang out around people abusing the drug are more likely to use Suboxone to prolong their opioid use and push back their detox. A treatment group can set you up with helpful support groups where you can connect with people working towards a common goal of recovery.

Lack of Supervision

Lack of supervision can play a significant role in developing an addiction to Suboxone. The addiction is typically caused by the individual taking more than the prescribed amount of the medication or using it alongside an opioid such as heroin. If your loved one is recovering from opioid addiction and has been prescribed Suboxone, you must monitor their intake and ensure they have begun detoxing from the substance.

Opioid withdrawal can be incredibly challenging; it is normal for your loved one to have the desire to do anything that will alleviate their uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This includes taking larger doses of medication or relapsing altogether. It is important to stay strong and support them on their hardest days.

Effects of Suboxone Addiction

Suboxone can have several effects on various aspects of your life, from your career and relationships to your mental and physical health. It is important to begin receiving treatment as soon as possible to reduce the severity of these effects and prevent long-term damage.

Since it is a medication that reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings, it is easy to become dependent on Suboxone, especially if you are still actively using opioids.

Effects on Safety

When taken as prescribed, Suboxone is perfectly healthy to use and is incredibly effective in opioid use disorder treatment. The risk of addiction develops when the use of Suboxone is prolonged or against the prescription instructions.

Suboxone, however, is different from other opioids in that larger dosages will not heighten the effects of the medication. This is when a person is at risk of overdosing without even realizing it.

Effects on Relationships

Substance use disorders can commonly disrupt personal relationships and create a divide between loved ones. It can be challenging to watch a family member or anyone else that you love struggle with addiction. Becoming dependent on a substance like Suboxone can make it difficult to maintain close bonds as a result of prioritizing the drug over anything else.

Fortunately, family therapy options available at a treatment center can help patients reconnect with their loved ones and move on from their addiction.

Effects on Employment

While the effects of Suboxone are not as strong as a typical opioid drug, the side effects of misusing the medication can make it difficult to perform well in your career. Having an addiction to Suboxone can leave a person feeling drowsy, uncoordinated, nauseous, and unable to concentrate. Not only can these symptoms significantly hinder your work performance, but a supervisor and employer are likely to notice and take action.

Effects on Health

Taking large amounts of opioid medication can result in breathing problems if you have a history of breathing problems or you are taking Suboxone with medications such as Xanax or Valium. Misusing Suboxone for an extended period can also lead to liver damage.

Make sure to pay attention to signs of liver damage such as fatigue, severe stomach aches, or skin and eyes turning a shade of yellow. If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs of liver damage, seek medical help as soon as you can.

Suboxone use can also affect hormone levels. People who are taking the medication for an extended period, such as several weeks, may have reduced cortisol levels, resulting in adrenal insufficiency.