Suboxone was first marketed in the 1980s by a British pharmaceutical company called Reckitt Benckiser. Suboxone is a combination of two different drugs: buprenorphine (an opioid) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). While buprenorphine works like other opioids to block pain signaling and react with dopamine, naloxone blocks the effects of opioid medications, as well as the high or euphoric side effects they produce. However, as effective as this medication is in treating opioid addiction, it also has a potential for abuse. If you or someone you care about has become dependent on this drug, our Massachusetts inpatient drug rehab offers suboxone addiction treatment that can help.

What Is Suboxone Used For?

The makers of suboxone added naloxone to prevent users from injecting or snorting the drug for recreational purposes. Naloxone is meant to block the pleasurable or euphoric side effects of opioids like morphine or heroin. For this reason, suboxone is used to aid opioid addiction treatment, specifically in cases where the individual is addicted to short-acting opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers.

The first phase of suboxone use is during medical detox, during which symptoms are most uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Suboxone helps alleviate these symptoms and potentially eliminate them, making relapse less likely.

However, unlike other opioid replacement medications, suboxone can be prescribed by a doctor for at-home use. This, paired with the drug’s potential for abuse, makes addiction more likely.

Is Suboxone Addictive?

Like all narcotics, suboxone is addictive and does have a potential for abuse. In recent years, suboxone abuse has increased exponentially. Because this is a medication that’s prescribed to patients to be taken at home, supervision is limited, meaning that misuse is possible. One of the contributing factors to suboxone addiction is the implementation of long-term use.

Since suboxone has an active narcotic in its makeup (buprenorphine), people who use the drug for long periods can develop a physical dependence. This occurs when a person becomes physically reliant on a drug, to the point where not using it for a certain period can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, otherwise known as withdrawals.

Although physical dependence is a typical side effect of many medications, because withdrawals are extremely uncomfortable, many of these individuals will continue to take drugs and increase their doses to prevent withdrawals and keep up with their growing tolerance. When this pattern of behavior lasts, addiction eventually develops.

Suboxone is beneficial when used correctly and for its designed purposes. The use of this medication should always be prescribed by a professional. Taking the medication for long periods or misusing them can increase the likelihood of dependence and addiction.

Suboxone Addiction Symptoms & Side Effects

The opioid buprenorphine in suboxone comes with its risks and side effects. Like many other prescription opioids, buprenorphine can slow breathing and heart rate if taken in higher doses than prescribed. Mixing or using suboxone with other medications, like Xanax or Valium, can increase the likelihood of these risks and even overdose in extreme cases.

Typical side effects of suboxone include:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy

You may be wondering what an addiction to suboxone looks like. How could you tell if your loved one is addicted to this medication? What if you need suboxone addiction treatment? Here are some common signs that someone needs suboxone addiction help:

  • Doctor shopping (going from one doctor to another for prescriptions)
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • A decline in work and/or school performance
  • Isolation from loved ones
  • Spending time with friends or people who also abuse drugs
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Money or possessions frequently go missing
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Itching
  • Inability to think clearly

Suboxone Addiction Recovery in Massachusetts

If you’re struggling with suboxone dependence, our Massachusetts treatment center is ready to help. Our suboxone addiction treatment program is one of the several rehab programs offered at our facility that are monitored and led by our team of trained specialists. Upon admission, we work with clients to create individualized treatment plans that work for them and meet their needs.

Starting with our suboxone detox and working their way to counseling and psychotherapy options, clients at Clearbrook Treatment Center will receive quality addiction care as well as aftercare support to guide them through every step of their recovery.


For more information about our suboxone addiction treatment or other Massachusetts drug rehab programs, contact Clearbrook today!


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