In Clearbrook Treatment Centers Massachusetts, Opioid Addiction, Pain Killer Addiction, Prescription Drug Abuse

Suboxone is a prescription medication that is being increasingly used in the field of opiate addiction treatment. The medication contains two active ingredients – buprenorphine and naloxone – and is formulated to help alleviate the discomfort of opiate withdrawal. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, alleviates withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings without causing the intense euphoria associated with full opioid agonists like heroin. Naloxone, on the other hand, serves to deter misuse by blocking opioid receptors and precipitating withdrawal symptoms if the medication is misused intravenously (IV). Today our Massachusetts rehab is exploring the role of Suboxone in medication-assisted treatment, with a particular focus on the question: how long does Suboxone block opiates?

How Does Suboxone Work?

As we previously mentioned, Suboxone is a medication commonly used during opioid detox or withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be highly uncomfortable, painful, and even life-threatening in severe cases of addiction.

To further support patients in their recovery and prevent them from quitting treatment too soon, Suboxone may be used as medication-assisted treatment. Suboxone’s mechanism of action is dependent on its two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone.


Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that activates the same opioid receptors in the brain as opioid drugs but to a lesser extent. This allows the drug to alleviate the intensity of withdrawals and reduce drug cravings.

However, unlike opioid agonists (like heroin or oxycodone), buprenorphine produces a ceiling effect, which means that its effects plateau at a certain dose. This prevents the drug from causing a high as well as respiratory depression, reducing the risk of overdose and making it a safer option for long-term treatment.


Unlike buprenorphine, naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it activates the same opioid receptors as other opioids do, but to a much lesser extent. When Suboxone is taken as prescribed and dissolved under the tongue, naloxone is not as well absorbed, causing it to have less of an effect.

However, if someone tries to misuse Suboxone by injecting it, the naloxone in the medication becomes active and can heighten withdrawals, discouraging further misuse. The combination of buprenorphine and naloxone in Suboxone helps individuals in rehab for opioid abuse safely overcome withdrawals, reduce cravings, and block the effects of other opioids.

This allows patients to focus on their programs and reduces the likelihood of leaving rehab early as well as relapse. Keep in mind, however, that Suboxone is typically used as part of a comprehensive treatment program. At our facility, a patient’s treatment plan will typically consist of counseling, psychotherapy, and aftercare support in addition to Suboxone.

How Long Does Suboxone Work For Opiates?

Generally, the duration of Suboxone’s effects can vary based on multiple factors, including the individual’s metabolism, the dosage of Suboxone, and the extent of their opioid dependence. How long Suboxone blocks opiates is primarily determined by the presence of naloxone in addition to the person’s metabolism, the dose of Suboxone, and the severity of the person’s opioid dependence.

When taken as prescribed and dissolved under the tongue, naloxone’s effects start to wear off after a few hours, while buprenorphine continues to provide relief from withdrawal and cravings for an extended period. Therefore, Suboxone blocks opiates for about 24 to 60 hours.

It’s crucial for individuals who are taking Suboxone to use it as prescribed by a medical professional to achieve its intended effects safely. Misuse or attempts to administer the medication incorrectly can lead to unpredictable and potentially dangerous side effects, including worsened withdrawal symptoms and increased risk of overdose. Therefore, Suboxone should only be taken under the direction and care of a medical professional.

Finding Opioid Rehabs Near Me

Suboxone is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to treating opioid addiction. These substances are known for their high abuse potential and life-threatening side effects, so much so that a drug epidemic has persisted since the late 1990s.

Therefore, individuals who struggle with opioid abuse must seek professional help. If you’re searching for a rehab that offers comprehensive addiction treatment, our Massachusetts inpatient drug rehab can help. We offer a variety of substance-specific detox and treatment programs to ensure that every patient gets the individualized care they require.

For more information about our medication-assisted treatment, medical detox, therapy, or other services, call Clearbrook Treatment Centers today at 570-536-9621 or contact us online, and an admission specialist will reach out to you as soon as possible.

Related Reading:

Suboxone vs. Methadone

Suboxone Prescriptions in Pennsylvania May Become More Regulated

Recommended Posts