Suboxone and Buprenorphine - Does it Work?

Suboxone treatment / Buprenorphine Detox

SUBOXONE TREATMENTThe drug Suboxone is a synthetic opioid that’s active ingredient is Buprenorphine and naloxone and can be an effective drug used for the detoxification of opiate addiction. However, Suboxone is a synthetic analgesic opioid, which is very addictive, and can be more or as addictive as the drug or opiates addicts are trying to be freed from. The most beneficial and safest method for using Suboxone, is to get in a detox and rehabilitation program, or hospital inpatient detox center or doctor that offers 1 to 2 weeks of Suboxone. Then transferring immediately into a comprehensive inpatient treatment center to rehabilitate the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of the drug addiction in a safe program away from the tempting environments. The drug does not provide these benefits;  it's only designed to address the physical part (detoxification) of a complex opiate addiction by alleviating withdrawal symptoms, but when not taken correctly can further complicate even the physical aspect of the addiction.


Moreover, Suboxone works well at getting a person who is physically addicted to opioids or opiates through the physical withdrawal process without experiencing the harsh effects. This is ideally accomplished within one week, because when continuously taken beyond that point you are in danger of causing an addiction to the Suboxone itself. Like heroin and Oxycontin is a horrible addiction. nevertheless, although one week of low to moderate doses of Suboxone shouldn't cause a physical dependence.  It is important to taper or wean down, especially toward the second half of the week and/or any time you discontinue taking opioids, because there are always unfavorable consequences when abruptly dropping off of higher amounts of opiates or opioids.

A sudden drop off of the drug can cause the nullification of a somewhat pain-free detox attempt if not done properly or abused and end up trading one physical addiction for another by becoming addicted to Suboxone/buprenorphine. Opiate addicts are very sensitive in this area, and if they are still going through withdrawals, they will more than likely search for more drugs to relieve the anguish opiate withdrawal causes. For this reason it is beneficial to go straight into drug rehab. Also because there are always post withdrawals associated the detoxification process to one degree or another, such as mild to moderate anxiety, depression, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and insomnia which often causes relapse within the first month of recovery.

There are clinics and doctors licensed to prescribe Suboxone maintenance as an alternative to the short-term detoxification and inpatient rehab combo approach. Maintenance provides Suboxone/buprenorphine to their patients over extended periods of time and then they are eventually weaned off slowly over time, "hopefully". But with this method you essentially become addicted to Suboxone and are weaned off the drug as the doctor recommends. Often we get calls from people that say that some Suboxone clinics or doctors do more encouraging to stay on the drug than to quit, even after the addict has request to be weaned down. Also patients may find themselves hooked to the drug and are no longer able to pay the doctor or clinics for the drug and are discontinued with a buprenorphine habit. The main point here should be that it's an opioid or opiate that gets people into this trap to begin with and so trading one drug for another often proves futile, especially when mistreated. So as good as it sounds, switching from one drug to another, chances are, won't solve the main problem and can prolong the inevitable.


Nevertheless some people want the mid or long-term wean down maintenance approach and that's fine we can help people locate those resources too, but that is not what we would recommend to somebody who wants to be free from being a slave to opiate addiction sooner than later. Because opiate dependency like other addictions are typically physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual battles that require intensive recovery on all levels. And inpatient drug addiction treatment has a much higher success rate than outpatient rehabs when it comes to heroin, Oxycontion, Roxicodone, Dilaudid, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, Fentanyl and many other opioid and opiate pain killers.


is a semi synthetic analgesic/opiate that is derived from thebaine (chemically related to morphine and codeine) and is administered in hydrochloride form intravenously or intramuscularly (by entering a muscle) to address moderate to severe pain and also sublingually (taken under the tongue).


is a drug used to reverse the effects of opiate overdose, also known as Narcan, Nalone, and Narcanti it was eventually added to buprenorphine (making up Suboxone) to discourage patients from braking-down and injecting the tablets. Consequently, whenever naloxone is injected it may send an opiate-dependent individual straight into withdrawals. Moreover, Buprenorphine alone has agonist and antagonist properties, thus, blocks the effects of other opiates and causes withdrawal to those who are actively using and physically dependent on other opiates. Therefore, users must also wait until the onset of withdrawal before being given buprenorphine treatment.


itself has partial agonist and antagonist actions and is the primary active substance in Suboxone, its opiate or agonist properties significantly relives harsh symptoms of withdrawal and its antagonist properties helps reduce the threat of people abusing other opiates while taking buprenorphine.

An agonist

is a chemical substance (as an opiate) able to attach to receptors and mimic the similar actions produced endogenously by natural opiates or chemicals within the body.

An antagonist

is a substance that acts within the human body to diminish physiological activity of another chemical such as an opiate.

Unlike other opioids such as heroin, Oxycontin, Roxicodone, Percocets, Vicodin (Hydrocodone) and also Methadone, Buprenorphine has its maximum effect at 32mg. So, 40mg of buprenorphine would not be more effective than a dose of 32mg. Making it a safer alternative to other narcotics as listed above.

Suboxone or Subutex

(subutex is buprenorphine without the naloxone) is typically given as a method of short-term detoxification or as a long term maintenance program. Suboxone and subutex have notable success as a detoxification agent and a street opiate deterrent as a maintenance program. However, buprenorphine itself is an opiate drug and may hinder a person’s quality of life considerably. So, the quicker a patient can reap its benefits and be done with it they will be far better off. It should be noted, that, the “majority” of opiate-addicts will need to receive intensive drug rehabilitation in order to be sober of drugs; Suboxone or subutex are only one option as part of a lengthy process of drug addiction treatment.

The overall opinions of people who have taken Suboxone/buprenorphine for opiate dependence seem to be that it is a helpful drug and therefore an option to long time struggling opiate addicts. Also, for many addicted to opiates, Suboxone can be an easier detoxification alternative than its more potentially-addictive counterpart methadone.

To get put on Suboxone or subutex one must locate a drug detox center or doctor who is licensed to prescribe it. Or else find a drug rehab and or detoxification program that specializes in using the drug. At this time, unfortunately, buprenorphine is not a cheap drug and many addicts find very difficult if not impossible to pay for; even though the drug is covered under some health insurance plans.

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  1. Meg says

    A 5 day controlled medical detox use of Suboxone while entering my 30 day treatment center was just the right amount to help me through detox and allow me to begin to focus on the treatment program and not 100% on my withdrawal pain & discomfort. I would never recommend that anyone use Suboxone in any other way & in any other environment. My roommate at the treatment center had checked in exactly one year prior to detox from opiates and to learn how to achieving lasting sobriety. However, her boyfriend talked he into getting on a Suboxone "Maintenance" program, as many money-hungry addiction Drs are recommending as a means to continue receiving their high cost out-of-network($300-$400 upfront) for mandatory monthly visits to receive a new RX of outrageously high amounts of Suboxone for the next month. My roommate was back at the very same treatment center a year later -life in chaos - and in need of help to get clean for her progressively raging addiction to Suboxone. I mean to cast no judgement on anyone's personal experience. I merely am sharing my own experience with the drug as a short term means to an end of detoxing from morphine-sulfate and Vicodin, and sharing the total destruction I witnessed of long-term use of the drug.

  2. kevin hess says

    They are a lifesaver some say miracle pill..just get redy for a two month detox..what's in my life is great but if I allow myself to run out of them I'm right back to where I started

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